|Posted on October 21, 2015 at 9:40 AM|
* This is a backup post from the main page
by John Nassr
C/2012 K5 Linear is a comet with a hyperbolic orbit that came from outside our solar system and about a week ago made its closest approach to the Sun. It is now also making its closest and brightest approach to Earth (roughly between the orbits of Earth and Mars) and is moving very rapidly from above the solar system's orbital plane to below it. C/2012 K5 presently rises about an hour before Gemini's Castor and Pollux. It is in the constellation Auriga and heading west southwest toward Taurus. The comet is expected to fade rapidly by the middle of January so now is a good time to observe it. Comet C/2012 K5 Linear will then steadily make its way back out to the deep reaches of space and will never be seen again.
C/2012 K5 Linear is starting to fade and can no longer be visually seen through 10x50 binoculars like it could five nights ago. Here is a 16-minute exposure of the comet at a focal length of 1,016mm.