Comet C/2011 W3 – A sun-grazing comet has been discovered by the Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy. Go Terry! The comet’s perihelion occurs between Dec. 15-16, 2011. It will pass about 180,000 km from the Sun’s surface; It will be interesting to see if the comet survives the encounter.
An amateur astronomer from a mailing list I read said: “I opened up Starry Night (an Astronomy App) and it looks like we in the Northern Hemisphere are going to be out of luck being able to see this one. It is going to be between the sun an horizon between now and when it grazes the sun.”
Keep an eye on the news for this one.
More Info, and images:
Remanzacco Observatory: C2011 W3 Lovejoy Kreutz Sungrazing
Bad Astronomy: Amateur astronomer discovers sungrazing comet
Heavens Above (with map): www.heavens-above.com
IAU Minor Planet Center: www.minorplanetcenter.net