Bolton Astronomical Society

Comet C/2017 O1
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Author:  rwilkinson [ Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Comet C/2017 O1

The Ohio State University operates its All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae using a group of automated telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. Although these are designed to hunt for supernovae, on 19-July their survey also found its first comet.
I’ve managed to image it a couple of times, using COAST:
File comment: Comet 2017 O1 on 17-Aug. 3x 150-sec using C14 at f/10.
c2017o1_17aug.png [ 206.22 KiB | Viewed 1561 times ]

By September it's predicted to be 9th magnitude, tracking rapidly though the constellation of Taurus, so we should be able to detect it from Bolton.

Author:  rwilkinson [ Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2017 O1

Here's another picture from mid-September (taken from a remote telescope in New Mexico).
File comment: Comet ASASSN on 17-Sep. 6x 85-sec with 250mm f/3.4 reflector
2017o1_17sep.png [ 226.28 KiB | Viewed 1450 times ]
The comet is currently in Taurus, moving North-East, so it should be well-placed in our Eastern skies after midnight.
But next month it should be a little brighter and rising earlier in the evening.

Author:  rwilkinson [ Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2017 O1

This morning I got another data-set back from the COAST telescope:
File comment: Comet 2017 O1 on 28-Sep. 5x 120-sec with C14 at f/10.
c2017o1_28sep.png [ 176.67 KiB | Viewed 1400 times ]
There was an interval after taking the first couple of images and before the final three, hence the gaps in the star-trails.
This comet will be moving into our evening skies next month - look out for details in the next edition of The Bolton Astronomer, which will be out this weekend.

Author:  rwilkinson [ Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2017 O1

I managed to catch this comet again in the early hours of this morning, using the COAST facility on Tenerife.
The difficulty of aiming at a fast-moving object with this instrument is setting its target co-ordinates: I'd used its position at around 2am, but my imaging run didn't start until some three hours later, by which time the comet was starting to track out of the frame.
I've made an animation to show how far it moves in 15 minutes:
File comment: C/2017 O1 on 21-Oct. 5x 120s with C14 at f/10
c2017o1_21oct.gif [ 605.45 KiB | Viewed 1284 times ]

Author:  rwilkinson [ Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2017 O1

Now that this comet is in the polar region, I can get it from my own back garden (with one leg of my tripod in a flower-bed!).
Last night I caught it in Camelopardalis:
File comment: Comet 2017 O1 on 29-Oct. 45x 90-sec with MX716 on C8 at f/3.3.
c2017o1_29oct.png [ 157.87 KiB | Viewed 1230 times ]
The star-trails show how far it had moved in an hour or so.

Author:  bbones [ Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2017 O1

Nice one Ross, keep them coming



Author:  rwilkinson [ Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2017 O1

I found this comet again last night. It's quite close to Polaris, which is always an awkward region to access with an equatorial mount, and the difficulty was compounded by a polar alignment error (I suspect that one of the tripod legs had penetrated the frosty surface and sunk into the soft earth beneath after I'd completed my initial alignment).

Nonetheless, I did manage another image of this comet, which is now down to 10th magnitude:
File comment: The comet on 29-Nov. 32x 90-sec using MX716 on C8 at f/3.3
c2017o1_29nov.png [ 181.61 KiB | Viewed 1022 times ]

Author:  rwilkinson [ Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Comet C/2017 O1

I managed a longer run last night, with better tracking (but brighter moonlight):
File comment: The comet on 30-Nov. 68x 90-sec using MX716 on C8 at f/3.3
c2017o1_30nov.png [ 227.83 KiB | Viewed 1002 times ]

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