Know when and where to look

Plan ahead to get the best views

All About Space - - Stargazer -

In pho­to­graphs and art­work fea­tured in books and mag­a­zines comets are stun­ning ob­jects, with heads as bright as dis­tress flares and tails that stretch out across the sky like rib­bons or search beams. 46P won’t look any­thing like that. You’re look­ing for a small grey-white smudge, like a large out-of­fo­cus star. If you spot some­thing like that in the place shown on our charts, con­grat­u­la­tions – you’ve seen the comet!

If see­ing 46P isn’t enough you could try pho­tograph­ing it. Your cam­era phone won’t do; you’ll need a mod­ern DSLR on a tri­pod, fit­ted with a fast 50mm lens. Take timed ex­po­sures of up to five sec­onds with a high ISO and you should cap­ture some­thing.

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