Comets Catalina and Berenices

Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) is now fairly easily findable in binoculars as it climbs from eastern Virgo into Boötes, and when several people remarked on this I remembered about Berenice’s Comet.


It climbed from western Virgo into the patch of sky between Boötes and Leo, shedding dust that mingled with the sprinkled stars. I wondered whether their paths are parallel.

The main difference between these two comets is that the one of 246 BC is imaginary: I have to admit that I devised it to fit into the plot of Berenice’s Hair.


3 thoughts on “Comets Catalina and Berenices”

  1. Here in central Virginia, our weather pattern of rain, fog, clouds, and warm temperatures is finally about to end, which I hope will afford us a chance to get back to sky gazing tomorrow, so Comet Catalina will be on my agenda tomorrow morning as it passes Arcturus. But today I wanted to call Guy’s attention to the astronomy picture of the day (if he doesn’t already visit that site each day) because the subject is very close to Lyme (solstice Sun at Lulworth Cove):

    A beautiful image. Happy New Year to Guy and all of his readers! The AC16 is wonderful by the way; I particularly loved the fact that you put one of your double-star diagrams in this issue, a sort of paean to one of your earliest calendars (1978?) in which you included an entire page of double-star plots.

    1. Yes, this photo makes excellent use of the sunlight from the south to emphasize the waves that come in through the narrow gap in a vertical layer of hard limestone, spread out circularly to carve the circular cove, and are stopped by the hard chalk of Bindon Hill, from the top of which the photo was taken.

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