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: Reports of secondary nucleus in comet 168P (Hergenrother)  ( 7286 )
drclay
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« : October 21, 2012, 12:43:32 AM »

Reports of secondary nucleus in comet 168P (Hergenrother) have come in from several observers (all quite experienced) around the world, notably from Gianluca Masi from October 20 (UT).
This comet has been routinely measured by ASO during the past two months and images archived; two such images are posted below from the high resolution CCD camera on the 0.5m RC Astrograph at f/4.9; each photo is 40 seconds long and the field of view of each image has NORTH up and measures about 17' x 11' arc.

One image is from the morning of October 18, the other October 20 and the density of each has been adjusted to reveal details within the head of the comet; clearly can be seen the elongation of the nucleus, or central condensation, of the comet in the same direction as its tail.  In both images there is a suspect actual separation of the main nucleus and what may be a secondary fragment following in the direction of the tail, very close to the actual center of the comet.

Further observations are planned which hopefully will reveal if this is indeed a secondary nucleus or separated fragment from this comet.

UPDATE OCT 21:   High resolution images from Oct. 21 posted at:

http://www.arksky.org/php/cdata.php?object=168PxxxHergenrother

showing overall comet morphology followed by deep density negative image exhibiting elongation of nucleus.


Dr. Clay

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« : October 21, 2012, 02:26:36 PM drclay »

Dr. Clay
drclay@tcworks.net
ASO Petit Jean Mountain /MPC H41
ASO Petit Jean Mountain South /MPC H45
ASO West Conway /MPC H43
.......serving astronomy since 1971
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