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Hold on tight to your images of 46P/Wirtanen

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#1 nimitz69

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 08:48 AM

they are about to become very valuable as you'll never be able to get another image of that comet even though its orbital period is only 5.4 years.  that's because NASA just released video from TESS showing the comet exploding .....dalek12.gif

 

that comet holds special interest for me since the very first AP image I ever tried was of it and the Pleiades star cluster back in Dec 18 when they were going to be close enough to capture them in the same frame ...  RIPTelescope.gif


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#2 Tempus

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 08:55 AM

Can you share a link to that info. A few days ago it was reported that they have abundant data from a 20 day outburst but nothing in any of those articles refer to the event as the comet completely exploding.



#3 Astroman007

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 10:08 AM

frown.gif Oh, that's sad. I remember Wirtanen, observed it myself through my 28x110s. 

 

Edit: Heck, I remember observing it one December ('18) night by naked eye and then with the 16x70s with my mother, when the comet was by Eridanus. Great memories.


Edited by Astroman007, 08 December 2019 - 10:15 AM.


#4 desertstars

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 10:17 AM

I'm finding plenty of news regarding an outburst, possibly triggered by an impact, but nothing that would indicate the comet has come to the end of its cosmic journey.


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#5 Tapio

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 10:25 AM

Sorry, couldn't find better source :
https://www.dailymai...urst-comet.html

#6 B l a k S t a r

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 11:24 AM

Shame the video looks like a late 70's video game. Good for science bad for wow factor. 


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#7 nimitz69

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 11:44 AM

Well  just used the same adjective as one of the reports of it “exploding”. There is no definitive proof it exploded and is now just an expanded ball of whatever but I wouldn’t be surprised if its pretty much gone ... guess we’ll all see in another 5 years ....


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#8 RyanSem

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 06:07 PM

Interesting to hear! That was my first comet I ever saw (I think), and I found it almost exactly one year ago to this very day. Took me three nights in a row to try and find it in the Atlanta 'burbs. If it really exploded, I'm glad I was able to see it. 

 

Edit: Looks like the explosion is in reference to the outburst of dust and gas, not the comet disintegrating entirely. 


Edited by RyanSem, 08 December 2019 - 06:11 PM.

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#9 JOEinCO

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 06:03 AM

........Looks like the explosion is in reference to the outburst of dust and gas, not the comet disintegrating entirely. 

Yep.



#10 kathyastro

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 07:32 AM

Well, I took my pictures 4 months after the event, so news of its demise is greatly exaggerated.


Edited by kathyastro, 09 December 2019 - 07:33 AM.

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#11 Tom Polakis

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 10:49 AM

As has been mentioned, the outburst is different from an explosion, and the comet is alive and well.  Phil Plait does a nice job explaining what happened.  This particular comet is active, and has had three previously documented outbursts.

 

Regarding the poor image quality, remember that the purpose of TESS is to discover exoplanets, so it needs to cover a wide field, meaning the image scale is small.  It is likely that TESS will make all ground-based exoplanet surveys obsolete; it's that good at what it does.

 

Tom


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