Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Meanwhile another Comet explodes!!!

Almost 450 million km from Earth, Comet C/2012 X1 (LINEAR) has
exploded. Amateur astronomers are reporting a 200-fold increase in the
comet's brightness on Oct. 20th, and the comet's atmosphere or "coma"
now resembles that of exploding Comet 17P/Holmes in 2007. Using a
remotely-controlled 0.5 meter telescope in New Mexico, European
observers Ernesto Guido, Martino Nicolini and Nick Howes took this
picture of the spherical explosion on Oct 21st:

"The predicted magnitude of the comet, pre-outburst, was about +14,"
says Guido. "Now it is close to +8.5." This is below the threshold for
naked-eye visibility, but bright enough for backyard telescopes
equipped with digital cameras.

Prompted by the reports of Guido et al, Romanian amateur astronomer
Maximilian Teodorescu observed the comet on Oct. 22nd, confirming its
brightness and spherical structure: image. "It looked exactly like
Comet Holmes back in 2007," says Teodorescu.

Located in the constellation Coma Berenices, Comet LINEAR X1 rises in
the east about an hour before the sun. The low altitude of the comet
in morning twilight is a challenge. "I could not see the comet through
the eyepiece of my 4.5 inch refracting telescope," adds Teodorescu,
"but the camera detected it easily enough." The comet could become
brighter in the days ahead as its coma expands. Monitoring is

No comments:

Post a Comment