The comet has passed perihelion on Nov. 15th and after that begun its climb into morning twilight. Catalina should be easily visible in ordinary binoculars. Watch for it to gradually brighten through the end of the year, peaking around magnitude +5.5 (just barely naked eye) in late December and early January, when it will be well-placed high in the northeastern sky.
Here are some key dates with celestial destiny for Comet US10 Catalina for the next few months:
- 7. December — Comet passes less than 5 degrees from the Venus and waning crescent Moon.
- 1. January — Comet passes less than 0.5 degree from the bright (0.04 magnitude) star Arcturus in Bootes.
- 12. January — Closest to Earth.
- 14., 15. January — Comet passes less than 1 degree from the bright star Alkaid in Ursa Major.
- 16. January — Comet passes less than 2 degrees from one of the brightest visible spiral galaxies M110.
- 17. January — Comet passes less than 3.5 degrees from the bright double star Mizar in Ursa Major.