Another Look at PanSTARRS K1

July 31, 2014

PanK1_010614_2 (2)

Another Look at PanSTARRS K1_2

Photographer: Dr Paolo Candy; Paolo's Web site
Summary Author: Dr Paolo Candy; Jim Foster

Shown above is Comet C/2012 (PanSTARRS K1) with its green-appearing coma and ion and dust tails. The narrower ion tail is lower than the dust tail on this image. It was captured on June 1, 2014, at 23:00 UT from Viterbo, Italy. PanSTARRS is an abbreviation for Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System. PanSTARRS KI also exhibited a rare sodium tail -- sodium atoms are likely formed in the coma. It's marked with "A" on the bottom photo, taken on June 9. This periodic comet will reach perihelion in late August of 2014.
Photo details: Comet coma: 1 hour total exposure; 1 LRGB (red green blue) ST-10XME with Marcon Ritchey-Chretien 20 inch; at F/2.8. This coma was also visible using my 9x63 binoculars. Sodium tail: Iinfrared image; Hoya R72 Longpass filter; Ritchey-Chretien Marcon 20 inch F/8 at F/2.8 with a ST-10XME; Omega Optical - Interference Sodium Filter, centered on 589 nm and bandwidth of 10 nm.