Sunday, April 23, 2006
Comet 73P-B breaks up!
Fragment 73P-B has split into two fragments, as seen in these lovely images here, here and here. This image give probaly the first good view of the split nuclei, with intensity traces. Recent reports also suggest that fragment G may have split in two as well.
Both fragments C and B are easily viewable in binoculars (if the clouds ever clear) and small telescopes. Fragment C (the lower one in the image above) is now magnitude 7.9 (ignore the magnitudes in the image, the comets have been evolving to rapidly for the MPC data) Fragment B is something like 8.5-8.9. G is around magnitude 15. Fragments B and C, being close to the stars of Corona borealis, are very easy to find at the moment (providing you aren't clouded out). Looking north-east, locate bright orange Arcturus (the organge star in the image above) then look down and to the right to a curved spray of stars, Corona borelais, the comets will be embeded in this diadem.
A fantastic montage of this area showing fragments B, C and G is located here (small version, very hard to see G in this one) and here (large version). For the most recent ephemeris, go to the Minor Planet Ephemeris Service and type
one designation per line, into the the input box.
My daughter lives in Adelaide, and I would like to catch up with you if possible on the next visit, but that can't be for around 3-4 months at least.
Hey, isn't Phil's BA blogsite a pearl? I've learnt a lot this year since I was directed to it. And learned something about myself too. Glad to also find your input to the blog, as well, and the 'local' sky maps are a great confirmation of the direction I had (vainly) looked.
Yes, Phils websit is a gem of the blogworld. I can always find something illuminating there.
Good luck with the C90 and digital camera. Try setting it up for the Moon first, to get a feel for how things fit together.