55P/Tempel-Tuttle image of the day

January 19, 1998.

Image comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle

Credit & Copyright: Gerald Bramall & David Ratledge, UK.

This image was taken using a 6 inch Schmidt-Newtonian and a HiSIS CCD camera. It is a composite of 13 x 1-minute exposures - hence the multiple star images caused by the extremely rapid movement of the comet. The comet was 1.17 AU from the Sun and 0.36 AU from Earth. Dave Ratledge reported: "The camera actually broke down later in the evening ruining all subsequent images. Who says comet's don't bring bad luck! Visually Temple-Tuttle is very disappointing. It is faint and produces little dust so doesn't have a prominent tail and unless it passes very close to Earth it will be inconspicuous. In fact in its 1899 and 1932 perihelion it wasn't even seen at all. In the 1998 approach it was unfortunately closest before perihelion when it was approximately 33 million miles away and just seeing it was an achievement, which myself and Gerald Bramall did with my 16 inch."

S. O'Meara at Volcano, Hawaii, reports that on January 19.30: "w/ 4-inch R (174x), there's a roughly 13th-mag pseudonucleus in a slightly triangular inner coma that tapers into the tail; 15' spine tail in p.a. 35 deg slight parabolic shape to SE end of inner coma; outer coma diffuse and round".

Last updated: February 04, 1998
P. Jenniskens