Saturday, October 27, 2012

Comet 168P Hergenrother has split

Comet 168P Hergenrother has split, the original observation from Nick Howes and the Remanazacco observatory is here (and the discovery images here and a great animation here).

I used iTelescope  T5 to try and take some follow up images,  took 20 x 30 second exposures and stacked 17 of them (the other 3 were cloud affected) using ImageJ. I SUMMED them (top left image) or MAXED them (top right image). You will need to click the images  to embiggen to see them at full detail. 

Well, I found what looks like a fragment (indicated top left), but unfortunately it's not the fragment Nick reported. It looks more like the fragment Robson Hahn reported. Cranking down the image intensity a bit still shows that apparent fragment, and another one closer into the nucleus.

Rolando Ligustri, using the T11 instrument, appears to have captured the fragment reported by Nick.

I'll have another go tomorrow.