Comet Tuttle

Comet Tuttle

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I finally caught my first view of Comet Tuttle tonight after nearly a week of clouds and fog. It was easily spotted through a pair of 7x50 binoculars glowing gently below the western tip of Triangulum. I expected to see a small comet but was surprised by how large it actually was. Though not quite as big as Comet Holmes, I estimated Tuttle to be over half the diameter of the Moon or about 20 arc minutes. No color was discernible through either binoculars or a C14. A 40 minute exposure of Tuttle however reveals that it glows emerald green. A faint tail is also discernable pointing upward to 11 o’clock. The comet is moving very rapidly southward against the background stars as seen in this LRGB image taken through a Borg 77ED f4.3 refractor and ATK16HR camera. Tuttle is a periodic comet that comes every 13.6 years and is just two days from its closest approach to Earth in this image.

Coordinates       :

Date Imaged       :

December 30, 2007

Lens       :

Borg 77ED at f4.3

Camera       :

Atik 16HR, Astronomik filters

Exposure       :

LRGB = 9:9:10:12 minutes

Mount       :

Losmandy Titan

Location       :

Stardust Observatory, Baguio, Philippines