Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels: an image (1 Jan. 2019)

We started the new year under a truly excellent sky, imaging comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels. Here we share what we saw.

Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels: 1 Jan. 2019

Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels: 1 Jan. 2019

The image above comes from the average of six, 300-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely collected with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at the Virtual Telescope Project. The robotic telescope tracked the apparent motion of comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels, so stars left trails on the background. The image scale is 1.2″/pixel.

On the bottom right, we added an insert showing the false nucleus and less impact from the stars (we used a sigma clipping combination technique there), so you can see the very inner coma better.

In August, this comet had a bright outburst. We observed it a few times to far. and plan to track it for a while.

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