APOD: Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring (2024 Mar 09)

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APOD: Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring (2024 Mar 09)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Mar 09, 2024 5:06 am

Image Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring

Explanation: As spring approaches for northern skygazers Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is growing brighter. Currently visible with small telescopes and binoculars the Halley-type comet could reach naked eye visibility in the coming weeks. Seen despite a foggy atmosphere, the comet's green coma and long tail hover near the horizon, in this well-composed deep night skyscape from Revuca, Slovakia recorded on March 5. In the sky above the Halley-type comet, the Andromeda (right) and Triangulum galaxies flank bright star Mirach, beta star of the constellation Andromeda. The two spiral galaxies are members of our local galaxy group and over 2.5 million light-years distant. Comet Pons-Brooks is a periodic visitor to the inner Solar System and less than 14 light-minutes away. Reaching its perihelion on April 21, this comet should be visible in the sky during the April 8 total solar eclipse.

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Re: APOD: Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring (2024 Mar 09)

Post by Ann » Sat Mar 09, 2024 7:31 am

Yes, this is a lovely picture! :D

2024_03_05_Pons-Brooks_Revuca_1500px[1].png
Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring.
Image Credit & Copyright: Petr Horálek/
Institute of Physics in Opava

I love the soft colors of the misty landscape and the crisp sky above. I guess this is a composite image, but to me that doesn't detract from either the beauty of the "truth" of the image. To all you doubters out there, why do you think that the Apollo 11 pictures from the surface of the Moon didn't show any stars in the sky? It's because those pictures weren't composite images intended to bring out the stars in the sky along with the surface of the Moon.

I love the colors of the earthly landscape, but I also like the colors of the objects in the sky. Bright red giant Mirach looks appropriately yellow-orange, A5-type mu And looks perhaps a little bluer than it should, whereas lovely blue B3-type nu And isn't being given the cerulean glory that it deserves. That's a fairly minor point, though. Note how the center of Andromeda seems to be the same shade of yellow as Mirach (in reality, Andromeda would be a little paler), and the blue arms of Andromeda seem to echo the bluish color of mu And. I like it!

And the comet looks absolutely gorgeous! The caption calls it green, but to me the comet coma is cyan-colored, not green. To me it looks like this, ███, not like this ███ (except in a small "crescent" round its coma), and it certainly does not look like this ███.

Comet Pons Brooks Petr Horalek.png

And the ion tail of the comet is blue. How nice to see! :D

Finally, the caption contains a mistake.
APOD Robot wrote:

In the sky above the Halley-type comet, the Andromeda (right) and Triangulum galaxies flank bright star Mirach, beta star of the constellation Andromeda.
This is correct, but when it is put like this, it may lead you to believe that the Triangulum galaxy (M33) should be seen in today's APOD. That is not the case, as M33 is off to the left as seen from the APOD's perspective.


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Re: APOD: Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring (2024 Mar 09)

Post by Knight of Clear Skies » Sat Mar 09, 2024 8:26 am

That's a gorgeous image. Definitely a composite to get that much depth on Andromeda but it's been done very skillfully, it looks natural.

I'll be keeping an eye on this comet. I don't believe it's expected to become more than faintly visible to the naked eye but it should be good through binoculars and telescopes.

I was lucky enough to see NeoWise in 2020 and made this timelapse:

https://youtu.be/iWtgyLQd8ik?si=r_Q-Tq-7SlO05cVw

It certainly qualified as a great comet from my point of view.
Caradon Observatory, Cornwall, UK.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring (2024 Mar 09)

Post by Ann » Sat Mar 09, 2024 4:46 pm

Knight of Clear Skies wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 8:26 am That's a gorgeous image. Definitely a composite to get that much depth on Andromeda but it's been done very skillfully, it looks natural.

I'll be keeping an eye on this comet. I don't believe it's expected to become more than faintly visible to the naked eye but it should be good through binoculars and telescopes.

I was lucky enough to see NeoWise in 2020 and made this timelapse:

https://youtu.be/iWtgyLQd8ik?si=r_Q-Tq-7SlO05cVw

It certainly qualified as a great comet from my point of view.
Great timelapse, Knight!

It's interesting that the two comets are so different. Comet Neowise, at least in your video, had a bright broad yellow dust tail and a barely discernible ion tail. For comet Pons-Brooks, the situation is reversed. The blue ion tail is very noticeable, but I can hardly see a dust tail.

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Re: APOD: Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring (2024 Mar 09)

Post by Cousin Ricky » Sat Mar 09, 2024 4:52 pm

Ann wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 7:31 am Finally, the caption contains a mistake.
APOD Robot wrote:

In the sky above the Halley-type comet, the Andromeda (right) and Triangulum galaxies flank bright star Mirach, beta star of the constellation Andromeda.
This is correct, but when it is put like this, it may lead you to believe that the Triangulum galaxy (M33) should be seen in today's APOD. That is not the case, as M33 is off to the left as seen from the APOD's perspective.

I was wondering if this should be called an error, since the text is technically true. But it is certainly misleading in the context of this photo.

Potentially more serious is that the link from today’s APOD page to the forum is not secure; the URL starts with http instead of https.

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Re: APOD: Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring (2024 Mar 09)

Post by dcrooks1960 » Sat Mar 09, 2024 7:20 pm

One might also refer to M33 in this context as "Sir Not Appearing in this Picture". :mrgreen:

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Re: APOD: Comet Pons-Brooks in Northern Spring (2024 Mar 09)

Post by Knight of Clear Skies » Sun Mar 10, 2024 7:32 am

Ann wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 4:46 pm Great timelapse, Knight!

It's interesting that the two comets are so different. Comet Neowise, at least in your video, had a bright broad yellow dust tail and a barely discernible ion tail. For comet Pons-Brooks, the situation is reversed. The blue ion tail is very noticeable, but I can hardly see a dust tail.

Ann
Glad you like it.

I think this is because Pons-Brooks still isn't very bright and is ejecting comparatively little dust. The dimmer comets tend to show a green coma, an ion tail and not much else.
Caradon Observatory, Cornwall, UK.