APOD: Comet PanSTARRS and the Helix Nebula (2016 Jun 05)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Comet PanSTARRS and the Helix Nebula (2016 Jun 05)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:07 am

Image Comet PanSTARRS and the Helix Nebula

Explanation: It's rare that such different objects are imaged so close together. Such an occasion is occurring now, though, and was captured two days ago in combined parallel exposures from the Canary Islands of Spain. On the lower right, surrounded by a green coma and emanating an unusually split blue ion tail diagonally across the frame, is Comet C/2013 X1 (PanSTARRS). This giant snowball has been falling toward our Sun and brightening since its discovery in 2013. Although Comet PannSTARRS is a picturesque target for long-duration exposures of astrophotography, it is expected to be only barely visible to the unaided eye when it reaches its peak brightness in the next month. On the upper left, surrounded by red-glowing gas, is the also-picturesque Helix Nebula. At 700 light years distant, the Helix is not only much further away than the comet, but is expected to retain its appearance for thousands of years.

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Boomer12k
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Re: APOD: Comet PanSTARRS and the Helix Nebula (2016 Jun 05)

Post by Boomer12k » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:55 am

Very Nice...

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heehaw

Re: APOD: Comet PanSTARRS and the Helix Nebula (2016 Jun 05)

Post by heehaw » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:25 pm

The Helix nebula must be sweating at the near miss!

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Re: APOD: Comet PanSTARRS and the Helix Nebula (2016 Jun 05)

Post by Joe Stieber » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:55 pm

It's a fine picture as far as it goes, but the framing is irksome. Both the Helix and Comet C/2013 X1 (PANSTARRS) are crammed into the corners, and even part of the comet's dust tail is chopped off. The primary subjects of the picture need some breathing room around them! Besides the too-small field of view, it is presented with the south up and east to the right, a 180-degree rotation from what one would have seen looking at them with binoculars in the morning sky. Also, the third star of a distinctive three-star row capped by fifth magnitude Upsilon Aquarii is cut off by the framing (Upsilon is the bright star to the right of the Helix, and this three-star row provides a great reference for finding the Helix with your binoculars). The next morning, 04-June-2016, the comet was between Upsilon and the Helix.

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Re: APOD: Comet PanSTARRS and the Helix Nebula (2016 Jun 05)

Post by Fred the Cat » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:20 pm

I wish there was an antonym for serendipitous to describe today’s APOD but I can’t find one. Have to use a quote from Katori Hall, “Serendipity always rewards the prepared.” I'm not sure that it always does but the rest of us got the benefit today! Thanks for the time and effort that went into today’s image :!:

But I was expecting a rerun! :wink:
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