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Comets

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.
Comet C/2012 X1

Comet C/2012 X1

Comet C/2013 R1

Comet C/2013 R1

Comet ISON

Comet ISON

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.
Comet Brewington (154P)

Comet Brewington (154P)

Comet Jager (290P)

Comet Jager (290P)

Comet Boattini (C/2013 V1)

Comet Boattini (C/2013 V1)

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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