In late March, 2016, two small comets swept by Earth. One (P/2016 BA14) was the closest comet in 246 years (see video), while the other (252P/LINEAR) was the 5th closest known comet in recorded history. The second comet moved into skies visible from the Northern Hemisphere in late March and early April, and many hoped it would become bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye. It has, but only barely. For the most part, it has remained an inconspicuous object in the predawn sky, visible to those who search with binoculars or telescopes. For a comprehensive article on viewing Comet 252P/LINEAR, plus a chart, look here. This comet will remain in our sky through about June. In the meantime, enjoy these photos from intrepid photographers in the EarthSky community … among the few, the proud, who’ve captured 252P/LINEAR on film!
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded 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.