Although now fading as it heads away from Earth on its long journey towards the outer reaches of the Solar System, comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) remains well placed in the early morning June sky for northern hemisphere and tropics based observers. Despite no longer visible to the naked eye and a somewhat challenging binocular object, Lemmon is easier to spot with small / medium sized telescopes, where it appears fairly high towards the east before sunrise.

For southern hemisphere observers, Lemmon is not well placed. It's positioned low down in the northern sky during early morning at the start of June, before eventually succumbing to the bright twilight glare around the middle of the month.

Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) on May 6, 2013 (Gerald Rhemann - www.astrostudio.at)

Lemmon starts June in central Andromeda, located just a few degrees northeast of the "Square of Pegasus". It's estimated to be at magnitude 8.4 on the first and therefore just about visible with binoculars and within the range of small telescopes. With a 80mm (3.1-inch) scope you should be able to spot the comet relatively easily. It's predicted to fade by a magnitude or so during the month, becoming increasingly more difficult for small telescope owners but still relatively easy for those with medium size scopes (150mm to 200mm - 6 to 8 inches).

The chart below shows the path of Lemmon against the background stars from May 26 to June 19, 2013. From June 5th to June 8th the comet passes through the middle of a triangle of 5th magnitude stars, θ And (mag. 4.6), ρ And (mag. 5.2) and σ And (mag. 4.5). Another good opportunity to spot Lemmon is between June 9th and 14th, when it passes only 5 degrees west of M31 The Andromeda Galaxy.

Comet Lemmon finally leaves Andromeda on June 21st, crossing the border into Cassiopeia where it remains for the rest of the month.

Finder Chart for Comet Lemmon from May 26 to June 19, 2013

Finder Chart for Comet Lemmon from May 26 to June 19, 2013 - pdf format

Comet Lemmon

NameC/2012 L6 (Lemmon)
Discovered ByA. R. Gibbs (Mount Lemmon Survey)
Discovery DateMarch 23, 2012
Discovery Magnitude20.7
EpochSeptember 30, 2012
Aphelion (AU)~1,000
Perihelion (AU)0.7313
Eccentricity0.9985
Orbital Period (years)~11,000
Inclination (degrees)82.61
Next perihelionMarch 24, 2013

Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) Data Table (data shown at 0:00 UT)

DateRight AscensionDeclinationMag.Distance from Earth (AU)Constellation
28 May 201300h 20m 57s30d 16m 52s8.21.741Andromeda
29 May 201300h 20m 54s31d 03m 52s8.31.742Andromeda
30 May 201300h 20m 50s31d 50m 46s8.31.743Andromeda
31 May 201300h 20m 45s32d 37m 34s8.31.745Andromeda
01 Jun 201300h 20m 38s33d 24m 15s8.41.746Andromeda
02 Jun 201300h 20m 30s34d 10m 49s8.41.748Andromeda
03 Jun 201300h 20m 20s34d 57m 17s8.41.749Andromeda
04 Jun 201300h 20m 08s35d 43m 37s8.51.751Andromeda
05 Jun 201300h 19m 54s36d 29m 50s8.51.753Andromeda
06 Jun 201300h 19m 38s37d 15m 54s8.51.755Andromeda
07 Jun 201300h 19m 20s38d 01m 51s8.61.756Andromeda
08 Jun 201300h 19m 00s38d 47m 38s8.61.758Andromeda
09 Jun 201300h 18m 38s39d 33m 17s8.61.760Andromeda
10 Jun 201300h 18m 14s40d 18m 46s8.71.762Andromeda
11 Jun 201300h 17m 47s41d 04m 04s8.71.765Andromeda
12 Jun 201300h 17m 17s41d 49m 12s8.71.767Andromeda
13 Jun 201300h 16m 45s42d 34m 09s8.81.769Andromeda
14 Jun 201300h 16m 10s43d 18m 54s8.81.772Andromeda
15 Jun 201300h 15m 32s44d 03m 27s8.81.774Andromeda
16 Jun 201300h 14m 51s44d 47m 46s8.91.777Andromeda
17 Jun 201300h 14m 07s45d 31m 52s8.91.779Andromeda
18 Jun 201300h 13m 20s46d 15m 44s8.91.782Andromeda
19 Jun 201300h 12m 29s46d 59m 21s9.01.785Andromeda
20 Jun 201300h 11m 35s47d 42m 41s9.01.788Andromeda
21 Jun 201300h 10m 36s48d 25m 45s9.01.791Andromeda
22 Jun 201300h 09m 34s49d 08m 32s9.11.795Cassiopeia
23 Jun 201300h 08m 28s49d 51m 01s9.11.798Cassiopeia
24 Jun 201300h 07m 18s50d 33m 11s9.11.802Cassiopeia
25 Jun 201300h 06m 03s51d 15m 00s9.21.805Cassiopeia
26 Jun 201300h 04m 44s51d 56m 29s9.21.809Cassiopeia
27 Jun 201300h 03m 20s52d 37m 36s9.21.813Cassiopeia
28 Jun 201300h 01m 50s53d 18m 21s9.31.817Cassiopeia
29 Jun 201300h 00m 16s53d 58m 41s9.31.821Cassiopeia
30 Jun 201323h 58m 36s54d 38m 36s9.31.826Cassiopeia
01 Jul 201323h 56m 51s55d 18m 05s9.41.830Cassiopeia
02 Jul 201323h 54m 59s55d 57m 07s9.41.835Cassiopeia
03 Jul 201323h 53m 02s56d 35m 40s9.41.840Cassiopeia
04 Jul 201323h 50m 57s57d 13m 42s9.51.844Cassiopeia
05 Jul 201323h 48m 47s57d 51m 13s9.51.850Cassiopeia
06 Jul 201323h 46m 29s58d 28m 11s9.51.855Cassiopeia
07 Jul 201323h 44m 04s59d 04m 35s9.61.860Cassiopeia
08 Jul 201323h 41m 32s59d 40m 22s9.61.866Cassiopeia
09 Jul 201323h 38m 52s60d 15m 32s9.61.871Cassiopeia
10 Jul 201323h 36m 04s60d 50m 03s9.71.877Cassiopeia
11 Jul 201323h 33m 08s61d 23m 52s9.71.883Cassiopeia
12 Jul 201323h 30m 04s61d 56m 58s9.71.889Cassiopeia
13 Jul 201323h 26m 50s62d 29m 20s9.81.895Cassiopeia
14 Jul 201323h 23m 28s63d 00m 55s9.81.902Cassiopeia
15 Jul 201323h 19m 57s63d 31m 41s9.81.908Cassiopeia
16 Jul 201323h 16m 16s64d 01m 38s9.91.915Cepheus
17 Jul 201323h 12m 26s64d 30m 42s9.91.922Cepheus
18 Jul 201323h 08m 27s64d 58m 51s9.91.929Cepheus
19 Jul 201323h 04m 18s65d 26m 05s9.91.936Cepheus
20 Jul 201322h 59m 59s65d 52m 20s10.01.943Cepheus
21 Jul 201322h 55m 30s66d 17m 35s10.01.951Cepheus
22 Jul 201322h 50m 52s66d 41m 47s10.01.958Cepheus
23 Jul 201322h 46m 04s67d 04m 56s10.01.966Cepheus
24 Jul 201322h 41m 06s67d 26m 59s10.11.974Cepheus
25 Jul 201322h 35m 59s67d 47m 53s10.11.982Cepheus
26 Jul 201322h 30m 44s68d 07m 39s10.11.990Cepheus
27 Jul 201322h 25m 19s68d 26m 12s10.11.999Cepheus
28 Jul 201322h 19m 47s68d 43m 33s10.22.007Cepheus
29 Jul 201322h 14m 06s68d 59m 40s10.22.016Cepheus
30 Jul 201322h 08m 19s69d 14m 31s10.22.025Cepheus
31 Jul 201322h 02m 25s69d 28m 05s10.22.034Cepheus

See also

Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) now visible in the morning sky from the northern hemisphere
Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) returns to the morning sky for observers located at southern hemisphere and tropical latitudes
Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) temporarily unobservable as it moves from the evening to morning sky
Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) closes in on maximum brightness
Naked eye Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) moves past 47 Tuc and SMC
Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) now naked eye and continues to improve
Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) brightens faster than expected


Sky Highlights - July 2017

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for July

Meteor Shower
Southern Delta Aquariids (Aquarids) meteor shower peaks on July 29

Northern Hemisphere
Evening
West:- Mercury (mag. -0.5 to +0.3) (second half of month)
Southwest:- Jupiter (mag. -2.0)
South:- Saturn (mag. +0.2)
Midnight
West:- Jupiter
South:- Saturn
East:- Neptune (mag. +7.8)
Morning
Southwest:- Saturn
South:- Neptune
Southeast:- Uranus (mag. +5.8)
East:- Venus (mag. -4.1)

Southern Hemisphere
Evening
West:- Mercury (second half of month)
Northwest:- Jupiter
East:- Saturn
Midnight
West:- Jupiter
North:- Saturn
East:- Neptune
Morning
West:- Saturn
North:- Neptune
Northeast:- Venus, Uranus

Deep Sky

Small telescopes:-
Messier 13 - M13 - Great Hercules Globular Cluster
Messier 92 - M92 - Globular Cluster
Messier 11 - M11 - The Wild Duck Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 7 - M7 - The Ptolemy Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 6 - M6 - The Butterfly Cluster (Open Cluster)
Messier 4 - M4 - Globular Cluster
Messier 8 - M8 - Lagoon Nebula (Emission Nebula)
Messier 16 - M16 - Eagle Nebula (Emission Nebula with Open Cluster)
Messier 20 - M20 - Trifid Nebula (Emission and Reflection Nebula)

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