Outburst of faint periodic comet 285P/LINEAR

Forums Comets Outburst of faint periodic comet 285P/LINEAR

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    Nick James

    On August 6 Mike Kelley reported a >4 magnitude outburst of this faint periodic comet:


    The current MPC predicted magnitude is 19.6 but the comet was observed last night at 15.0.

    From ZTF data the outburst occurred somewhere between July 31.2 and Aug 3.3. Astrometry reported on MPEC 2022-P82 suggests it was in outburst on Aug 1.3:


    Peter Carson and I imaged the comet last night from Fregenal de la Sierra, Spain and Chelmsford, UK respectively. I got a magnitude of 15.0 using Astrometrica with a 9 arcsec radius aperture and Peter reported 14.8 in a 9.1 arcsec aperture (both unfiltereed IMX455 vs Gaia G).

    This comet is well placed for us in the evening sky although the Moon is now interfering. It will be interesting to see how this outburst develops.


    Nick James

    This comet continues to fade and become more diffuse following its outburst on Aug 1. Thank you to all of you who have sent in observations. Please keep observing this object as it expands and fades.

    The remarkable weather in SE England means that I have managed to image it every night since the outburst was announced on August 6. My lightcurve and a rather jerky GIF showing the development is attached to this post. The comet has now faded to around 15.7. Still a long way to get back to its ephemeris magnitude of 19.5.

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