Comet 108P/Ciffreo: possible fragmentation? – 8 Jan. 2022

We imaged comet 108P/Ciffreo, after hearing of the possible fragmentation of its nucleus. Our image likely confirms the event.

Comet 108P/Ciffreo and its likely fragment. 8 Jan. 2022.

Comet 108P/Ciffreo and its likely fragment. 8 Jan. 2022.

The image above comes from the average of 15, 180-second exposure, unfiltered, remotely collected with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at the Virtual Telescope Project. The telescope tracked the apparent motion of the comet. A gentle iterative gaussian sharpening filter was applied.

In the upper left insert, we present a 2x re-scaled detail, using a negative palette: these images seem to confirm the presence of a structure, likely a fragment or a cloud debris from the main nucleus, as recently reported by other observers. The secondary component is at 7 arc-seconds from the main one.

Further observations will follow.

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