So, you’ve heard that there’s a comet in the sky… where IS it? Well, at the moment it’s passing just beneath Cassiopeia, which you would think would make it easy to find, but I’ve been reading that the comet is quite a bit fainter than predicted, and owners of 8″ scopes have found it quite difficult to find – probably why I saw (bleep) all with my 10×50 binoculars last night!! – so Comet Hartley appears to be doing that famous ‘comet thing’ of just doing whatever the heck it likes, and keeping us all pulling out our hair and grinding our teeth whilst looking for it…!
But even if the comet’s brightness is uncertain, what IS certain is its track across the sky, so we can make charts showing where to find it. Here are some finder charts for the comet through to late October. You;ll need to click on each of these following images to bring up a full size one, but PLEASE bear in mind that the “comet” on these pics looks nothing like what the real comet will do: Comet Hartley hasn’t – at least at the moment – got a long tail, and it’s nowhere near as bright as the comet depicted on the pics; this is just how the “Starry Night” program renders comets, ok? When using these pics just look for a teeny tiny smudgy… something… at the LEFT point of the comet. And good luck!
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