Comet 2013 UQ4 (Catalina)

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rwilkinson
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Comet 2013 UQ4 (Catalina)

#1 Post by rwilkinson » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:05 am

Last night I managed to bag another comet: 2013 UQ4. This one was discovered last year by the Catalina Sky Survey and was originally designated as an asteroid, until a diffuse coma developed around it as it approached the Sun:
http://www.universetoday.com/111795/ast ... ht-future/

Last night it was in Bootes, high enough up in the West that I could see it above the houses. I had a go at imaging: it was so faint that I couldn't see any trace of it on my 1-min exposures, but I captured an hour's worth of data before it "set" behind next door's roof.

This morning I processed my images, and could just make out a faint streak on my integrated 51-min exposure. I've now re-processed this to stack the comet:
catalina_25jul.jpg
Comet 2013 UQ4 in Bootes on 25-Jul. 51x 60-sec using MX516 on StarWave 80ED at f/4.6.
catalina_25jul.jpg (100.21 KiB) Viewed 3321 times
As a guide to how faint it is, the nearby ""bright" stars are 11th - 12th magnitude! It's certainly the faintest comet I've managed to catch from my back-garden.
The sky was not particularly dark due to residual twilight and street-lights, but ironically just as I was packing away at midnight, the two nearest street-lights mysteriously went out!

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