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Sunday, July 31, 2011

 

Comet 2009 P1 Garrad and M15, July 31

Comet 2009 P1 Garrad imaged near the globular cluster M15 with the GRAS 14 instrument at Global Rent a Scope with 1 x 120 sec Red filter FITS image, 1 x 120 sec Green filter FITS image and 1 x 120 sec Blue filter FITS image. Images stacked and contrast enhanced using Image J then assembled into a RGB composite.

Definitely click to embiggen, it will be worth it.

Comet 2009 P1 Garrad is currently magnitude 8 and in the constellation Pegasus, ideally located for northern hemisphere viewers. It will pass lots of interesting clusters and galaxies as it goes by. On August 1 and 2 it will be quite lose to the globular cluster M15.

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Comments:
The original (barycentric) orbit of 2009P1 was ~120,000 years and the future orbit will be ~600,000 years. The changing orbital period is a result of perturbations by the planets as the comet passes through the planetary region of the Solar System.
 
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