Comet C/2015 ER61-b, a new image (21 June 2017)

After our independent observations of the nucleus splitting of comet C/2015 ER61, we managed to do some further observations. The “b” fragment was still easy to see and we are pleased to show our new image below.

Comet C/2015 ER61 Panstarrs and its "b" fragment, C/2015 ER61-b. 21 June 2017

Comet C/2015 ER61 Panstarrs and its “b” fragment, C/2015 ER61-b. 21 June 2017

The image above comes from the “sigma clipping” combination of nine, 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 comet during exposures. The sky was not perfect, but C/2015 ER61-b is easily visible. In the insert, a binning 1×1 was used, to provide a scale of 1.2″/pixel, to better isolate the small body from the parent one.

Fragment “b” is about 16″ away from the main component and it looks diffuse and relatively bright (mag. 16).

We will try to follow-up this splitting event, if the weather will cooperate (monsoon coming soon in southern Arizona).

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