Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS)

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rwilkinson
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Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS)

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:55 pm

This comet was discovered by the ATLAS program (https://fallingstar.com/home.php) last December and has recently brightened up to 9th magnitude. It's in Ursa Major at the moment, having passed close to the M81 & M82 galaxies last week (when it was cloudy!).
Last night it finally cleared, so I managed to get an image of it from my garden:
c2019y4_20mar.jpg
C/2019 Y4 on 20-Mar. 72x 85-sec with Sony NEX5R on 80ED at f/4.8
c2019y4_20mar.jpg (223.57 KiB) Viewed 5441 times
Last edited by rwilkinson on Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS)

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:44 pm

If anyone else is looking for it, this is where it will be tonight:
atlas.jpg
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Re: Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS)

Post by rwilkinson » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:01 am

I had another look at this comet last night, this time using my vintage Starlight Xpress Mx716 camera on my C8 telescope.
Things didn't start too well, with a mechanical problem on my tripod (the registration pin had sheared off, but I soon replaced it with a piece of studding and was up and running).
The comet is nearly due North at the moment, so shortly after 8:30 I had to perform a "meridian flip" to transpose the 'scope onto the opposite side of the mount. This also necessitated a new Alignment and re-focusing (since the SCT's mirror is prone to shift as the tube is tipped).
The gap in the star-trails is the "flipping time" and I ended up with 45 images before and then 55 afterwards.
c2019y4_26mar.jpg
Comet 2019 Y4 on 26-Mar. 100x 1-min with Mx716 on C8 at f/3.5.
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Last edited by rwilkinson on Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS)

Post by rwilkinson » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:38 am

This comet is confouding expectations again by starting to fade: analysis suggests that it's beginning to disintegrate as it approaches the Sun. It certainly looks more elongated than it did a couple of weeks ago:
c2019y4_11apr.jpg
C/2019 Y4 on 11-Apr. 90x 1-min with Mx716 on C8 at f/3.5
c2019y4_11apr.jpg (84.83 KiB) Viewed 5191 times

I also got an image from iTelescope T68 in New Mexico a few hours later:
2019y4_c68_11apr.jpg
C/2019 Y4 on 11-Apr. 3x 2-min with 11" Rowe-Ackermann f/2.3
2019y4_c68_11apr.jpg (172.58 KiB) Viewed 5189 times

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Re: Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS)

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:39 am

I've just been watching a very interesting "webinar" from the BAA Comet Section:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2d_t_fDndo
(this is a YouTube recording of a Zoom meeting which took place at the start of April - before the comet started to fragment).

It consists of a 25-minute presentation from Comet Section Director Nick James, followed by a Q&A session of around 30 minutes with the online audience.

It's also encouraging to see the "Zoom" system being used for an online astronomy meeting.
We're going to try this model ourselves (but using a different host) this Tuesday (21st).

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Re: Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS)

Post by rwilkinson » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:02 am

I got another image last night, which shows the comet even more elongated than last week:
c2019y4_19apr.jpg
C/2019 Y4 on 19-Apr. 71x 60-sec with Mx716 on C8 at f/3.5
c2019y4_19apr.jpg (86.37 KiB) Viewed 5181 times

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Re: Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS)

Post by cstone » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:39 pm


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