Prince, Carrie Fisher, and Gene Wilder riding on a white horse....
December 29, 2016 6:36 PM   Subscribe

JPL says the comet may be visible as people welcome in 2017 on Saturday. Even if you're not a fan of New Year's Eve fireworks, you'll have another reason to look to the skies. NASA says as we ring in the new year, a comet will near the moon and be visible to those looking west. But here's the catch - you'll need a pair of binoculars to see it. NASA says comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, named after the astronomers who discovered it in 1948, takes 5.25 years to complete its orbit.

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova is forecast to reach its brightest, at around mag 6.2. It will lie at a distance of 0.54 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 0.59 AU from the Earth.

From Rochester (click to change) however, it will not be observable – it will reach its highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 9° above the horizon at dusk.

For more information about its path across the sky, see In-The-Sky.org's ephemeris page for comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova.

This event was automatically generated on the basis of orbital elements published by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), and is updated daily (last update, 29 Dec 2016).
posted by shockingbluamp (15 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe it'll veer off course and hit us, just to wrap this year up properly.
posted by SansPoint at 6:38 PM on December 29, 2016 [38 favorites]


Bruce Willis, is that you?
posted by TrishaU at 7:04 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, normally I might get excited about this, but...2016.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:10 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


The text under the fold came from this page on in-the-sky.org.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:27 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is freaky because I haven't had my telescope out in ages and I was just checking to see if there are any good comets visible. I've got high hopes for 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak in March.
posted by Brodiggitty at 7:36 PM on December 29, 2016


Maybe it'll veer off course and hit us, just to wrap this year up properly.

Nah, I don't think we'll be that lucky.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:44 PM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


The first time I read that, I was sure it said JCPL.
posted by mochapickle at 8:29 PM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


A long [election] summer.. a Trump presidency is basically a dark night full of terrors.... and now a comet? Azor Ahai 2017! GET HYPE.
posted by gatorae at 9:06 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Who made who? Who made you?
posted by mannequito at 9:38 PM on December 29, 2016


*BANGS FISTS ON TABLE* HIT US HIT US HIT US
posted by poffin boffin at 11:22 PM on December 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


Comets are giant spaceman jizz.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:30 AM on December 30, 2016


East coast of the US is suffering from it being low on the horizon :/
posted by childofTethys at 4:55 AM on December 30, 2016


As is usual, when I have a reason to take my telescope out, it will no doubt be cloudy.
posted by Splunge at 10:32 AM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Unless there's a rogue that we haven't managed to track yet, highly unlikely that we get Giant Meteor 2016.

A Gamma Ray Burst, though. Still possible.
posted by porpoise at 11:25 AM on December 31, 2016


Damn.
posted by porpoise at 8:07 PM on January 1


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