Comet 141P/Machholz in outburst: an image – 04 Mar. 2021

We imaged comet 141P/Machholz a few hours after it was reported to be in outburst. Despite the clouds, we could image it.

Comet 141P/Machholz: 04 Mar. 2021.

Comet 141P/Machholz: 04 Mar. 2021.

The image above comes from the average of two, 120-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 141P/Machholz, so stars left trails on the background. The image scale is 1.2″/pixel. Clouds interfered with the image, as the weather was deteriorating quickly.

This comet was reported in bright outburst early on Mar. 4, by the ATLAS survey. I measured the brightness of the pseudo-nucleus, getting m = 17.1 (unfiltered, radius = 3.6″, R-mags for the reference stars from the Gaia DR2 star catalogue).

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