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Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:14 pm
by rwilkinson
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:
Comet 2015 ER61 on 1-Feb. 2x 150-sec with Takahashi 150mm f/7.9 refractor.
c2015er61_1feb.png (500.94 KiB) Viewed 3863 times

Re: Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:17 pm
by rwilkinson
Nearly six months later, this comet is still around. And having passed round the Sun, it's grown a long (but diffuse) tail:
Comet PanSTARRS on 26-Jul. 3x 175-sec with 250mm reflector at f/3.4
c2015er61_26jul.png (195.99 KiB) Viewed 3199 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!

Re: Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:56 am
by rwilkinson
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:
C/2015 ER61 on 28-Jul. 3x 2-min with C14 at f/10
c2015er61_28jul.png (249.65 KiB) Viewed 3188 times

Re: Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:18 am
by rwilkinson
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:
C/2015 ER61 on 31-Jul. 5x 150s with C14 at f/10.
c2015er61_31jul.png (224.08 KiB) Viewed 3173 times