How To View Comet Atlas From CNY
Need a way to brighten up your 2020? A new comet, and the brightest comet of 2020, will be visible with the naked eye. How do you locate it?
As of April 2020, the Atlas Comet was passing through the orbit of Mars, on it's way to the Sun. The comet is massive, and hopefully will be easy to spot:
It is half the size of our Sun, or about five times the size of Jupiter. Although it has been seen mostly with telescopes, it is expected to be visible with the naked eye in May 2020 due to its size. The last time this particular comet was seen was approx. 4,000 B.C.E."
How And When To Spot It
Space.com reports that now through April 10th, those who try searching out for the comet are going to be handicapped by the presence of the moon.
On a positive note, its path through the constellations will continue to be very favorable for Northern Hemisphere observers as it will remain circumpolar — always remaining above the horizon. As darkness falls, it will be positioned more than halfway up in the north-northwest sky. The comet currently resides within the boundaries of Camelopardalis, the giraffe — a rather dim, shapeless star pattern. There it will stay right on through April."
So it is currently being predicted that Comet Atlas might become faintly visible to the unaided eye by the end of April or beginning of May.
By mid-May, the comet might reach second magnitude — as bright as Polaris, the North Star. During the final week of May, as the comet disappears into the glare of the setting sun, it possibly could attain first magnitude or brighter."