APOD: The Comet and the Star Cluster (2016 Apr 11)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD Robot
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APOD: The Comet and the Star Cluster (2016 Apr 11)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:10 am

Image The Comet and the Star Cluster

Explanation: Comet Linear has become unexpectedly bright. The comet, discovered in 2000, underwent a 100-fold outburst just a week before it passed a mere 14 lunar distances from Earth late last month. The comet was captured here last week at about magnitude 6 -- just bright enough to be seen by the unaided eye -- passing in front of the distant globular star cluster M14. Comet 252/P LINEAR is one of a rare group of comets that vacillate between the Earth and Jupiter every 5 years. How the comet will evolve from here is unknown, but hopes run high that it will remain a good object for binoculars in northern skies for the next week or two.

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Boomer12k
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Re: APOD: The Comet and the Star Cluster (2016 Apr 11)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:38 am

Nice Pic...

Comet, Comet, big and bright....

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Asterhole
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Re: APOD: The Comet and the Star Cluster (2016 Apr 11)

Post by Asterhole » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:28 pm

It appears that the comet is - or was heading directly toward an Earthbound view since there are no visible tails(?) Well, I sure hope to catch a glimpse...
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Joe Stieber
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Re: APOD: The Comet and the Star Cluster (2016 Apr 11)

Post by Joe Stieber » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:29 pm

Asterhole wrote:It appears that the comet is - or was heading directly toward an Earthbound view since there are no visible tails(?) Well, I sure hope to catch a glimpse...
There is a very faint tail, it points almost straight down in this image (towards about the 6:30 o'clock position). In any case, 252P is heading away from us since the closest approach to earth was on March 22, 2016, and it's also past perihelion (March 15, 2016) as indicated at the Minor Planet Center page for 252P/LINEAR.

Since it's moving away from both the earth and the sun, take your glimpse sooner rather than later! I was out to the New Jersey Pinelands for another view yesterday morning, April 10th, around 3:30 am local time (07:30 UT). The comet was a fine sight in my 16x70 binoculars, but I could not spot it with unaided eyes. However, I was able to capture 252P as a distinct greenish-blue patch with a single 5-second exposure using my DSLR and a 100 mm lens on a fixed tripod.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: The Comet and the Star Cluster (2016 Apr 11)

Post by Ann » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:45 pm

Joe Stieber wrote:
Since it's moving away from both the earth and the sun, take your glimpse sooner rather than later! I was out to the New Jersey Pinelands for another view yesterday morning, April 10th, around 3:30 am local time (07:30 UT). The comet was a fine sight in my 16x70 binoculars, but I could not spot it with unaided eyes. However, I was able to capture 252P as a distinct greenish-blue patch with a single 5-second exposure using my DSLR and a 100 mm lens on a fixed tripod.
Yes, that's what I thought it would look like, like in the images by Chris Cook and Marion Haligowski in the Recent Submissions thread. But in today's APOD the comet is almost pure green.

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Re: APOD: The Comet and the Star Cluster (2016 Apr 11)

Post by Bshorb » Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:10 am

Can anyone explain the dark black worm-like structures throughout this photo, that appear devoid of stars? Is it an artifact of some sort?

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Re: APOD: The Comet and the Star Cluster (2016 Apr 11)

Post by geckzilla » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:44 am

Bshorb wrote:Can anyone explain the dark black worm-like structures throughout this photo, that appear devoid of stars? Is it an artifact of some sort?
That's your brain trying hard to find patterns in what is essentially random noise. I guess it's possible that there is a molecular cloud here or there, but mostly it's just random stars. Looks like there might be some integrated flux nebula accentuating some of it, too.
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