Nick James


That’s a good question. The BAA has a proud history of encouraging and collecting observations from its observers and then performing analysis on the results, often in cooperation with professional partners.

In the Comet Section we archive all suitable submitted images here. These images help us understand the morphology (shape and activity) of comets and their tails. Estimates of brightness (photometry) are submitted to COBS or directly and these are used to generate comet magnitude parameters and look for differences from return to return. They also contribute to predictions for future returns. Positions (astrometry) are submitted directly to the MPC and these go towards computing the orbital path of comets. Monitoring comets for outbursts is also important work which often leads to very interesting results. Have a look at the results for the recent outburst of 174P reported here

A summary of observations of bright comets is published annually in the JBAA and special events (such as outbursts) are written up as papers. We also have a section discussion list here which is used as a forum for comet related discussions. We have close links with international comet groups and professionals and we know that observations from BAA observers are often used in their analyses.