Comet Lovejoy reached its closest approach to Earth last night. It came within 44 million miles of our planet last night. While it will begin to move further away, the comet will actually brighten a bit more as it heads towards the sun.
You will need to brave the cold, but a glimpse of the comet is worth it.
A lot of people have been saying you can see the comet with the naked eye. It is possible, but most folks don’t live near dark enough skies. Any light pollution will make spotting it without binoculars or a telescope nearly impossible.
As for where to look? Comet Lovejoy is easy to spot. Find the constellation Orion, and look up and to the right. Check out this handy sky chart from Sky and Telescope to see right where to look.
Before I highlight some of my favorite Comet Lovejoy photos, I’m going to disappoint you a bit. All of the amazing photos of the comet were taken with long exposure times. The comet will look like a fuzzy, greenish ball to you.
Brandon Finnigan over at The Federalist took an iPhone picture of the comet through his telescope. That’s what you’re going to see when you look through a telescope or binoculars. It’s still cool, but nowhere near as amazing as the following pictures.
Let’s get started with the best image of the lot. Gerald Rhemann took this photo on December 23rd in Namibia, Africa.
Justin Ng snapped the following picture on December 29th in Singapore.
Spaceweather has a great gallery of Comet Lovejoy images. Check it out. Also, let me know if you have seen Comet Lovejoy.