Comet Lovejoy

I can see Comet Lovejoy with the naked eye from New Gloucester. I mostly followed these instructions. I basically found Aldebaran, then found The Pleaides, then when about the same amount in the opposite direction and found the top right star of Orion. Then I looked south from Aldebaran, until I reached a point where I had made 2 identical right (45-45-90) triangles. Sure enough, there it was.

I was able to see it with the naked eye from my driveway, but I had to use averted vision to see it. It was much more visible through my monocular. Like a round fuzzball of diffuse light. Very pretty.

Of course, it will be in a different place tomorrow, and the next day. Comets move fast. It is basically travelling almost parallel to the line we imagined above, from the Pleaides through Aldebaran to the top right of Orion. It will be visible for the next 2 weeks or so.

Lovejoy last was this close to Earth about 11,500 years ago. The Earth was a very different place then. Interestingly, it will be back again in about 8,000 years. I wonder how different Earth will be then….