Who on CN will see it first with binoculars?
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Posted 13 December 2019 - 05:27 PM
While I doubt we'll be seeing it in our binoculars, it will surely be an interesting object for the professional astronomical community to study. Only the second interstellar object we're aware of to pass through our system, it will be around a lot longer for study than the interstellar asteroid 'Oumuamua which made a brief appearance in 2017.
Posted 14 December 2019 - 05:28 AM
Remarkable to read the amount of publicized info on a comet this dim, even with a S&T article with nice "finder" charts as if it was an apparition of an easy to see bright comet. Yet even my 16" f/5 may only show it as a very dim object, if at all, if I am not under pristine mountain skies on a moonless night. Yet with all the charts and hoopla, I had to double check the visual magnitude twice to confirm it is an extraordinary dim object with a peak brightness of around Mv 15 instead of a bright Mv 1.5 naked eye comet. All of a sudden, Pluto seems like a bright naked eye planet that will be featured in a next article
Fortunately, Bob King puts it in perspective into his S&T article Stan linked to above:
"Right now, Comet Borisov is small and compact with a short tail pointing northwest. If the comet remains compact or nearly stellar and reaches magnitude 15.0, experienced observers might spot it in a 10-inch. Chances improve for telescopes 12-inches (30.5-cm) or larger under dark, moonless skies. Equally important is to use high magnification to "expand" the small object and further darken the sky background. I recommend 200× or better."
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