Comet Lovejoy Marks the Start of 2015

December 28, 2014

cometlovejoy Behold. According to Sky & Telescope magazine, Comet Lovejoy reveals itself  just below the brilliant blue-white super-giant star known as Rigel in the familiar constellation of Orion in January, 2015.  Lovejoy should remain visible through the month, reaching maximum brightness at mid-month.

To find Rigel, look first for the three familiar stars that mark Orion’s belt. You’ll see three stars in a short, straight line. A line drawn downward at a right or 90-degree angle from Orion’s Belt takes you to Rigel. Just below that you can spot the greenish Comet Lovejoy.

Since antiquity, sky watchers have understood that the sparkling celestial travelers we call comets serve as Skysigns of importance. What might this easily discernible comet portend for 2015?

The Pathway of Comet Lovejoy

The Pathway of Comet Lovejoy

One can hope that the distinctively named Comet Lovejoy – emerging in conjunction with Epiphany in early January –  is in fact an omen for love and joy. Only one thing we know for certain: change is in the air.

With this in mind, we turn to the inspiration of poet Sara Teasdale:

Winter Stars

I went out at night alone:
The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my Spirit’s wings
I bore my sorrow heavily.

But when I lifted up my head
From shadows shaken on the snow
I saw Orion in the east
Burn steadily as long ago…

The Three Kings - Epiphany approaches

The Three Kings – Epiphany approaches

 

 

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