Comet 209P/Linear: a new image (26 May 2014)
While the expected Camelopardalids meteor shower performed much less than hoped, comet 209P/Linear countinues to approach us, having a close encounter with the Earth. Next 29 May, comet 209P will be at ~8 millions of km from us, being the 9th closest comet ever recorded.
The PlaneWave 17 robotic unit part of the Virtual Telescope managed to image comet 209P/Linear again, even if the sky was not as good as desired. The picture above is the average of 11, 180-seconds exposures, with the Paramount ME robotic mount tracking the fast apparent motion of the comet: this is why, while the stars look as long trails, the comet is just sharp and perfect.
The dust trail is evident and it spans for more than 14 arc-minutes, then exiting the field of view.
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