Comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann

May 08, 2006


Provided and copyright by: Paolo Candy, Cimini Astronomical Observatory
Summary authors & editors: Paolo Candy

The photo above of Comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann was captured from the Cimini Astronomical Observatory in Soriano, Italy on April 13, 2006. Fragments B and G of this comet were obtained using the Ritchey-Crétien 20" f/8 telescope (4,000 mm focal length. Fragment B is glowing like a 9th magnitude star, whereas fragment G has a visual magnitude of 12. In May 2006, these fragments will fly past Earth, closer than any comet has come in more than twenty years. The closest fragment will be about six million miles away--or twenty-five times farther than the Moon, according to Don Yeomans, head of NASA's Near Earth Object Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This interesting comet could be visible to naked eye in later in May.

Related Links: