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Finally see distant galaxies, and in partnership with SETI Institute, leverage its ease of use to contribute to science.
Finally see distant galaxies, and in partnership with SETI Institute, leverage its ease of use to contribute to science.
Finally see distant galaxies, and in partnership with SETI Institute, leverage its ease of use to contribute to science.
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Seeing the long period Comet C/2017 O1 with an eVscope

Posted by Franck Marchis
27 likes

There is a comet in the sky, its name is C/2017 O1 and it is probably the first visit of this long period comet in the inner part of the solar system. We observed it with the evScope prototype this month.

When it was discovered on July 19, 2017 by the All Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) system, Comet O1 ASAS-SN was located on the constellation of Cetus and had a faint magnitude of 15.3. Interestingly, if one eVscope was pointed in this area of the sky it could have detected it. A few short days, however, the comet jumped up a hundred-fold in brightness to magnitude 10 as it came closer to the sun and its activity increased.

Using our Unistellar prototype our team observed it from Aubagne, France on October 16 2017. During this night, the comet was moving from the Perseus to the Camelopardalis constellations.   We used our Automatic Field Detection to identify the FOV and find the target and in 5 min we had pinpoint the comet!

Comet C/2017 O1 detected by the AFD in the eyepiece
Comet C/2017 O1 detected by the AFD in the eyepiece

The integrated magnitude of the comet was predicted to be around 12.1 from the JPL Horizons ephemeris but several observers reported a magnitude of 9-10. 

Quick Astrophotography picture of the comet 2017O1 made by combining  images (~8 min) acquired with the eVscope prototype at Aubagne, France.
Quick Astrophotography picture of the comet 2017O1 made by combining images (~8 min) acquired with the eVscope prototype at Aubagne, France.

Interestingly, recent observations of the comet shows that the comet is still active and its brightness remains the same. It is possible it was caught it in an outburst and the community of professional and amateur astronomers should continue to monitor it to better understand what is going on with this icy body. This is the kind of scientific study that we will be able to do combining observations from all eVscopes.

This is probably the first visit of this long period comet in the inner part of the solar system. Since more all-sky surveys are becoming available (Pan-STARRS, ASASSN, Black-Gems,..) more comets like this one will be detected in the future. "More comets" also  means more targets to study and enjoy with your eVscope!

Comet C/2017 O1 observed in the eyepiece of the eVscope
Comet C/2017 O1 observed in the eyepiece of the eVscope

 

Al Teich, Jim Bundy, and 25 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Franck Marchis Collaborator on

      @AB-Proved Several people asked us to show what one see in the eyepiece that's why we took a picture directly in it.

    2. Missing avatar

      AB-Proved
      Superbacker
      on

      stupid question... why taken photo with a phone... thought you get the view of the telescope on the app on the phone

    3. Missing avatar

      Thomas Randall on

      Awesome! Makes me wish I could get this scope SOONER! Congrats!