Observation by Robin Leadbeater: Five Low Resolution Comet Spectra

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Robin Leadbeater


Robin Leadbeater


2022 Mar 06 - 20:00


2022 Mar 13 - 00:03


104P Kowal
C/2019 L3 (ATLAS)
67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko
116P Wild
C/2020 V2 (ZTF)

  • ALPY 200 spectrograph
  • ATIK 428 ex camera
  • Celestron C11 SCT 280mm aperture f5.5

1 hour each


Wigton Cumbria

Target name

104P (Kowal) , C/2019 L3 (ATLAS), 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, 116P Wild, C/2020 V2 (ZTF)


Five Low Resolution Comet Spectra

About this image

The fortuitous placement of these five comets meant I could take hour long exposures of each, picking them off in turn during the night as they crossed the meridian.  Of the five comet spectra, four of them showed no obvious emission, only scattered sunlight.   104p Kowal though showed strong emission lines extending several arcmin from the central coma and deserves a closer look.

They were too faint to guide on when on the spectrograph slit so it was an opportunity to see how well the comet guiding feature in PHD2 works. The comets’ motion was measured between two exposures 10 min apart and entered into the software. The comet was then placed on the slit and auto-guiding set running using a field star. It worked pretty well, though an occasional extra nudge of the guiding position was sometimes needed during the full hour to keep the comet centred on the slit. 

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Nick James
Nick James, 2022 Mar 15 - 21:40 UTC

Fantastic work. I understand you've agreed to write this up for the next Comet's Tale.

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