Comet Chasing in November


Comet chasing is the visual observation of telescopic comets.

News


Comet Visibility in the Eyepiece

This page uses code developed for SkyTools 3 to predict the visibility of a comet in the eyepiece.  Predicting how much aperture is required to see a comet is a very complex task.  Have a look for yourself: a comparison of the predictions below (such as "visible in small telescopes") to the magnitude of each comet shows just how poor an indicator the magnitude alone really is.  When you read below that a particular aperture is required to see a comet you can have a reasonable degree of confidence that the comet can in fact be seen in the eyepiece.

Comet Synopses for November


Explanation of Comet Synopses and charts (read this if you have questions)  

C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS): A southern hemisphere morning comet visible in binoculars
This comet begins the month in Pictor at magnitude 8.1. Look for a 7' coma. It should fade rapidly, moving into Phoenix by month's end. The best visibility is early in the month as seen from the southern hemisphere.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible  
40o N Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible  
Equator Fairly high at ~03:00 Fairly high in moonlight at ~01:20 Fairly high at ~23:20 Fairly high at ~21:40 Fairly high in the southern sky at ~00:30 1-
30o S High at ~03:00 Fairly high at ~20:10 High at ~23:20 High at ~21:40 High at ~00:30 1-

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy): A morning comet visible in small telescopes
This comet begins the month in Vela at magnitude 10.9. Look for a 5' coma. It should brighten rapidly, moving into Puppis by month's end. The best visibility is late in the month as seen from the southern hemisphere.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible  
40o N Very low in the southern sky during morning twilight at ~05:00 Very low in the southern sky in moonlight at ~04:50 Very low in the southern sky in moonlight at ~04:20 Very low in the southern sky at ~03:40 Very low in the southern sky at ~03:00 1-
Equator High at ~04:20 High in moonlight at ~04:30 High in moonlight at ~04:20 High at ~03:40 High at ~03:00 1-
30o S High at ~03:30 High during morning twilight at ~03:40 High at ~01:10 High at ~03:10 High at ~02:50 1-

C/2014 R1 (Borisov): A morning comet visible in a 6-inch (15 cm) telescope
This comet begins the month in Virgo at magnitude 11.1. Look for a 2' coma. It should brighten slowly.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:10 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:40 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:30 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:40 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:50 1-
40o N Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:00 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:20 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:20 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:20 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:30 1-
Equator Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:30 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:40 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:30 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:30 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:30 1-
30o S Very low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:00 Low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:00 Very low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~03:50 Very low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~03:40 Low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~03:30 1-

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring): An evening comet visible in an 8-inch (20 cm) telescope
This comet begins the month in Ophiuchus at magnitude 11.5. Look for a 1.5' coma. It should fade by about 0.7 magnitudes by month's end.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N Very low in the southern sky during evening twilight at ~17:50 Very low in the southern sky during evening twilight at ~17:30 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~17:40 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~17:40 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~17:20 1-
40o N Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:10 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:20 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:10 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:00 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~17:50 1-
Equator Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:50 Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:00 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:00 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:50 Not visible 1-
30o S Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:40 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:50 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:50 Not visible Not visible 1-21

C/2014 Q3 (Borisov): A northern hemisphere morning comet visible in a 12.5-inch (32 cm) telescope
This comet begins the month in Camelopardus at magnitude 11.0. Look for a 4' coma. It should fade slowly, moving into Draco by month's end.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N High at ~04:40 High during evening twilight at ~17:30 High at ~18:20 High at ~18:10 Fairly high at ~05:40 1-
40o N High at ~04:40 Fairly high during evening twilight at ~18:20 High at ~18:30 High at ~18:20 Fairly high in the northern sky at ~05:20 1-
Equator Very low in the northern sky during morning twilight at ~04:30 Not visible Not visible Very low in the northern sky during evening twilight at ~18:50 Very low in the northern sky during evening twilight at ~18:50 1-4, 17-
30o S Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible  

C/2014 E2 (Jacques): An evening comet visible in a 14-inch (36 cm) telescope
This comet begins the month in Aquila at magnitude 12.5. Look for a 1' coma. It should fade by about 1.4 magnitudes by month's end.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N Fairly high during evening twilight at ~18:10 Fairly high during evening twilight at ~17:30 Fairly high in the southern sky at ~18:10 Fairly high in the southern sky during evening twilight at ~18:00 Fairly high in the southern sky during evening twilight at ~17:40 1-
40o N High during evening twilight at ~18:20 Fairly high during evening twilight at ~18:20 Fairly high at ~18:20 Fairly high at ~18:20 Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:00 1-
Equator High during evening twilight at ~18:50 High at ~19:00 High at ~19:00 Fairly high at ~19:00 Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:00 1-
30o S Fairly high during evening twilight at ~19:40 Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:50 Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~20:00 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~20:00 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~20:00 1-

289P/Blanpain: A morning comet visible in very large telescopes
This comet begins the month in Virgo at magnitude 12.6. Look for a 3.5' coma. It should fade by about 0.9 magnitudes by month's end.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N Low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:10 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:40 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:30 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:40 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:50 1-
40o N Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:00 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:20 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~05:20 Fairly high in the eastern sky at ~05:20 Fairly high in the eastern sky at ~05:20 1-
Equator Low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:30 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:40 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:30 Fairly high in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:30 Fairly high in the eastern sky at ~04:30 1-
30o S Very low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:00 Very low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~04:00 Very low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~03:40 Low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~03:30 Low in the eastern sky during morning twilight at ~03:30 1-4, 6-

C/2012 X1 (LINEAR): An evening comet visible in very large telescopes
This comet begins the month in Grus at magnitude 13.4. Look for a 55" coma. It should fade by about 0.7 magnitudes by month's end. The best visibility is early in the month as seen from the southern hemisphere.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible Not visible  
40o N Not visible Not visible Not visible Very low in the southern sky during evening twilight at ~18:10 Very low in the southern sky during evening twilight at ~18:00 16-
Equator High in moonlight at ~19:00 High at ~19:10 High at ~19:10 High at ~19:10 High during evening twilight at ~19:00 1-
30o S Low in the southern sky at ~01:50 High at ~20:10 High at ~20:10 High at ~20:20 High during evening twilight at ~20:20 1-

C/2010 S1 (LINEAR): An evening comet possibly visible in very large telescopes
This comet begins the month in Serpens Cauda at magnitude ~13.6. Look for a ~55" coma. It should fade slowly, moving into Scutum by month's end.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N Low in the southern sky during evening twilight at ~18:10 Low in the southern sky during evening twilight at ~17:30 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~17:50 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~17:40 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~17:30 1-
40o N Fairly high in the southern sky during evening twilight at ~18:20 Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:20 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:20 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:10 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~18:00 1-
Equator High during evening twilight at ~18:50 Fairly high at ~19:00 Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:00 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:00 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:00 1-
30o S Fairly high during evening twilight at ~19:40 Fairly high in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:50 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~20:00 Low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~20:00 Very low in the western sky during evening twilight at ~19:50 1-

108P/Ciffreo: A morning comet visible in very large telescopes
This comet begins the month in Taurus at magnitude 13.8. Look for a 50" coma. It should fade slowly, moving into Auriga by month's end.  FINDER CHART
Latitude Visibility November 1 Visibility November 8 Visibility November 15 Visibility November 22 Visibility November 29 Nights Visible
55o N High at ~02:50 High in moonlight at ~02:20 High at ~00:30 High at ~01:20 High at ~00:50 1-
40o N High at ~02:50 High in moonlight at ~02:20 High at ~00:40 High at ~01:20 High at ~00:50 1-
Equator High at ~02:50 High in moonlight at ~02:30 High at ~01:00 High at ~01:20 High at ~00:50 1-
30o S Fairly high at ~02:50 Fairly high in moonlight at ~02:30 Fairly high in the northern sky at ~01:10 Fairly high in the northern sky at ~01:20 Fairly high in the northern sky at ~00:50 1-

  

Summary Data for This Month's Telescopic Comets


Here's a list of the comets brighter than 15th magnitude.  This table is updated as necessary.  The last column indicates the date of the last observation used to compute these values.  The constellation listed is where the comet was on the first of the month.
Comet Constellation

November 1st

November 15th

November 30th

Observations as of (UT)
Mag Diam Mag Diam Mag Diam
C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) Pictor 8.1 7.0' 8.8 6.2' 9.8 4.8' 2014 October 30
C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) Vela 10.9 3.1' 10.2 3.7' 9.3 4.8' 2014 October 30
C/2014 Q3 (Borisov) Camelopardus 11.0 4.0' 11.0 3.9' 11.3 3.4' 2014 October 30
C/2014 R1 (Borisov) Virgo 11.1 2.1' 11.0 2.1' 11.0 2.1' 2014 October 28
C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) Ophiuchus 11.5 1.4' 11.8 1.2' 12.2 1.1' 2014 October 26
C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden)* Libra 11.7 1.3' 12.9 1.1' 13.9 1.0' 2014 October 21
C/2014 E2 (Jacques) Aquila 12.5 1.1' 13.2 58" 13.9 50" 2014 October 27
C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) Grus 13.4 55" 13.7 51" 14.1 47" 2014 October 18
117P/Helin-Roman-Alu Capricornus 13.6 31" 13.8 29" 14.0 27" 2014 October 25
C/2010 S1 (LINEAR) Serpens Cauda 13.6? 1'? 13.7? 1'? 13.8? 1'? 2014 September 22
108P/Ciffreo Taurus 13.8 51" 13.8 55" 13.9 56" 2014 October 28
29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann Scorpius 13.8 24" 13.8 24" 13.8 24" 2014 October 3
284P/McNaught Aquarius 14.2 43" 14.4 39" 14.7 35" 2014 October 26
32P/Comas Sola Leo 14.4 32" 14.3 34" 14.2 37" 2014 October 28
C/2013 US10 (Catalina) Pisces Austrinus 14.4 26" 14.3 25" 14.2 25" 2014 October 29
C/2014 N3 (NEOWISE) Sculptor 14.4 32" 14.4 31" 14.5 29" 2014 October 28
17P/Holmes Auriga 14.4? 43"? 14.6? 44"? 14.7? 44"? 2014 September 23
4P/Faye Hydra 14.6 32" 14.8 33" 14.9 34" 2014 October 28
P/2014 L2 (NEOWISE) Aquarius 14.8 52" 15.1 47" 15.5 42" 2014 October 28
201P/LONEOS Aquarius 15.2 14" 15.1 13" 15.0 13" 2014 October 19

*In solar conjunction and generally not visible

For the latest news and comet observations see the ICQ/CBAT/MPC: Recent Comet Magnitude Estimates page.  The Astronomical Headlines page of the IAU is also a good source of information, particularly for recent discoveries.

For general information about comets see Gary W. Kronk's Cometography 

Join the Comet Chasing discussion group 

Further reading: see Comet Chasing, Sky & Telescope, April 2005, pg. 83.

Make your own custom charts for your location and telescope/binoculars: software for comet observing
 

Links

Chasing Comet ISON

Skyhound's Guide to Comets
Skyhound's Guide to Finding Comets
BAA Comet Section
Astronomical Headlines (IAU)
Cometography