The other Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y1)

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rwilkinson
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The other Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y1)

Post by rwilkinson » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:51 am

Apart from C/2019 Y4 (reported in another topic viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1040), the ATLAS programme discovered another comet a couple of weeks earlier, last December.
This one is also around 8th magnitude, but not so well-placed in the sky at the moment: it's sinking below 20 degrees elevation in the NW in the evening twilight - not far from the M31 Andromeda Galaxy.
Nevertheless, I had a go at it from my garden last night; but to reach that part of the sky, I had to set up my tripod half-way down the lawn - a region I don't use because of the stray light from a streetlamp across the road. However I quickly improvised a screen from a sheet of corrugated cardboard tied to a tripod, to cast a shadow from the light and I was ready to go.
I did my polar and 2-star alignments (using Caph and Mirach) in the twilight and was relieved that when I slewed to the comet's position I could still see the sky above the privet hedge. However it was still so light that even a 30-sec exposure gave a high background level. By 8:15 the sky had darkened sufficiently for me to start imaging with 40-sec exposures. Then at 8:40 I switched up to 60-sec, but within a few minutes the comet had disappeared behind the trees.
So my image is formed from thirty 40-sec exposures:
c2019y1_27mar.jpg
Comet 2019 Y1 on 27-Mar. 30x 40-sec with Sony NEX5R on Starwave 80ED at f/4.8
c2019y1_27mar.jpg (74.66 KiB) Viewed 3791 times
But I'm still very pleased with this result - it's a "new" comet for my collection, and the 88th which I've imaged using my own equipment.

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rwilkinson
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Re: The other Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y1)

Post by rwilkinson » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:48 am

This comet has got brighter in the last few weeks, and will be getting higher in the sky too. It's now reached its peak 8th magnitude and is tracking rapidly from Cassiopeia through Camelopardalis.
However I had some trouble finding it at first: there was sufficient inaccuracy in the orbital elemets that it appeared outside the field of view of my imaging system. I eventually tracked it down a little to the North of its expected position:
c2019y1_20apr.jpg
Comet 2019 Y1 on 20-Apr. 40x 60-sec with Mx716 on C8 at f/3.5
c2019y1_20apr.jpg (112.19 KiB) Viewed 3641 times

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