The total eclipse of April 8, 2024 just got more exciting! There will be a comet in the sky during totality at the April 8, 2024 eclipse. I used SkySafari software and queries on TheSkyLive.com to locate periodic comet 12P/Pons-Brooks in the sky at totality. Above is a graphic I created in SkySafari (image courtesy SkySafariAstronomy.com) showing the position of the comet at totality from southern Texas.
The predicted magnitude of the comet during the eclipse (from TheSkyLive.com) is +4.7. Though at magnitude +4.7 the comet will be too faint to see with the unaided eye, the comet may be visible in binoculars. The comet is predicted to be 24.6 degrees from the sun in the sky during totality from southern Texas. Fortunately, the comet will only be 6.1 degrees from Jupiter in the sky and bright Jupiter may serve as a good guidepost to locate the comet. And this may be a great chance to photograph a comet and the corona together in the sky.
Astronomy magazine (Astronomy.com) ran a story on Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks and the 2024 total solar eclipse on their website on April 8, 2023. Here is a link to the story: A comet will be visible during the 2024 total solar eclipse | Astronomy.com
The graphic above shows the location of comet 12P/Pons-Brooks in the sky during totality at the total eclipse of the sun on April 8, 2024. The predicted orientation of the comet dust tail is also shown. The position angle of the dust tail was estimated to be 68 degrees from celestial north using Comet-Toolbox (Vincent 2014). See reference below. Orbital elements for the calculation were obtained from Theyskylive.com site and from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Small Bodies Database.
This research has made use of the scientific software at www.comet-toolbox.com
(Vincent, J.-B., Comet-toolbox: numerical simulations of cometary dust tails in your browser, Asteroids Comets Meteors conference, 2014, Helsinki)