Comet C/2012 V4 at magnitude 9.4

Last evening (Dec. 7 UT) the sky was finally free of cirrus and I was able to see newly discovered comet C/2012 V4, the first probable return of Comet Pons-Gambart since 1827. This evening (Dec. 8.06 UT) I was able to spot the comet again using Mars as a guide since the two bodies are within a few degrees of each other.

In short, this was a very difficult comet to observer. It was invisible in my 30×125 binoculars and I could only see it with averted vision in a 12″ dobsonian. Though the sky is relatively dark at my house (Milky Way always visible and LM of ~+6.0), the comet was located within 10° of the horizons and in the direction of the skyglow from Tucson. I estimated a brightness of 9.4 and a coma 1′.5 across. If C/2012 V4 were located overhead it wouldn’t have been a problem. For example, 168P which was also around magnitude 9.4 in early October was visible in 10×50 binoculars but it was much higher and located away from city lights.

Unless the comet undergoes a rapid brightening soon it will only get harder to observe as its elongation slowly decreases.

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About Carl Hergenrother
I am a professional astronomer specializing in the study of comets, asteroids and meteors. This blog will focus on my professional and amateur work in this field

3 Responses to Comet C/2012 V4 at magnitude 9.4

  1. djamel says:

    salut je suis au mexique a playa del carmen et j’ai vu une comete ou je ne sais pas quoi une enorme boule de feu tré rapide s’eteindre aussi rapidement savez vous de quoi il sagit exactement et ou a t’elle atteri je suis tré curieu merci

  2. Marco says:

    Hello many people ask Aboutaleb this YouTube Movie
    I think the best way to know is contact you

    Here is the link of the video .
    Can you explane Whatever it is ?

    thanks

    • Carl Hergenrother says:

      Thank you for the link to the YouTube video. This is definitely Comet C/2012 V4 (Pons-Gambart)! I will be posting a new post confirming the identification with Pons-Gambert.

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