Comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas fragmentation: follow-up – 12 Apr. 2020

Thanks to good weather, we imaged C/2014 Y4 Atlas again and could clearly detect again several fragments, with evident changes in the brightness distribution. Here it is our image.

C/2019 Y4 Atlas and its fragments. 12 Apr. 2020

C/2019 Y4 Atlas and its fragments. 12 Apr. 2020

The image above comes from the average of 57, 60-seconds exposures, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the comet and images were stacked using the orbit of the comet, to provide the best accuracy. Image scale is 0.63″/pixel. No image processing was performed, to preserve the reliability of the visible features. The signal-to-noise ratio is reasonably good (the sky was a bit worse than yesterday, when it was great), so it is possible to do, carefully, some digital enhancements.

In the upper left insert, you can see the central region, this time after applying an unsharp masking filtering: there are surely three, but likely four fragments there, as we saw yesterday.

Apparently, the most Western fragment is now the brightest, when yesterday it looked the faintest, while the overall aspect of the group changed as for expansion of the componets.

We have much more data from all the past nights and we are processing them, to provide a detailed analysis, but we wanted to share right away this latest, amazing view of comet C/2019 Y4 Atlas. Here you can find all our observations of this comet.

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