Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

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rwilkinson
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Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

Post by rwilkinson » Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:14 pm

This is another asteroid-turned comet, with an exceptionally eccentric orbit (e = 0.997).
It's an 11th-magnitude object in the morning sky (in Scorpius) at the moment, but is expected to brighten up to 7th magnitude over the next couple of months.

One of the advantages of the iTelescopes in New Mexico is that their early morning is around lunchtime here, which is when I managed to get this image today:
c2015er61_1feb.png
Comet 2015 ER61 on 1-Feb. 2x 150-sec with Takahashi 150mm f/7.9 refractor.
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Re: Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

Post by rwilkinson » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:17 pm

Nearly six months later, this comet is still around. And having passed round the Sun, it's grown a long (but diffuse) tail:
c2015er61_26jul.png
Comet PanSTARRS on 26-Jul. 3x 175-sec with 250mm reflector at f/3.4
c2015er61_26jul.png (195.99 KiB) Viewed 4625 times
It will still be with us in September, when it will appear in Taurus, close to The Pleiades.
And in the middle of that month another comet (C/2017 O1) will pass nearby too - so that could be a good opportunity for a wide-field image!

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Re: Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:56 am

There's been a run of poor weather in New Mexico, but last night I caught the comet from Tenerife using the Open University's COAST facility:
c2015er61_28jul.png
C/2015 ER61 on 28-Jul. 3x 2-min with C14 at f/10
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Re: Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

Post by rwilkinson » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:18 am

Whilst the COAST facility is still in its commissioning & testing phase, there's not much competition for telescope time, so I was able to get another 12 minutes' data last night:
c2015er61_31jul.png
C/2015 ER61 on 31-Jul. 5x 150s with C14 at f/10.
c2015er61_31jul.png (224.08 KiB) Viewed 4599 times

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