Saturday, March 23, 2024

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks: The View from Skull Valley, Utah

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks: The View from Skull Valley, Utah

Photographer James Peirce: "Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks was imaged from my Esprit 120ED telescope in the evening sky on March 8, 2024, in Skull Valley, Utah. It seems that outburst events in recent months have contributed to the fascinating tails of 12P/Pons-Brooks, including the so called horns, leading to its nickname Devil’s Comet. I have to say that this is the most dynamic and interesting comet I’ve imaged."

"Though 12P/Pons-Brooks won't have its closest approach to the Sun until April 21 (parhelion date), it's currently just visible to the unaided eye in very dark skies (Bortle Scale 1-3). For Northern Hemisphere viewers, look for it approximately 20 degrees above the horizon (2-fists held at arms-length) in the western sky (approximately 290 degrees azimuth) an hour after sunset. It's easily visible through a small telescope or binoculars if you know just where to look. This comet's brightness has been rather unpredictable thus far, but if it becomes brighter during the next two weeks, Comet12P could end up putting on a fun show—and could even be visible during the total solar eclipse on April 8 (Mexico, United States, Canada)." 

12P/Pons–Brooks is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 71 years. It fits the classical definition of a Halley-type comet with an orbital period between 20 and 200 years. It is also one of the brightest known periodic comets, reaching an absolute visual magnitude ~5 in its approach to perihelion.

Comet Pons-Brooks was discovered at Marseilles Observatory in July 1812 by Jean-Louis Pons.

The greenish coma of this comet has become relatively easy to observe in small telescopes.

Technical details: Esprit 120ED telescope on a AM5 (Burlebach tripod) along with a ZWO ASI2600MC Duo camera. Software: Adobe Photoshop, Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight.

Image Credit: James Peirce

James’ Website:

Location: Skull Valley, Utah Coordinates: 40.3988,-112.7205

Caption Credit: James Peirce; Jim Foster

Image Date: March 8, 2024

#NASA #Space #Astronomy #Science #Sun #Earth #Comets #Comet #Comet12PPonsBrooks #Perihelion #Lacerta #Constellation #SolarSystem #Astrophotography #JamesPeirce #Astrophotographer #CitizenScience #SkullValley #Utah #UnitedStates #STEM #Education #EPoD

No comments:

Post a Comment