Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE: a new close-up – 17 July 2020.
After our past observations, revealing a dramatic pattern of dust waves in the inner coma of comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, we managed to capture new images, still showing that prominent feature.
As for our previous observations, we collected many (71), 3-seconds exposures, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. These 71 frames were properly aligned on the come, then averaged before applying a Larson-Sekanina gradient (up) and unsharp masking (bottom) filtering. The telescope tracked the fast apparent motion of the comet. The object was very low (12 deg.) above the NW horizon, at twilight.
The complex dust structure is still visible, showing several dust waves on the left side of the nucleus, where the Sun is. This resembles what seen in several bright comets, like comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 and comet C/2001 Q4 Neat in 2004. It is evident how the geometry evolved: last time, the comet was laying along the NS direction, now it is clearly rotated.
Next 23 July, with the comet at its minimum distance from the Earth, we will show C/2020 F3 NEOWISE live, online!
We planned an intense coverage of this comet for the next weeks.
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