APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

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APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:07 am

Image Comet Catalina Tails

Explanation: A new year's treat for binoculars, as 2016 begins Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) now sweeps through planet Earth's predawn skies near bright Arcturus, alpha star of Bootes. But this telescopic mosaic from December 21 follows the pretty tails of the comet across a field of view as wide as 10 full moons. The smattering of distant galaxies and faint stars in the background are in the constellation Virgo. Trailing behind the comet's orbit, Catalina's dust tail fans out below and left in the frame. Its ion tail is angled toward the top right, away from the Sun and buffeted by the solar wind. On January 17, the outward bound visitor from the Oort Cloud will make its closest approach to Earth, a mere 110 million kilometers away, seen near bright stars along the handle of the Big Dipper.

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Jim Leff
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Re: APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

Post by Jim Leff » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:11 am

Any chance it will be visible to naked eye on the 17th?

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neufer
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Re: APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

Post by neufer » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:24 am

Jim Leff wrote:
Any chance it will be visible to naked eye on the 17th?
Tonight it is 6th magnitude and visible near Arcturus with binoculars. Catalina is not expected to get any brighter than 6th magnitude.
Art Neuendorffer

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

Post by Ann » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:49 am

This is one of many great Comet Catalina pictures that have been posted in the December Recent Submissions thread in The Observation Deck forum. José J. Chambó's fine image was posted there by Sandgirl on December 28 (note that she posted many other images too on the same day). Another great Comet Catalina image posted by Sandgirl on December 28 is David Eagle's Comet Catalina Disconnection Event Animation - 21st December 2015. Do check it out! Both José J. Chambó's and David Eagle's images show the comet on the same day, December 21. Yet another fine Catalina image was posted by Sandgirl on the same day. That one was made by Fritz Helmut Hemmerich and is a composite image showing how the comet changed position and appearance in 24 hours.

It is interesting to see how the long ion tail changes appearance when it is pummeled by charged particles from the solar wind, while the stubby dust tail stays much the same. Today's APOD really gives us a good idea of how chaotic and rapidly variable the long ion tail is.

Anyway, I need your help. Can anyone tell me what galaxies are seen in today's APOD almost right "in front of" Comet Catalina? While you're at it, could you tell me what galaxies are seen at top right in Fritz Helmut Hemmerich's image, and what is that blue star at bottom right? And what is that bluish star seemingly tangled in the comet's tail in Eric Recurt's image, posted by Sandgirl on December 26?

Thanks in advance for your help! And A Happy New Year to everyone! :D

Ann
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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jan 01, 2016 8:16 am

Ann wrote:Can anyone tell me what galaxies are seen in today's APOD almost right "in front of" Comet Catalina?
You can usually get this kind of information by uploading an image to http://nova.astrometry.net.
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Chris

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Re: APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

Post by PepeChambo » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:45 pm

Ann wrote:This is one of many great Comet Catalina pictures that have been posted in the December Recent Submissions thread in The Observation Deck forum...
Thanks Ann ;)

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Re: APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

Post by ta152h0 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:36 pm

the 59 Chevrolet had a nice tail also.My mother had a 61 Chrysler with a significant tail treatment. Think there was an active designer in that period.
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Re: APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

Post by starsurfer » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:47 pm

I think Ford Mustang's look nice.

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Re: APOD: Comet Catalina Tails (2016 Jan 01)

Post by ta152h0 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:52 pm

Future comets like BelAir, comet Imperial and other and other interesting tail treatments
Wolf Kotenberg