How Do You Report A New Comet?

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How Do You Report A New Comet?

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Comets are an uncommon and beautiful astronomical phenomenon. Finding a new comet is an exciting event for stargazers and astronomers, and you could make a name for yourself by discovering one. Since few people have the equipment and expertise to properly identify a comet and differentiate it from other objects in space, take a few steps to verify that your discovery is truly a comet. Study past comets, including their speed, location, brightness and morphology, and compare these findings to what you see. Examine your comet to see if it’s symmetrical or circular. If it is, it is probably a galaxy or globular cluster and not a comet. Move your telescope around while looking at the suspected comet. If the comet shifts while you move, it could be the result of a dirty lens or an internal reflection in your optics. Look in a star atlas or sky charting program to make sure there isn’t a galaxy or star cluster in the same location. Track the suspected comet’s position against nearby stars. A

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