2018 June 14
Comet 21P approaches the North America Nebula
It will be a challenging observation due to midsummer skies and a First Quarter Moon but the periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner will be passing the bright emission nebula NGC7000 (the North America Nebula) in Cygnus between June 19 and June 21. The comet is currently around 13th magnitude but will brighten over the summer to become a potentially 6th magnitude object by September. At present the comet is a small fuzzy spot with a short tail to the south west and it will be completely overwhelmed by the large nebula but it will be interesting to compare the two objects. A chart showing the encounter is here. Please send any observations to the Comet Section.
The image at left shows the comet on the morning of 2018 June 13. The field of view is around 11 arcmin square. More images of this comet are available in the Section’s archive here.
Update on 2018-06-18 – Here is an image of the comet approaching the nebula taken from New Mexico.