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Last Chance to See Comet Lovejoy in Maryland Skies

If there's a break in the clouds this week you can spot Comet Lovejoy with the help of binoculars right before dawn.

There's a few days left, if the weather clears, to catch Comet Lovejoy.
There's a few days left, if the weather clears, to catch Comet Lovejoy.

As Comet ISON fizzles, sky watchers are instead tracking Comet Lovejoy, which can be seen with binoculars, says the Baltimore Sun.

Lovejoy, officialy known as C/2013 R1, came its closest to Earth on Nov. 19, about 37 million miles away, according to EarthSky.org. It is near the constellation Bootes and the bright star Arcturus just over the northeast horizon in the early mornings in December, the Sun says. It will get closer to the horizon and harder to spot as the month goes on.

Comet Lovejoy is near the bottom of the handle of the Big Dipper. If you can find the Big Dipper, you can use it as a starting point to glimpse Comet Lovejoy throughout the overnight hours in December, says EarthSky.org.

Face northeast before dawn to find the Big Dipper. Then follow the arc in the Big Dipper’s handle to the orange star Arcturus, the website says. Once you find Arcturus, you can use that bright star as your guide to Lovejoy. 

You may be able to find Lovejoy around 5 – 5:30 a.m. – if you have a good view of north-northeast, Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory told the Washington Post.

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