Comet Juels-Holvorcem Visible at Dawn

Comet Juels-Holvorcem
On March 26, 2003, Konrad Horn of Salem, Germany, imaged Comet C/2002 Y1 using a 160-mm, f/3.3 Takahasi Epsilon reflector with an Audine CCD camera. Click on the image to see an 8-frame animation of the comet's motion. (The file is large and may take some time to load.)
Courtesy Konrad Horn
Comet C/2002 Y1 (Juels-Holvorcem) was discovered December 28th, 2002, by two amateur astronomers — Charles W. Juels (Fountain Hills, Arizona) and Paulo R. Holvorcem (Campinas, Brazil) — who were collaborating on an observing project via the Internet. The comet appeared as a fuzzy, 15th-magnitude object on CCD images taken with a 120-mm f/5.0 refractor in Arizona.

The comet has brightened considerably since its discovery and is now an easy binocular object in the constellation Andromeda. It's currently best seen in the morning sky just before dawn. Until mid-April, Comet Juels-Holvorcem is predicted to be a 5th-magnitude object, though observations in early April indicate that the comet may be as much as a magnitude fainter than predicted. Its perihelion passage occurs April 13th, after which the comet will no longer be visible to Northern Hemisphere skywatchers.

At the end of April, Southern Hemisphere observers finally get a chance to see the comet when it appears at dawn. Unfortunately, by then it will be 6th-magnitude and fading as it moves from Pisces to Cetus.

The following ephemeris gives the comet's right ascension and declination (equinox 2000.0) at 0 hours Universal Time on each date, its elongation angle from the Sun, predicted magnitude, and the constellation through which it's passing.

Comet Juels-Holvorcem
Date
(0h UT)
R.A. (2000)
h   m
Dec.
°   '
Elong.
°
Magnitude
Constellation
Apr.   1   0 02.0 +33 57 30.9 5.4 And
Apr.   3   0 06.5 +32 30 29.0 5.4 And
Apr.   5   0 10.8 +31 04 27.2 5.3 And
Apr.   7   0 14.9 +29 39 25.6 5.3 And
Apr.   9   0 18.8 +28 14 24.0 5.2 And
Apr. 11   0 22.6 +26 49 22.7 5.2 And
Apr. 13   0 26.3 +25 25 21.5 5.2 And
Apr. 15   0 29.9 +24 01 20.6 5.3 And
Apr. 17   0 33.4 +22 37 19.9 5.3 And
Apr. 19   0 36.9 +21 13 19.5 5.4 Psc
Apr. 21   0 40.4 +19 50 19.4 5.5 Psc
Apr. 23   0 43.9 +18 27 19.5 5.6 Psc
Apr. 25   0 47.3 +17 04 20.0 5.7 Psc
Apr. 27   0 50.8 +15 41 20.7 5.8 Psc
Apr. 29   0 54.2 +14 19 21.6 5.9 Psc
May   1   0 57.7 +12 57 22.7 6.1 Psc
May   3   1 01.2 +11 35 24.0 6.2 Psc
May   5   1 04.8 +10 12 25.4 6.4 Psc
May   7   1 08.3 +  8 50 26.9 6.6 Psc
May   9   1 11.9 +  7 28 28.5 6.7 Psc
May 11   1 15.5 +  6 06 30.2 6.9 Psc
May 13   1 19.1 +  4 43 31.9 7.0 Psc