|PINE MOUNTAIN OBSERVATORY
Astrophotography with 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (SCT) “piggybacked” on PMO’s 24-inch telescope.
|Often described as “dirty snowballs,” these visitors arrive from the outer solar system. All develop a “coma” of gas and dust around the small nucleus, and some develop a noticeable tail.|
|Three of the major comets observed in 2013 (left to right):
Comet LINEAR (C/2012 X1), Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) and Comet ISON (C/2012 S1). Unfortunately Comet ISON disintegrated during its close encounter with the Sun on Thanksgiving Day, and therefore did not put on a spectacular show in early December as originally hoped for. Star trails in the photos are due to tracking the comet’s motion during the exposures.
|Examples of minor comets that may be difficult to observe visually, but which may be photographed:
Comet Brewington (154P), Comet Jager (290P) and Comet Boattini (C/2013 V1). “P” denotes a periodic comet that has a short orbital period (often just a few years) around the Sun.
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