Hobbies & interests
A very important and basic information on astronomy is the one that concerns the position of planets, full moon, and new moon dates. This information is updated regularly every month in various sites. One should learn to identify the visible planets as a first step in astronomy. We are also pleased to bring featured news items from space.com that get updated very regularly in this page. Here, you will also find some information on major comets and nova pertaining to the last few years.
Comet Ison was once called the "comet of the century" thanks to the media hype surrounding the comet. But the comet disintegrated when it reached perihelion on 28th Nov 2013 and not much seem to have survived. This goes on to show how even scientific events could be hyped up by undue media speculation.
This comet was originally reported to have a chance of becoming as bright as a full Moon in the night sky. That did not happen. Comets are fascinating because one cannot predict the behavior of comets with great accuracy. Few years back, Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) was expected to disintegrate on its close pass with Sun. But it survived the close encounter and turned out to be a spectacular comet for southern hemisphere observers in December 2011. When you see a cat on the wall, you can never predict what it will do next. Comets are like cats. They have tails and do what they like.
By Mohan Babu
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We had a surprise comet by name Comet Lovejoy that almost reached naked eye visibility from dark locations. It was easily visible even from light polluted skies in cities when viewed through a binocular. This comet is designated C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy.
This comet was discovered by a famous amateur astronomer from Australia called Terry Lovejoy. This comet is just one of the five comets he has discovered thus far. Two of these comets have become very bright and so Lovejoy has become a very familiar name in the astronomy circles.
Another pleasant addition in the same year was the discovery of the nova in Sagittarius constellation in March 2015. This nova too reached a near naked eye visibility on 22nd March before beginning to fade.