(6478) Gault, the “double” tailed asteroid: a new image – 12 Mar. 2019

With the very clear sky we had last night, it was time to image asteroid (6478) Gault and its two tails again, to check their “health”. We have found them in good shape.

(6478) Gault: 12 Mar. 2019

(6478) Gault: 12 Mar. 2019

The image above comes from the average of 18, 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. We also used an inverted palette, to underline the faintest region of the dusty tail.

We find the main tail 10% longer (7.8 arc-mins) than two weeks ago, while its orientation changed  (PA=284 deg vs 293 deg). The second, much shorter and newer tail pointing further north is well visible, too.

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

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