Comet C/2013 R1 Lovejoy as seen at astronomical twilight in the morning from the SSO scopes. Click to embiggen.
Terry Lovejoy has done it again, finding his foruth comet, and a bright one at that (or rather it will become a bright one). Currently around magnitude 14 (or maybe a bit brighter) in Monoceros, it will brighten over the next few months to a predicted maximum of magnitude 8 on the 25th of December.
It's early days, but there is some suggestion it might be a gassy comet, and it might possibly get brighter than magnitude 8 (maybe 7).
Initially the comet is visible from both the northern and SSO scopes, with the SSO having the best views, as the months progress the northern scopes are favoured. At its brightest, the comet will only be visible from the northern scopes (and in a very good position for imaging).
SSO iTelescope T17 was invloved in confirming the comet.
MPC one line elements for C/2013 R1 Lovejoy
CK13R010 2013 12 25.7887 0.877238 1.000000 63.2668 72.9172 61.9418 10.0 4.0 C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy)
The "comet convoy" as seen from New Mexico at 5:30 am local time on 11 November (ignore the 23:00, on the map, that is ACST)
An interesting feature in the coming months is what Stuart Atkinson calls the "comet convoy". C/2013 R1 Lovejoy, 2P/Enke and 2012 S1 ISON all line up in the evening sky. This will only be seen in the northern hemisphere, 2P/Enke is too low in the southern hemisphere for effective observation during the "convoy" phase of the lineup.
November already promised to be a good month with ISON bright, but with the addition of Lovejoy the 4th it's even better. If ISON survives it's journey round the sun December will be a happy comet hunters month with ISON and Lovejoy passing 8 degrees away on the 20th.