Comet 315P/Loneos, Palomar 4 and a galaxy – 21 Apr. 2017

Last night, observing comet 315P Loneos was truly rewarding. It was showing in a very nice spot of the sky: together with the comet, the pale and fascinating globular cluster Palomar 4 and the far  PGC 1846998 galaxy were making the vision so precious.

Comet 315P/Loneos, Palomar 4 and PGC 1846998 - 21 Apr. 2017

Comet 315P/Loneos, Palomar 4 and PGC 1846998 – 21 Apr. 2017

The image above is the combination of two sets of thirteen,  18-seconds exposures, remotely taken with “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The first set was aligned on the stars, the second one on the comet and they were combined to show the latter perfectly tracked.

Comet 315P is on the bottom left and shows a nice coma, very similar to the one we observed in the past weeks. On the top center, there is the globular cluster Palomar 4: it is an extreme halo object of the Milky Way, the second distant globular cluster we know in our galaxy. It is placed at about 360.000 light years from the Sun. On the top right corner the small galaxy PGC 1846998 complete this trio.

 This serendipitous finding is one of the most intriguing aspects of observational astronomy. You never know, when you image a comet, what you will find in that part of the Universe!

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