Comet Atlas- "She's breaking up captain!" Comet SWAN- on the horizon.

Comet Atlas- "She's breaking up captain!" Comet SWAN- on the horizon.

Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) continues to shed fragments while slowly fading. But it isn't dead yet!
Observers are still spotting the crumbling object in 100-mm binoculars and (dimly) in 6-inch telescopes under dark skies. On April 14th the comet's overall magnitude had faded to 9.4, but some significant changes have occurred within the inner coma. The nuclear region is now clearly elongated east-to-west with hints of fuzzy condensations visible under high magnification and averted vision.
We encourage observers with larger telescopes to seek these amazing astronomical phenomenon. It is a rare opportunity to see a comet come apart! (See pictures below)

Amazingly, Comet SWAN arrived just in time to pinch-hit for ATLAS in the event that comet disintegrates completely. Michael Mattiazzo of Australia has found a new comet named  (C/2020 F8) and is presently 8th magnitude, compact, and brightening steadily as it plows across Piscis Austrinus at dawn for Southern Hemisphere observers. Soon it will swing northward, making its first appearance in Aquarius at 7th magnitude for southern U.S. observers by month's end.
Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) is expected to reach naked-eye visibility by mid-May low in the east at dawn.

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Clear Skies,
-OC Telescope