Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slowing Earth Rotation Rate Necessitates June 'Leap Second'

Portal icon
Pocket watch, savonette-type. (Image Source: Wikipedia.org ; Photograph by Isabelle Grosjean)

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

In June, our clocks will slow down by a second, to match the slowing of the rotation rate of the Earth. At 7:59:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 23:59:59 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Tuesday Evening, 2015 June 30, an additional second will be added to the civil time scale just before the month of July officially begins according to Coordinated Universal Time, the international time scale used by many scientists.

Known as a “Leap Second,” one second is added to the time scale, periodically, either at the very end of June or the very end of December. Since the first Leap Second was added in 1972, 25 Leap Seconds have been added, the last one in June of 2012.

Leap Seconds have been added, periodically, to respond to the continual slowing of the rotation rate of the Earth. Tidal forces from the Moon (and to a lesser extent, the Sun), in addition to the well-known ocean tides, also work to slow the Earth's rotation rate. Geologic conditions that change the distribution of the Earth's mass, such as the movement of the Earth's crust relative to its core, are a contributing factor to slowing of the rotation rate.

In theory, a negative Leap Second, retracting one second at the end of June or December, is also possible. This would occur if the Earth's rotation rate started accelerating. However, there has never been a need for a negative Leap Second.

The slowing of the Earth's rotation rate is not consistent, and hence, Leap Seconds are irregularly spaced and unpredictable. No Leap Seconds were added between the Leap Second of 1998 December 31 and the Leap Second of 2005 December 31, while Leap Seconds were added each year from 1972 to 1979 (including two Leap Seconds in 1972). The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), based in Frankfurt, Germany, usually decides to install a Leap Second in the time scale about six months in advance of implementation.

Of course, the Earth's rotation rate does not suddenly slow down by one second, at certain intervals. The Earth's rotation rate has been continually slowing down, and this continues to be monitored by scientists.

Currently, the Earth's rotation rate, measured as UT1 (Mean Solar Time), is behind scientists' more consistent UTC (derived from International Atomic Time, determined by atomic clocks) by five-tenths of a second. So, for the civil time scale to stay more consistent with the Earth's rotation rate, a Leap Second is needed to slow down UTC by one second.

If the Leap Second occurred today, this would make the Earth's rotation rate in advance of UTC by five-tenths of a second. Then, it may take two or three more years for the Earth to slow down enough, to the point where UT1 would again be behind UTC and another Leap Second would be needed.

Of course, by June 30, UT1 may (or may not) actually be six or seven-tenths of a second behind UTC. UTC is never allowed to advance more than nine-tenths of a second ahead of UT1, although usually a Leap Second is added long before that could happen.

Leap Seconds have proven to be a problem for computers. Hence, in 2005 there was a proposal to eliminate Leap Seconds, possibly replacing them with Leap Hours as a way to keep the civil time scale in sync with the Earth's rotation rate. However, this issue has been quite controversial among scientists and government officials, so the decision to make any change has been delayed.

More on Leap Seconds: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second

Recent Wall Street Journal article on the debate regarding abolishing the leap second:
Link >>> http://www.wsj.com/articles/planned-june-leap-second-stirs-a-timely-debate-1421430888

More on Universal Time (including UT1 & UTC):
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Time

More on Coordinated Universal Time:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coordinated_Universal_Time

More on International Atomic Time:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Atomic_Time

Related Blog Posts ---

New Laser System Could Provide Mini Atomic Clocks (2014 Nov. 15):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/11/new-laser-system-could-provide-mini.html


New U.S. Atomic Clock World's Most Accurate (2014 April 26):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/04/new-us-atomic-clock-worlds-most-accurate.html


Even More Accurate Atomic Clock (2014 Jan. 27):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/01/even-more-accurate-atomic-clock.html


Laser Pulses Create More Accurate Atomic Clocks (2013 June 21):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/06/laser-pulses-create-more-accurate.html

 

Second Added to All Clocks Saturday Evening by Scientists (2012 June 29):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/06/second-added-to-all-clocks-saturday.html

 

End of the "Leap Second"? (2012 Jan. 17):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/01/end-of-leap-second.html


Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.

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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Friday, January 23, 2015

Part of Historic Westinghouse Van de Graaff 'Atom Smasher' Preserved

























Gary Gardner of Dream Flight Adventures photographs the former Westinghouse atom smasher in Forest Hills, Thursday, July 25, 2013. Gardner and his company considered turning the site into a learning center for the Woodland Hills School District.
(Image Source: Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review)

By Michael Hasch

The small brick building may be gone, a developer acknowledges, but he vows the world's first industrial atom smasher is being preserved. 

“The atom smasher will always survive!” Washington, D.C.-based developer Gary Silversmith said Tuesday night after demolition crews leveled the building along the Forest Hills-Chalfant border that housed the towering steel orb known officially as a 1937 van de Graaff particle accelerator. 

The accelerator resembles a giant light bulb and was the genesis of the Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s foray into nuclear power.

More - Link >>> http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7605479-74/atom-smasher-building

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Video Report (WTAE-TV 4):
Link >>> http://www.wtae.com/news/old-westinghouse-atom-smasher-torn-down-forest-hills/30826194

Special Thanks: James W. McKee.

Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/Buhlexhibits.htm#vandegraaff

Related Blog Post ---

Historic Westinghouse Van de Graaff 'Atom Smasher' At Risk  (2013 Jan. 30):
Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/01/historic-westinghouse-van-de-graaff.html

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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
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Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SpaceX Founder Proposes High-Speed Intercity Transit System


Artist's conception of the capsule of the proposed, high-speed 'Hyperloop' intercity transportation system, as envisioned by SpaceX founder Elon Musk. (Image Source: Elon Musk / SpaceX)

By Elizabeth Palermo, LiveScience.com

The Lone Star State could soon be the new testing ground for the most futuristic transportation system in the world.

On Jan. 15, Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced a preliminary plan to build a test track for the Hyperloop, his proposed high-speed transport system, in Texas. Musk first revealed the idea for this "fifth mode of transportation" (i.e., not a car, train, plane or boat) in August 2013. Since then, the billionaire entrepreneur has been fairly tight-lipped about how the project is coming along.

But during a speech at the Texas Transportation Forum last week, Musk said he is planning to build a 5-mile (8 kilometers) track to test prototype versions of the pods that could one day travel the Hyperloop at speeds of up to 760 mph (1,220 km/h). After the announcement, Musk tweeted that the track will likely be built in Texas and will be "for companies and student teams to test out their pods."

Musk says the Hyperloop is a great solution for traveling between congested cities that aren't very far apart (no farther than 900 miles, or 1,450 kilometers apart, to be exact). The transport system could get passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes, according to Musk, who outlined the basic design of the system in a paper posted to the SpaceX website in August 2013.

More - Link >>> http://www.livescience.com/49498-hyperloop-test-track.html

More on the proposed Hyperloop high-speed, intercity transit system:
Link 1 >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop
Link 2 >>> http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/hyperloop_alpha.pdf

Source: LiveScience.com .

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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
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Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Sunday, January 18, 2015

NASA Finds Missing UK Probe Intact on Mars

Beagle 2 replica.jpg
Photograph of a replica of the Beagle 2 space probe, as displayed in the London Science Museum.
(Image Source: Wikipedia.org , Photo by Geni)

By Mike Wall and SPACE.com

The United Kingdom's Beagle 2 Mars lander, which mysteriously disappeared during a landing attempt over Christmas in 2003, has finally been found by a NASA spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet.

The Beagle 2 Mars lander is clearly visible in new photos from NASA's sharp-eyed Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) in orbit around the Red Planet. The discovery shows that the probe landed successfully, but failed to unfold itself properly on the Martian surface, UK Space Agency officials announced today (Jan. 16).

The spacecraft, which hitched a ride to Mars on the European Space Agency's Mars Express mission, had not been heard from since it detached from that spacecraft on Dec. 19, 2003. Beagle 2 was supposed to land on Mars six days later, on Dec. 25. But when the lander never phoned home, many experts assumed Beagle 2 had crashed on Mars. Now, the mission's science team knows that's not the case.

More - Link >>> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lost-mars-lander-found-in-nasa-photos/

Sources: Space.com , Scientific American Magazine.

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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
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Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

China Spacecraft Enters Lunar Orbit


Earth-Moon L2
After releasing a test return capsule, the
service module is headed for Moon orbit after
loitering at Earth-Moon L2.
Credit: China Space Website

By Leonard David and SPACE.com

A Chinese spacecraft service module has entered orbit around the moon, months after being used in the country's landmark test flight that sent a prototype sample-return capsule on a flight around the moon and returned it to Earth.

The service module from China's circumlunar test flight arrived in orbit around the moon this week, according to Chinese state media reports. The spacecraft is currently flying in an eight-hour orbit that carries it within 125 miles (200 kilometers) of the lunar surface at its closest point, and out to a range of 3,293 miles (5,300 km) at its highest point.

According to chief engineer Zhou Jianlian of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center the module will make its second and third braking in the early hours of Jan. 12 and 13, Beijing time. Doing so will enable the module to enter a 127-minute orbit around the moon, Zhou said.

Earlier reports noted that a camera system is onboard the service module, designed to assist in identifying future landing spots for the Chang'e 5 mission that will return lunar samples back to Earth in the 2017 time frame.

More - Link >>> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/china-spacecraft-enters-orbit-around-the-moon/?WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20150113

Sources: Space.com , Scientific American Magazine.

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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
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Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Schools: Name 5 Craters on Mercury By Jan. 15

Schools Invited to Name Five Craters on Mercury
NASA's MESSENGER mission and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) are giving schools the chance to officially name five scientifically significant craters on Mercury. The deadline for submission is 2015 January 15.

Schools and school districts can participate by visiting the contest website:

Link >>>  http://namecraters.carnegiescience.edu 

and filling out the online form. Submissions must be in accordance with IAU rules, which require Mercury's impact craters be named in honor of people who have made outstanding or fundamental contributions to the arts and humanities; who have been recognized as historically significant figures for more than 50 years; and who have been dead at least three years. Learn more about the IAU's naming conventions and read the official rules, here:

Link >>> http://namecraters.carnegiescience.edu/rules-for-naming-craters-on-mercury

The entries will be reviewed by MESSENGER team representatives and expert panels, and 15 finalists' names will be submitted to the IAU for selection of the 5 winners. Winning submissions will be announced in late March / April 2015.

While only a few submissions will be selected, teachers should consider the myriad teachable moments afforded by this competition in terms of researching important persons in the arts and humanities; learning about Mercury, planetary science and the MESSENGER spacecraft.

The MESSENGER spacecraft arrived at Mercury in March 2011 and became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet, returning thousands of images and yielding a high-resolution global map. This spring, the historic planetary mission will come to its planned mission end as the tiny craft succumbs to gravity and impacts Mercury. It is the goal of the MESSENGER education and public outreach team to celebrate this remarkable story of human exploration with the public in order to foster awareness of the mission and planetary science, and to recognize that human exploration over the ages has been undertaken across a trans-disciplinary tapestry of the arts and sciences.

Learn more about the MESSENGER mission at:

Link >>> http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/index.php

MESSENGER was designed and built by the Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md. The lab manages and operates the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The mission is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed for the directorate by the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory / NASA.

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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Comet Lovejoy: Best View Next 2 Weeks

File:C2014Q2 Lovejoy by Paul Stewart.png
Photograph of Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) taken by Paul Stewart on 2014 December 27.
(Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Today (January 7 - Orthodox Christmas), Comet Lovejoy, discovered on 2014 August 17 by Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy, makes its closest approach to Earth. Today the comet is only 0.47 Astronomical Units (AU) from the Earth (70 million kilometers / 44 million statute miles); one A.U. equals the average distance between the Earth and the Sun (149,600,000 kilometers / 92,960,000 statute miles).

This also starts about a two-week period when the comet will be the most visible in the sky. The comet's closest approach to the Sun comes on January 30.

Although Comet Lovejoy is closest to the Earth today, light from the nearly Full Moon still makes it difficult to find. However, over the next two weeks, as the Moon rises an hour later each night, there is more time to find the comet in a darker sky.

Of course, city lights are also a problem when looking for Comet Lovejoy. It is best to get away from city lights, if possible, to find the comet.

Stars are pinpoints of light, while a comet is much more diffuse, shining by reflected light from the Sun. So, a star of a certain apparent visual magnitude is much easier to spot than the fuzzy head of a comet of the same magnitude.

On Monday, Comet Lovejoy had a reported apparent visual magnitude of ~ +4.4 to +5.0. Over the second and third weeks of January, the comet is expected to glow at around +4th magnitude. Under ideal conditions with no city lights and before Moon rise, the comet will be dimly visible to the naked-eyes. Binocular and telescope views of the comet should be easier, as long as one knows where to look for it.

In Astronomy, the apparent visual magnitude is the measurement of the apparent brightness of a celestial object seen by an observer on the Earth, if the Earth had no atmosphere. The lower the number (and negative numbers are considered lower than positive numbers), the brighter the object. The extreme naked-eye visibility limit is considered between magnitudes +7 and +8. Still, observing conditions have to be reasonably good to view a comet with the naked-eyes.

Currently, Comet Lovejoy is in the northern portion of the southern constellation of Eridanus, nearly 20 degrees west of the belt of Orion the Hunter, one of the classic Winter constellations. The comet continues moving north. Hence, as the moonlight becomes less of a problem each evening (the Moon rises about an hour later each night), the comet will be higher in the sky and should be easier to find.
Eridanus
Eridanus

As the comet moves north, and higher in the sky over the next two weeks, it will pass through the constellations of Taurus the Bull, Aries the Ram, and Triangulum. On January 17, Comet Lovejoy passes 8 degrees west-southwest of the Pleiades Star Cluster.

Although today is the closest to the Earth that the comet will reach, over the next days it is expected to get just a little brighter, as the comet gets higher in the sky, and as it gets closer to the Sun. However, by the end of the month, when it reaches its closest approach to the Sun, the brightness will start fading.
Triangulum

On Sunday, Europe's Virtual Telescope Project will provide a live, Internet web-cast of Comet Lovejoy, using one of their robotic telescopes. The web-cast will begin on January 11 at 2:00 p.m. EST / 19:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) (an earlier web-cast occurred on January 6, which is archived on their web site).

Live, Internet Web-Cast of Comet Lovejoy, Jan. 11, 2:00 p.m. EST / 19:00 UTC:
Link >>> http://www.virtualtelescope.eu/webtv/

More about finding Comet Lovejoy, including a finder-chart (finder-chart at end of article):
Link >>> http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/spot-comet-lovejoy-tonight-122920141/

More about Comet Lovejoy: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C/2014_Q2_%28Lovejoy%29

Related Blog Post ---

Meteor Shower & Comet Part of Busy Weekend in Astronomy  (2015 Jan. 3):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2015/01/meteor-shower-comet-part-of-busy.html 


Source: Glenn A. Walsh, Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.

Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your inbox ?
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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
Electronic Mail - < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
SpaceWatchtower Blog: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Also see: South Hills Backyard Astronomers Blog: < http://shbastronomers.blogspot.com/ >
Barnestormin: Writing, Essays, Pgh. News, & More: < http://www.barnestormin.blogspot.com/ >
About the SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS, ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR:
< http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#news >
Twitter: < https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower >
Facebook: < http://www.facebook.com/pages/SpaceWatchtower/238017839577841?sk=wall >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < http://www.planetarium.cc >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < http://garespypost.tripod.com >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < http://inclinedplane.tripod.com >
* Public Transit:
  < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit >