Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova and NGC 3346: an image (1 May 2017)
After more than one month, we looked for comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova again, knowing it is now no more than a ghost of itself, after its glorious days, many weeks ago. But the sky awarded us with an unexpected gift, pairing the pale comet with a nice spiral galaxy.
The image above comes from the average of eleven, 60-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely taken with the 16″-f/3.75 Tenagra III (“Pearl”) robotic unit part of Tenagra Observatories in Arizona. The imaging camera is based on the KAF-16801 CCD, used in 2×2 binning. The resulting image scale is 2.4″/pixel.
Comet 45P is visible as a very faint, diffused strip, running from the upper right to the bottom left, perfectly crossing the elegant spiral shape of the galaxy NGC 3346.
The observatory hosting the telescope is placed at 1300 meters above the sea level, in the Sonoran desert, providing one of the best skies in the world. This image comes from a cooperation between the Virtual Telescope Project and Tenagra Observatories, Ltd., which will be announced soon.
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