Comet Vales P/2010 H2 Faint Comet in Virgo

Uploaded 5/16/10

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 This 11th magnitude object lies in Virgo just east of the "Bowl" in an area much less dense in galaxies. This is a new object, recently discovered and little is available on this object at this time. It was discovered on this April 16th, and had apparently just had an outburst - the day before it was fainter than 20th magnitude! The comet continues to brighten and enlarge slowly. Visually, I was not able to even glimpse this object in a 16mm Nagler eyepiece with the 8", however its presence was confirmed with a 1 minute exposure. This object is moving slowly and showed only slight trailing in this 30 min shot. The short stubby fan tail was totally unexpected for such a faint comet!

Since the comets orbital elements were not yet available in Megastar from the IAU, I used the chart found on comets section. South is up here, and there are numerous faint galaxies in this field. In the lower left corner a beautiful line of three small galaxies can be seen. The brightest at the top is IC871, which is 14.2 magnitude and an Sb type spiral. Just below right is IC873, a 15.3rd magnitude object of unknown class. And finally the small yellow spiral to its lower right is IC876, at 14.9th magnitude classified as a type Sa spiral. I think you can actually see some spiral appearance here.

The interesting trio of colored stars at the top left of the frame are 6.6 magnitude type A white star (center), and to its right is a 6.9 magnitude type K2, and to the left of the A star is 7.9 magnitude type K0 star.

Optics: 8" f/4 Newtonian Astrograph w/Baader MPCC Coma Corrector Platform: Astrophysics AP1200 Camera: Hutech Modified Canon XTi @ ISO800 Exposure: 6 x 5m = 30 mins Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing 8/10, Transparency 8/10 Outside Temperature: 55F Processing Tools: Photoshop CS2, Images Plus 3.82 HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS