168P/Hergenrother was first discovered in 1998.
Although it is possible to spot the passing comet
with the naked eye, it is highly advisable to use a telescope instead to avoid external factors from affecting its visibility.
For observations of comets
to be of scientific value the observer should concentrate on the following: estimates of the total visual magnitude of the comet
, the diameter of the coma, the degree of condensation, estimates of the length and position angle of the tail, and detailed visual descriptions, sketches and photographs.
A preceding C is used for non-periodic comets
, or comets
with periods longer than 200 years.
In September, scientists selected a flat-looking landing spot on one lobe of the comet
. Two months later, Rosetta dropped its lander.
Data collected through September 2014 are just "our first impression of the comet
," says Matt Taylor, Rosetta's project scientist at the European Space Agency's Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
The expectation is high that Comet
C/ISON will be much brighter and more spectacular than most other sungrazers when it puts on a show late this year.
Civilisations in the West usually went with the negative, regarding them as harbingers of evil, but the universal consensus seemed to be that when a comet
appeared, something momentous was about to happen.
As the comet
approaches, heat from the sun will vaporize ices in its body, creating what could be a spectacular tail that is visible in Earth's night sky without telescopes or even binoculars from about October 2013 through January 2014.
Lovejoy is quite a remarkable comet
. Unlike most Kreutzcomets which end up being consumed by the Sun, Lovejoy survived after passing approximately 140 000 kilometres above the Sun's surface!
Using the Sierra Stars Observatory Network's 0.61m robotic telescope situated in Markleeville, California, I imaged the comet
several times between 2011 April and June (Figure 1).