ALERT! Comet 41P is at closest approach to Earth
Sunday, April 2, 2017 at 7:02PM
Ian Musgrave in Alerts, Comet, Comet 41P, Comets, alert

Comet 41P as seen from Mayhill New Mexico at transit (2:00 pm Daylight savings time). The large rectangle is the field of view to T20 and 14, the small that of T9. Click to embiggen.

Comet 41P comes closest to Earth on April 1, at 00:53 UT. At this time it is 0.142 AU (21,200,000 km) from the Earth. This is followed by perihelion on April 12.

Currently the comet is reported to be visually magnitude 7-7.7, which will make imaging this comet straight forward.

It is moving fast, so short exposures will be needed to reduce trailing. The comet is currently a fuzzy ball, with no clearly distinguishable tail.

 The comet is passing through Draco. On the 2nd and 3rd the comet passes close to Apha Draconis. On the 6th it is below the Ursa Minor Dwarf, and will be a good target for the wide-field T14 and T20. Unfortunately the waxing Moon will begin to interfere around this time and will be a significant problem at the time of 41P's perihelion.

The MPEC one line ephemeris is:

0041P         2017 04 12.7518  1.045048  0.661094   62.1502  141.0731    9.2298  20170216  10.0 16.0    41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak

 

 

Article originally appeared on Remote Internet Telescope Network - Online Imaging & Telescope Hosting Service (http://www.itelescope.net/).
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