Last chance to see ‘Czechoslovak’ comet
Over the next few days, people in the Czech Republic can observe a unique dwarf comet in the sky with the aid of just the smallest binoculars. The comet was named after Czechoslovak astronomers and it was last visible on the sky back in 2011. Although it turns around the Sun every five years and three months, this is the last time in the 21st century when it is so easily visible.
The comet revolves around the Sun on an elliptical orbit every 5.25 years and was last clearly visible on the sky in autumn 2011, when it became the fifteenth comet detected by ground radar telescope.
Just a few days ago, the comet entered the Ophiuchus constellation, where it should be visible by Thursday morning. Afterwards, the Moon will become too bright and outshine it. 45P Honda–Mrkos–Pajdušáková will re-appear once again on February 14 for just a few more days. Jakub Černý is the head of the Czech Society for Interplanetary Substance:
According to Pavel Suchan of the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Science, the best way to observe the comet is to get as far away from the city, where the sky is polluted by light, as possible.
The astronomical phenomenon, however, is not visible with the unaided eye. Those who want to see it will need at least small binoculars. Jakub Černý of the Czech Society for Interplanetary Substance once again:
“The best thing is to take a small binocular, field glasses or even theatre binoculars, find the right position in the sky and start searching for it. I would also advise people to print out a map and not to use their smartphones or tablets, which are too blinding and prevent us from seeing the objects on the sky.”