Comet Garradd C/2009 P1

August 27, 2011

CometGarrard082211ChumackHRweb (2)

CometP1Garrardd_ChumackColorHRweb (2) Photographer: John Chumack; John’s Web page
Summary Author: John Chumack

Shown to the left is a new comet, Comet Garrardd C/2009 P1, as observed in early July. It was a magnitude 8.5 on this summer night – only detectable with a telescope or high power binoculars. The coma extends approximately 2.5 arc minutes. Comet Garrardd was also sporting a nice, little double tail.

The top photo was taken earlier this week. Note that Garradd is quite a bit brighter now -- currently 8.2 magnitude. Its tail is over 20 arc minutes longer than when viewed last month. Comet Garradd is currently moving through the constellation of Pegasus and is forecast to reach naked-eye visibility (6th magnitude, from darkened locations) perhaps as early as December.

Photo details: Image acquired from my observatory in Yellow Springs, Ohio, at approximately 4:30 a.m. local time with my homemade 16 in (406 mm) telescope and QHY8 CCD; 10 minute exposure.