2012 February 1
Comet Garradd close to M92
Over the next few nights comet C/2009 P1 Garradd will pass close by the globular cluster M92, in Hercules, and this will make for an interesting observing opportunity.
Stewart Moore, the BAA Deep Sky Section Director writes:
Although not a spectacular comet with a majestic tail, C/2009 P1 (Garradd) has endeared itself to many observers by visiting bright deep sky objects on its journey through the heavens. In late August 2011 it visited the globular cluster M71 and in early September of the same year it made a close approach to the Coathanger asterism. Now visible in the morning sky, Garradd continues its friendship with deep sky objects by making a close approach to another globular cluster, this time M92 in Hercules.
On February 3/4 it passes within 0.5 degree west of M92, making an ideal photo opportunity. The coordinates of M92 are RA 17h 17m.1 and Dec +43deg 08min. M92 has a visual magnitude of 6.5 and a diameter of 14 arcmin. Details and an ephemeris for the comet, which has a predicted magnitude of 6.5, can be downloaded from the Comet Section web page and are also available in the latest BAA paper circular No. 826 dated 2012 January 18.
With the Moon setting just after 04:00 on Feb. 3, M92 and the comet will be found at an altitude of around 40 degree in the east. Please send all observations to both the Deep Sky Section and the Comet Section.