APOD: Comet ATLAS Breaks Up (2020 Apr 16)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Comet ATLAS Breaks Up (2020 Apr 16)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:10 am

Image Comet ATLAS Breaks Up

Explanation: Cruising through the inner solar system, Comet ATLAS C2019/Y4 has apparently fragmented. Multiple separate condensations within its diffuse coma are visible in this telescopic close-up from April 12, composed of frames tracking the comet's motion against trailing background stars. Discovered at the end of December 2019, this comet ATLAS showed a remarkably rapid increase in brightness in late March. Northern hemisphere comet watchers held out hope that it would become a bright nake-eye comet as it came closer to Earth in late April and May. But fragmenting ATLAS is slowly fading in northern skies. The breakup of comets is not uncommon though. This comet ATLAS is in an orbit similar to the Great Comet of 1844 (C/1844 Y1) and both may be fragments of a single larger comet.

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Comet ATLAS Breaks Up (2020 Apr 16)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:34 am

APOD Robot wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:10 am
Image Comet ATLAS Breaks Up

Explanation: Cruising through the inner solar system, Comet ATLAS C2019/Y4 has apparently fragmented. Multiple separate condensations within its diffuse coma are visible in this telescopic close-up from April 12, composed of frames tracking the comet's motion against trailing background stars. Discovered at the end of December 2019, this comet ATLAS showed a remarkably rapid increase in brightness in late March. Northern hemisphere comet watchers held out hope that it would become a bright nake-eye comet as it came closer to Earth in late April and May. But fragmenting ATLAS is slowly fading in northern skies. The breakup of comets is not uncommon though. This comet ATLAS is in an orbit similar to the Great Comet of 1844 (C/1844 Y1) and both may be fragments of a single larger comet.
Snowstorm moving in, and truly awful seeing tonight (3.5 arcsec) so I can't quite resolve the fragments, but it's pretty apparent even so that the comet has broken up. The comet is a little less bright than last week, but its tail is longer and brighter.
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C_2019-Y4-_ATLAS__120.000secs_-30.jpg
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Chris

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Indigo_Sunrise
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Re: APOD: Comet ATLAS Breaks Up (2020 Apr 16)

Post by Indigo_Sunrise » Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:53 am

Still a very nice image, Chris. Thank you for sharing!
Forget the box, just get outside.

GeoXXXXX

Re: APOD: Comet ATLAS Breaks Up (2020 Apr 16)

Post by GeoXXXXX » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:04 am

Damn depressing how these comets almost never seem to pan out... :evil:

Eric

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orin stepanek
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Re: APOD: Comet ATLAS Breaks Up (2020 Apr 16)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:40 am

C2019Y4_20.04.13_1100px.jpg

Awe! Terrible death of a promising star! 😥 An old fart like me looks
forward to heavenly events of comets and new discoveries!
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Re: APOD: Comet ATLAS Breaks Up (2020 Apr 16)

Post by neufer » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:59 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
orin stepanek wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:40 am

Awe! Terrible death of a promising star! 😥

An old fart like me looks forward to heavenly
events of comets and new discoveries!
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Comet ATLAS Breaks Up (2020 Apr 16)

Post by TheZuke! » Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:32 pm

"She's breakin' up on us Captain!"
-Engineering Officer Montgomery Scott

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SETI: Fragmentation of Comet ATLAS Observed by Citizen Astronomers

Post by bystander » Sat Apr 18, 2020 3:40 pm

Fragmentation of Comet ATLAS Observed on the First
Crowd-Sourced Pictures from Citizen Astronomers

SETI Institute | Unistellar eVscopes Network | 2020 Apr 16
A group of citizen astronomers scattered all over the world has just demonstrated how a network of digital Unistellar eVscopes can work together to deliver the first-of-its-kind crowd-generated images of Comet ATLAS while its disintegrating.

Discovered in December, Comet ATLAS was expected to become the brightest comet of 2020, visible to the naked eye. Several days ago, however, astronomers began to suspect that the comet had split into multiple pieces when it began dimming rapidly. At Unistellar, this created a unique opportunity to summon our community of citizen astronomers together to collect a high-quality image of this beautiful, but dying cosmic phenomenon.

On the night of Saturday, April 11, dozens of eVscope users in Belgium, Finland, France, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other countries gathered virtually to set up eVscopes in their backyards, on balconies, or out in the countryside. Their locations varied, but they all had one and only one goal in mind: capture photos of the dying comet. A similar call for observations was released on Tuesday, April 14 for the US after demise of the comet was announced to image variation in the coma of the comet. ...
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