(6478) Gault, the tailed asteroid: new images – 14 & 24 Feb. 2019

More than two months after the its original announcement, we observed again the dusty tail of (6478) Gault. We have found this intriguing feature in good shape.

Asteroid (6478) Gault and its tail -14 and 24 Jan. 2019

Asteroid (6478) Gault and its tail -14 and 24 Jan. 2019

The images above come from the average of nine (top) and eighteen (bottom) 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 image scale is 1.2″/pixel. The seeing was poor, because of a strong wind.

Measuring the old tail, we have found it to be longer against our early Feb. observation, about 7 arc-minutes long on both dates, and pointing to PA= 293 deg. Also, we still see an hint of the shorter, newer tail, pointing significantly further North.

Making an inversion of the BW palette used in the image above, the structure of the tail is better visible, in particular we see how it is not straight.

Asteroid (6478) Gault and its tail: negative palette -14 and 24 Jan. 2019

Asteroid (6478) Gault and its tail: negative palette -14 and 24 Jan. 2019

We will monitor how this will evolve. You can find all our images of (6478) Gault here.

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