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Comet Oukaimeden, which was discovered at the end of last year, has recently brightened sufficiently to move within binocular and small telescope range. During September, the comet should continue to improve until peaking at about magnitude +6.0 on the 19th, just short of naked eye visibility. It can be seen from the tropics and southern locations.

At the beginning of the month, Oukaimeden appeared as a well-placed morning object high in the sky towards the east before sunrise from the tropics and Southern Hemisphere. As the month progresses, it draws in towards the Sun but still remains well placed for at least the first two weeks of the month before switching to the evening sky. It should then be visible low down above the western horizon just after sunset during the last week of September.

From mid-latitude northern latitudes, Oukaimeden is not suitably placed for observation. It was visible for the first few days of September, low down towards the eastern sky during morning twilight, but then quickly lost to the Sun's glare.

Discovery

Oukaimeden was discovered on November 12, 2013 at Oukaimeden observatory in Marrakech, Morocco using a 0.5-metre (20-inch) reflecting telescope by Michel Ory. It was the fourth comet discovered at the observatory and the first by Michel Ory. At apparent magnitude +19.4, Oukaimeden was extremely faint when found.

Comet Oukaimeden (C/2013 V5) discovery image taken on November 12, 2013 (Oukaimeden Observatory)

Location and star chart

Oukaimeden started September at magnitude +8.4 in Monoceros, heading in a southeasterly direction against the "fixed" background stars. It was faintly visible with 7x50 or 10x50 binoculars but much easier with telescopes, appearing as a smaller and fainter version of another current comet, Jacques (C/2014 E2). Oukaimeden then moved into Puppis on September 7th where it remains for 3 days. The next stop on its journey is Hydra, the largest of all modern 88 constellations. The comet stays in Hydra until September 22nd, apart from a short diversion of less than 24 hours into Antlia on September 16th. From September 22nd to 27th it moves through Centaurus before returning back to Hydra, where it remains for the rest of the month.

On 16 September 2014, Oukaimeden will pass 0.480 AU (71.8 million kilometres or 44.6 million miles) from the Earth and will reach perihelion on September 28th when it's 0.625 AU (93.5 million kilometres or 58.1 million miles) distant from the Sun.

The finder chart below shoes the positions of Oukaimeden from September 8th to 15th, 2014.

Comet Oukaimeden (C/2013 V5) Finder Chart from Sep 8th to Sep 15th, 2014

Comet Oukaimeden (C/2013 V5) Finder Chart from Sep 8th to Sep 15th, 2014 - pdf format

C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden) Data (at epoch Dec 9, 2014)

NameC/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden)
TypeComet
DiscovererMichel Ory (Oukaimeden Observatory, Marrakech)
Discovery dateNovember 12, 2013
Aphelion (AU)944.13
Perihelion (AU)0.6255
Semi-major axis472.38
Eccentricity0.9987
Orbital period (years)10267
Inclination (degrees) 154.88
Longitude of ascending node (degrees)278.62
Perihelion September 28, 2014
NotesMagnitude +19.4 at discovery

Comet (C/2013 V5) Oukaimeden Data Table

DateRight AscensionDeclinationMag.Distance from Earth (AU)Constellation
2014-Sep-0107h 08m 35s-01d 41m 28s8.40.846Monoceros
2014-Sep-0207h 14m 02s-02d 46m 32s8.20.811Monoceros
2014-Sep-0307h 20m 02s-03d 57m 09s8.00.776Monoceros
2014-Sep-0407h 26m 40s-05d 13m 51s7.80.743Monoceros
2014-Sep-0507h 34m 01s-06d 37m 13s7.70.710Monoceros
2014-Sep-0607h 42m 11s-08d 07m 46s7.50.678Monoceros
2014-Sep-0707h 51m 19s-09d 45m 59s7.30.647Monoceros
2014-Sep-0808h 01m 32s-11d 32m 12s7.10.618Puppis
2014-Sep-0908h 12m 59s-13d 26m 26s7.00.591Puppis
2014-Sep-1008h 25m 50s-15d 28m 21s6.80.566Puppis
2014-Sep-1108h 40m 14s-17d 36m 57s6.70.543Pyxis
2014-Sep-1208h 56m 20s-19d 50m 26s6.50.523Pyxis
2014-Sep-1309h 14m 14s-22d 06m 01s6.40.507Hydra
2014-Sep-1409h 33m 58s-24d 19m 53s6.20.494Hydra
2014-Sep-1509h 55m 26s-26d 27m 16s6.10.485Hydra
2014-Sep-1610h 18m 25s-28d 23m 02s6.10.481Antlia
2014-Sep-1710h 42m 31s-30d 02m 15s6.00.481Hydra
2014-Sep-1811h 07m 12s-31d 21m 09s6.00.486Hydra
2014-Sep-1911h 31m 50s-32d 17m 40s6.00.495Hydra
2014-Sep-2011h 55m 48s-32d 51m 45s6.00.508Hydra
2014-Sep-2112h 18m 34s-33d 05m 10s6.00.525Hydra
2014-Sep-2212h 39m 44s-33d 00m 53s6.10.546Hydra
2014-Sep-2312h 59m 06s-32d 42m 23s6.10.569Centaurus
2014-Sep-2413h 16m 34s-32d 13m 12s6.20.596Centaurus
2014-Sep-2513h 32m 11s-31d 36m 28s6.30.624Centaurus
2014-Sep-2613h 46m 03s-30d 54m 45s6.40.655Centaurus
2014-Sep-2713h 58m 19s-30d 10m 07s6.50.687Centaurus
2014-Sep-2814h 09m 09s-29d 24m 04s6.60.721Hydra
2014-Sep-2914h 18m 42s-28d 37m 43s6.70.755Hydra
2014-Sep-3014h 27m 08s-27d 51m 49s6.80.791Hydra