91 Days to Deep Impact . and Counting


Apr 4, 2005

 


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#12491 Apr 4, 2005

On July 4, the NASA Deep Impact probe will crash into periodic comet

9P/Tempel 1. Hopefully the impact will cause a dramatic increase in

brightness. Meanwhile, I have been imaging 9P as it slowly wends

its way through Virgo. Images and accompanying data at

home.att.net/~dpersyk/new.htm



Last night afforded a unique imaging opportunity: There were no

stars brighter than magnitude 15 within 3 arc minutes of 9P. That

allowed me to guide on the comet head and obtain a relatively high

statistics image of the comet structure uncluttered by star trails.

My previous comet guiding attempts were foiled when the comet would

pass over a star. My VLM was only 2.5 but long integration time

eventually wins out over light pollution.



The image comprises 8 x 10 minutes with the E160 and SXV-H9 camera.

I have added isophote and color intensity contours and some

additional supporting data to my New Images page.



My sincere thanks to Jeff Terry for loan of the H9 camera and to

Giovanni Sostero (Remanzacco Observatory, Italy) for the method of

employing the Rainbow Palette in AstroArt 3 to bring out structure.



Thank you for visiting my site.



Clear skies,



Dennis Persyk

Igloo Observatory Home Page dpersyk.home.att.net

Hampshire, IL



New Images home.att.net/~dpersyk/new.htm



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