Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels: an image (4 Jan. 2019)

We did some follow-up observations of comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels, after the sudden changes in its inner coma, which we could confirm yesterday. Here we present our results.

Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels: 4 Jan. 2019

Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels: 4 Jan. 2019

The image above comes from the median combination of 39, 180-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.

Using the median combining technique, we could eliminate the interference of the stars, offering the best sight on the inner coma and its new shape, which is clearly visible here, though less evident than yesterday.

This “comma” feature in the coma resembles something seen in the outbursting comet 29P.

In August, this comet had a bright outburst.

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