Sunday, October 23, 2011
Comet C/2010 X1 Remnants Recovered.
After intense searching for the remnants of comet C/2010 X1 Elenin, which began to disintegrate back in August, there finally appears to be confirmed images of a debris field (that the Moon has waned somewhat probably helps too) .
Images from Rolando Ligustri show a nebulosity stretching along the predicted position of Elenin. Similar nebulosities at the predicted location of Elenin, found at different times (ie the debris field is moving along Elenin's orbital path) are found in these images from Leonid Elein, Michael Jäger , Jakub Cerny and Juanjo González Díaz.
The remnants are very faint, for example Rolando needed to stack six x five minute exposures from a sensitive CCD camera (GRAS-20) together to show the dim cloud of material. Scientifically, this is very interesting, we have few examples where we can follow the debris trail of a disintegrated comet. How long amateurs can follow this faint patch of dust for is unknown, but it will probably continue to fade rapidly. Update: Rolando's latest image suggests that the remnants are fading fast.
The only people realy disappointed by this is the Doom-sayers, who will no loger be able to terrify people with laes of the scary comet Elenin.