Comet P/2010 V1 Ikeya-Murakami fragmentation: a new image (26 Feb. 2016)

Comet P/2010 V1 Ikeya-Murakami: fragments c, b, a, d, g?, h. i?. 26 Feb. 2016, 20:16 UT

Comet P/2010 V1 Ikeya-Murakami: fragments c, b, a, d, g?, h. i?. 26 Feb. 2016, 20:16 UT

Two weeks after our first images of comet Comet P/2010 V1 Ikeya-Murakami, we wanted to check it again, knowing that new fragments were discovered since then. Weather has been a issue for quite some time and the full Moon, too, so we really had to wait for many nights before a good one.

On 26 Feb. we only had two hours of clear sky to try. The image above comes from 22, 300-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 comet during the exposures. Several of them had fragment “c” strongly contaminated by a background star, so (only) fragment “c” as visible in the image above comes from the only 12 images without any star interfering with it.

Several fragments are visible, making the sight quite interesting: they are annotated on the negative palette image on the right. A couple of fragments are only barely seen. More coverage will hopefully come as soon as the weather will improve.

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