Comet Section

John Drummond, Director of the Comet and Meteor Section, will provide regular updates to facilitate Comet and Meteor observations by RASNZ members and the astronomic community.

More observations from the Southern Hemisphere would be highly valued by the international community. Over the coming months John and key Section members, will provide information on observing equipment, observing tips and where to send the observations to encourage and support more observers to join this effort from New Zealand.

Orionid Meteor Shower - peaks around 22 October 2022

Regarding the Orioinids, this is from the International Meteor Organisation:

From the International Meteor Organisation: The Orionids (ORI) are active from October 2 through November 7 with maximum activity occurring on October 21st (Oct 22 for NZ). The radiant is currently located at 06:02 (091) +15, which places it in northeastern Orion, 1 degree west of the 4th magnitude star known as nu Orionis. To best see these meteors, face toward the [north] during the last hours prior to dawn. Current rates are expected to be near 3 per hour, no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 66 km/sec., the average ORI meteor would be of swift velocity. 

Here's a link: 

Comet PANSTARRS, C/2017 K2 currently in our southern skies and getting brighter

C/2017 K2 is currently in our southern skies and is slowly getting brighter. It should be brightest around mid-January 2023 when it is circumpolar from New Zealand (i.e. it won't set all night time). It probably won't become visible to the naked eye so it requires good binoculars or a telescope. The ephemerides from GUIDE software are below, note that the magnitude is a very rough estimate. Currently the comet is about magnitude 8. 

More information about brighter southern comets can be found on Seichi Yoshida's comet page: