Comet Schwassmann - Wachmann 3/73P

Fragmenting Comet in Hercules

Uploaded 4/30/06

This is certainly the first time I have ever recorded TWO separate comets in the same image. First, the left panel image is the original C fragment, now about 7th magnitude and sporting a stunning dust tail. The star on the right edge is one of the Hercules Keystone stars - Zeta Herculis. The right panel is more interesting, in that on the left (enlarged in the inset) is the tiny G fragment, bearing a short tail. The bright comet in this image is of course the B fragment, once part of the C fragment and making the comet whole. The B fragment is currently pretty stable and has not had a large piece break off for a few days.
Close up images of above:

C Fragment Select an image size for a larger view: 800 x 600 1290 x 960

G and B Fragments Select an image size for a larger view: 800 x 600 1290 x 960
Instrument: Stellarvue SV80s with TR2008 Focal Reducer/FF Platform: Astrophysics 1200 QMD CCD Camera: Canon 10D unmodified Guider: SBIG ST4 Exposure: 3x5m each to avoid trailing of comet against stars Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: 8, Transparency 8/10 Outside Temperature: 45 F Processing Tools: Maxim DL, Photoshop, PixInsight HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS


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