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March 2016
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Record making comet P/2016 BA14 Panstarrs: an image (18 Mar. 2016)

Comet P/2016 BA14 Panstarrs: an image - 18 Mar. 2016

Comet P/2016 BA14 Panstarrs: an image – 18 Mar. 2016

After a couple of days from our first visit, at Virtual Telescope we wanted to image comet P/2016 BA14 Panstarrs again, while it comes closer and closer to us, preparing for its historic fly-by with the Earth.

The image above comes from four, 120-seconds unfiltered exposures, remotely collected with the  PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the object (17″/min) during the exposures. At the imaging time, comet P/2016 BA14 Panstarrs was at about 35 deg, while a 80%, very bright Moon was high in the sky, only 33 deg. apart from the target.

Comet P/2016 BA14 was discovered on 22 Jan. 2016 and soon it was clear that its orbital elements were similar to the ones of comet 252P/Linear, also making a similar close approach on the same hours. Very likely, P/2016 BA14 is a small fragment of 252P.

At Virtual Telescope we scheduled a live coverage of this historic close encounter!

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