Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner meets the Messier 37 open star cluster – 11 Sept. 2018.

Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner made a nice conjunction early this morning, to celebrate both its perihelion (minimum distance from the Sun) and its large flyby with the our Planet. While surfing the skies, the comet met the wonderful open star cluster Messier 37, a gem of the winter sky, now showing before dawn. Here it is our image.

Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner and the open star cluster Messier 37 - 11 Sept. 2018

Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner and the open star cluster Messier 37 – 11 Sept. 2018

The image above is a two-panes mosaic, each of them coming from a single 180-seconds exposure, unfiltered, remotely collected “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at the Virtual Telescope Project. The image scale is 1.2″/pixel.

The comet, on the right, shows its large coma, while the open star cluster Messier 37 is clearly visible on the left, with its many stars.

At the imaging time, comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner was at about 58.6 millions of km from the Earth (the minimum distance from us for this passage) and at the same time it was at its perihelion, that is the minimum distance from the Sun, starting it journey back to the outer Solar System.

We plan to observe this comet regularly.

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