Want to see a flying green Lemmon? Well, come April, you could just very well do that as Comet Lemmon, discovered just last year, will be coming to the Northern sky. Oh, as for the part about a green Lemmon? Well, that all has to do with its color as the comet is a dazzling shade of green.
So, what will there be to see?
For starters, if one lives in the Northern Hemisphere, nothing for about two and a half months as the comet will be in the Southern Hemisphere until then. However, come early April, it will cross into the Northern Hemisphere's sky, potentially reaching between magnitudes 2 and 3, about the same brightness as the stars in the Big Dipper.
Unfortunately, there's one hitch: are famously hard to predict.
Right now (go to the January 30 archive if its disappeared), Spaceweather.com has an article on Comet Lemmon on its home page, and namely its potential to be a naked-eye visible object. Like what was already said here, this article reinforces the fact that brightness estimates for comets are difficult to predict with any certainty.
However, there is good news: the comet is due for close approach to Earth in about 2 months, meaning that the short time span is a great aid to astronomers when predicting what a comet could do.
In the end, thought, the only way we'll be able to know what Comet Lemmon will do is to wait and watch.
Planning to do some sky watching in the Cleveland area? Well be sure to keep an eye on the Cleveland weather forecast and, for hour-by-hour cloud predictions, the Cleveland Clear Sky Clock as the close approach date nears. Live somewhere else? Find a clock and see if it will be clear near you.
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Bodzash Photography & Astronomy