15 Feb 2004
Spaceweather News for Feb. 15, 2004
Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) is approaching Earth and brightening every day. It's not yet a naked-eye object, but the 7th-magnitude fuzzball is easy to see through backyard telescopes. The comet lies not far from brilliant Venus in the western sky after sunset.
For the next three months, the comet will continue to brighten as it nears Earth. May 19th is the date of closest approach (0.27 AU). At that time C/2002 T7 might glow brighter than a 1st magnitude star--easily seen with the unaided eye. (Note: there is considerable uncertainty about how bright this object will become.) In May you'll have to be in the southern hemisphere to see it easily. Now is the best time for northern hemisphere observers to look, before the comet plunges south.