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Sunday, October 28, 2012


168P Hergenrother with a BIg Telescope, 28 October 2012

Comet 168P imaged with iTelescope T21, you can see a plume of material on the right edge (click to embiggen, it's a bit hard to see in the thumbnail.).Image zoomed in 2x, inverted and possible fragments indicated (click to embiggen).

Although T5 is one of my comet "workhorses", its resolution of 1.65 arc-secs/pixel is probably not quite good enough to clearly see the fragment Nick Howes and the and the Remanazacco observatory crew found (blog post here and the discovery images here and a great animation here).

So tonight I snaffled some time on iTelescope T21, with  0.96 arc-secs/pixel I stood a better chance of picking up the fragment, although with the Moon just 30 degrees away, it was a bit of a task.

As with my T5 images from yesterday, I took 20 x 30 second exposures using an R filter and stacked 17 of them (the other 3 were cloud affected) using ImageJ. I  MAXED them then scaled a bit to make the details more obvious. You will need to click the images  to embiggen to see them at full detail.

As well as picking up the tail fragment I saw before, it looks like I have got (poorly) Nick fragment. Compare mine to Nicks image and Rolando Ligustri's image from yesterday using the T11 instrument, which also appears to have captured the fragment.

Here's an animation (doesn't show the fragment)

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