See Comet Iwamoto’s dash by Leo, Most cancers and Gemini sooner than full Moon – Astronomy Now
Discovered by Japanese astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto in images captured on 18 December 2018, C/2018 Y1 orbits the Photo voltaic every 148.7 years in a extraordinarily eccentric path inclined to the ecliptic by an angle of 160 ranges. Comet Iwamoto obtained right here inside 1.three astronomical fashions (AU) of the Photo voltaic at perihelion on 6 February, nevertheless will plumb the depths of the picture voltaic system out previous 245 AU at aphelion.
Comet C/2018 Y1 passes closest to Earth on 12 February at 20:10 UT when it lies 0.304 AU, or 45½ million kilometres away (some 118 situations the hole of the Moon) and could also be found galloping by Leo at a payment of seven.2 ranges/day. At opposition on 13 February, the comet transits spherical 12:30am GMT at an altitude exceeding 50 ranges for an observer inside the coronary coronary heart of the British Isles.
Predictions level out that Comet Iwamoto could attain an built-in magnitude of +6 spherical closest technique, nevertheless don’t miss any viewing alternate options owing to the waxing Moon’s glare. Latest research level out that C/2018 Y1 has a coma roughly one-third of a degree all through with a short tail.
An in depth encounter with NGC 2903
C/2018 Y1 passes very shut to magnitude +9 barred spiral galaxy NGC 2903 in Leo about 21:30 UT (9:30pm GMT) on 13 February. In actuality, counting on the comet’s coma measurement, it may appear superimposed on the galaxy! Discovered by Sir William Herschel who catalogued it in 1784, NGC 2903 is seen in huge binoculars or small telescopes and lies about 30 million light-years from Earth. This galaxy exhibits lovely spiral arms, so astrophotographers are prompt to arrange for an superior shot – local weather permitting.