Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks: a new image – 23 & 24 Jan. 2024

We imaged comet 12P/Pons-Brooks again, a few days after its most recent outburst: despite the full Moon, it shows a nice tail.

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks: 24 Jan. 2024.

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks: 24 Jan. 2024.

The image above comes from the median combination of 21, 120-second unfiltered exposures, remotely taken with the ARTEC250+Paramount ME+C3Pro61000EC robotic unit available as part of the Virtual Telescope Project facility in Manciano, Italy. The resulting master frame was carefully processed to show the faint tail and structure of the inner coma.

At the time of the image above, comet 12P/Pons-Brooks was less than 15 degrees above the N-E horizon in the morning sky, while a very bright (full) Moon was setting. It was about six days after its most recent outburst.

Despite the very bright sky and very low altitude (high airmass), a faint tail is easily visible. The overall shape of the inner coma is very interesting, as better visible in the image below, taken in the evening.

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks: 23 Jan. 2024.

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks: 23 Jan. 2024.

The image above comes from the sigma combination of 12, 120-second unfiltered exposures, remotely taken with the same telescope used above, with higher resolution. An extremely bright Moon was high in the sky.

We will continue monitoring comet 12P/Pons-Brooks over the next weeks, as it approaches its perihelion, next 21 April.

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