C/2018 W2 Africano
Closest to Sun on 2019 Sep 5 at 1.45AU
Closest to Earth on 2019 Sep 27 at 0.49AU
Maximum Mag 8.5 in Sep 2019
Discovered by B. M. Africano with the Mount Lemmon 1.5-m reflector on 2018
Nov27, this dynamically new comet is having its first encounter with the
Although the perihelion distance is not that much inside the orbit of Mars, it will be having a very favourable apparition, becoming closest to the Earth
only a few weeks after perihelion. The comet has been situated deep in northern skies prior to perihelion but will head rapidly southwards during September,
as the orbit is retrograde.
The first viewing opportunity for southerners arises on the evening of September 20th at about 11pm local time, when moonlight no longer interferes.
You will find the magnitude 8.5 comet in the constellation of Andromeda, low in the northern sky, about 8 degrees south of M31.
The comets visibility will improve each night as it moves rapidly southwards at nearly 2 degrees per day. (9' per hour). It will be best situated in the late evening hours.
On September 25, it enters into Pegasus, about 5 degrees north of Gamma Peg.
By September 29, it enters into Pisces, about 2 degrees north of Iota Psc and transiting at about 1130pm local time.
By this time, the comet is likely to start fading as it heads away from Earth and Sun.
Finder charts for C/2018 W2 from September 20
During October, it is well situated for southerners during evening hours
as it continues its southerly trek through Pisces, Aquarius, Pisces
Austrinus and Grus.
On October 1, you will find the magnitude 9 comet situated a degree north of Kappa Psc.
On October 7, it is 3' from Tau2 Aqr and may not be seen in the glare of the 4th magnitude star.
On October 11, it is 20' east of the Helix nebula NGC7293, but the nearby moon will be a problem.
By October 16, moonlight no longer interferes and the now magnitude 9.5 comet is seen about 20' west of Lambda PsA.
On October 20, the comet will be 15' north of the NGC 7172 galaxy group (Hickson 90) CCD observers take note.
By October 30, the now magnitude 10 comet will be in Grus, about 2 degrees west of Gamma Gruis.
Finder charts for C/2018 W2 during October