- nemesis maturity
MORNING COMET SWAN: Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) is not easy to see. Days away from its close approach to the sun, SWAN makes only the briefest appearance in the pre-dawn sky, just above the northeastern horizon where it is nearly swallowed by the glow of sunrise. The low-hanging comet is easily blocked by trees, buildings and clouds. Current estimates of SWAN’s magnitude range from +7 to +6–that is, just below the threshold for naked-eye visibility. In fact, Comet SWAN is turning into a bit of a disappointment. Following a naked-eye outburst in late April, the comet was widely expected to put on a good show this month. Instead, it is fizzling. On May 27th, Comet SWAN will swing past the sun near the orbit of Mercury. There, intense solar heat might either re-energize the comet or, more likely, doom it. Astronomers are encouraged to monitor developments. For the rest of the month, the comet may be found in the constellation Perseus.