Comet C/2023 A3 Tsuchinshan-ATLAS: an image – 6 Aug. 2023

We imaged comet C/2023 A3 Tsuchinshan-ATLAS again, while slowly approaching its conjunction with the Sun. Hopefully it will become a bright object late next year.

Comet C/2023 A3 Tsuchinshan-ATLAS: 6 Aug. 2023.

Comet C/2023 A3 Tsuchinshan-ATLAS: 6 Aug. 2023.

The image above comes from the average of seven, 180-second exposures, unfiltered, remotely taken with the Celestron C14+Paramount ME+SBIG ST8-XME robotic unit available as part of the Virtual Telescope Project.

In the image, sporting a scale of 0.75″/pixel, the comet  clearly shows a coma and likely a thin tail pointing eastwards. We measured it as bright as mag. 15.8 (unfiltered, R-mags for the reference stars from the Gaia DR2 star catalogue). At the imaging time, the target was lower than 30 deg. above the western horizon; several artificial satellites crossed the field of view while imaging.

Comet C/2023 A3 was discovered on 9 Jan. 2023. Since it was announced, it was clear that this icy world might reach naked eye visibility late in Sept. 2024, with chances to be remarkable.

We will keep an eye and it and will schedule a live feed in due time.

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