Monday, 20 August 2018

Clean your eyepieces for comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner - September 2018

astronomy, telescope, astro photography, amateur
21P/Giacobini-Zinner - Motion Trace 5 - 15 September 2018
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Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner

astronomy, telescope, astro photography, amateur, comet

Visual Synopsis comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner (Skytools 3)

On this night (10 September 2018) 21P/Giacobini-Zinner is best visible between 03:28 and 05:26, with the optimum view at 05:03. Look for it in Auriga, fairly high in the northeastern sky during morning twilight. It is obvious visually in the Celestron NexStar 11 SCT. Use the Plössl 6mm for optimum visual detection. It is magnitude 7 with a diameter of 8.5'.

In the following 30 days this object is obvious visually on September 11-22, and again from October 3-6, with the best view coming on September 22. During this period it will fade by about 1 magnitudes and rapidly move higher in the sky.

21P/Giacobini-Zinner will next reach perihelion in late March 2025. It also is predicted to reach maximum brightness of magnitude 10.5 in late March. It will be undetectable visually in the Celestron NexStar 11 SCT from Bloemfontein, South Africa near maximum brightness. At that time it will be in Pisces, high in the sky in daylight. The previous perihelion was early September 2018. Note that the magnitude and visibility of a comet can be very unpredictable.