Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova: an image (25 Feb. 2017)
After our first visit, we looked for comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova again, while it is constantly fading. We captured a large, still interesting coma.
The image above comes from the average of ten, 120-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely taken with the 16″-f/3.75 Tenagra III (“Pearl”) robotic unit part of Tenagra Observatories in Arizona. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the comet. The imaging camera is based on the KAF-16801 CCD. The resulting image scale is 2.4″/pixel. Further details are available on the image itself. North is up, east on the left. A nice coma is well visible, exceeding the otherwise large filed of view provided by the telescope. Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova is evidently fading, but we will observe it again in the next nights.
The observatory is placed at 1300 meters above the sea level, in the Sonoran desert, providing one of the best skies in the world. This image was taken as part of a cooperation between the Virtual Telescope Project and Tenagra Observatories, Ltd., which will be announced soon.
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