Another major outburst of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks

Richard Miles on behalf of the Comet Chasers team run by Helen Usher reports another major outburst of this unusual periodic comet. This follows the major outburst seen in July. The outburst was detected in images taken by the 2.0-m Faulkes Telescope North on Maui on behalf of Jose Manuel Pérez Redondo, Spain on October 5.27. These were compared with observations made by the same telescope which had been scheduled by children from St Mary’s Primary School Bridgend and which were recorded on October 4.21.  Images taken by Denis Buczynski on October 4.93 show the comet faint at magnitude 15.6. The discovery images show the comet had risen to 11.7 by October 5.27.  Following the alert Alan Hale submitted observations made using the 0.35-m LCO telescope on Maui which showed the comet at 12.0 on October 5.23.

The comet is now around magnitude 11.6 and shows an expanding coma with a similar morphology to the last outburst. The teardrop shape is extended to the east with a dark lane apparent in PA 80 degrees.

This comet is well positioned for observation from the northern hemisphere. Please observe it at every opportunity and report your results to the section.

The image below was taken on October 5.81 using the Alnitak Observatory CDK 17 in Spain as part of the BAA time allocation provided by Maxim Usatov.

Further reading

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