Bolton Astronomical Society

Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)
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Author:  rwilkinson [ Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

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:
File comment: Comet 2015 ER61 on 1-Feb. 2x 150-sec with Takahashi 150mm f/7.9 refractor.
c2015er61_1feb.png [ 500.94 KiB | Viewed 2933 times ]

Author:  rwilkinson [ Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

Nearly six months later, this comet is still around. And having passed round the Sun, it's grown a long (but diffuse) tail:
File comment: Comet PanSTARRS on 26-Jul. 3x 175-sec with 250mm reflector at f/3.4
c2015er61_26jul.png [ 195.99 KiB | Viewed 2269 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!

Author:  rwilkinson [ Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

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:
File comment: C/2015 ER61 on 28-Jul. 3x 2-min with C14 at f/10
c2015er61_28jul.png [ 249.65 KiB | Viewed 2258 times ]

Author:  rwilkinson [ Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2015 ER61 (PanSTARRS)

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:
File comment: C/2015 ER61 on 31-Jul. 5x 150s with C14 at f/10.
c2015er61_31jul.png [ 224.08 KiB | Viewed 2243 times ]

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