Comet 289P/Blanpain: an image (23 Dec. 2019)

Late last December, we imaged the faint comet 289P/Blainpain, soon after its perihelion passage. Here we present our image.

Comet 289P/Blanpain: 23 Dec. 2019

Comet 289P/Blanpain: 23 Dec. 2019

The image above comes from the average of three, 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 289P/Blanpain, so stars left trails on the background. The image scale is 1.2″/pixel.

The comet is quite faint and we managed to publish a negative image, marking the comet with a white arrow. Discovered in 1819, this comet was then lost, until its recovery in 2003. The present comet could be a fragment of the original one. Also, comet 289P is supposed to be the parent of the Phoenicid meteor shower.

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