Rolando Ligustri in Italy caught Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passing nearly in front of M6 – sometimes called the Butterfly Cluster – in the tail of the constellation Scorpius on October 9. Professional astronomers recently announced the comet began losing brightness in September. But it is still beautiful, and still has a sweeping comet tail. Its close encounter with the planet Mars on October 19 – one week from today – is much anticipated.
Bottom line: Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring near the star cluster M6 on October 9, 2014.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.