Crossing Perseus and picking up speed during November,
Comet LINEAR (C/2000 WM1) should now be an easy target for
binoculars. Predictions have cooled somewhat since being touted as the
Comet of 2001." Nevertheless, the comet may just reach naked-eye
brightness by the end of the month.
Comet observer John Bortle estimated LINEAR at magnitude
7.2 on November 14th and "obvious with 10x50 binoculars." He notes that
the comet appears to be brightening by 0.1 magnitude each day. "It is
my expectation that the comet will become detectable to the naked eye
at really dark-sky locations within the next 10 days as long as one
avoids the waxing moon." Southern Hemisphere observers should have an
even better view in December.
For observers at midnorthern latitudes, Comet LINEAR is
well up in the northeast after dusk and remains up all night, nearly
directly overhead around midnight.