Comet 103P Hartley

Comet 103P Hartley

This comet is much more fun than I had expected. October 5 and October 6 I was able to get some additional image time, in the Televue NP 101is. Unfortunately on both nights I was unable to get my autoguider to track the comet itself, so this first image is 14x 60 second exposures with the 1.5x Imaging Extender.

The second image I mixed it up a little bit: 16x 120 second exposures. The comet is beginning to show a tiny bit of a trail now. Interestingly this is less because of how close it is, and more because the tail is behind it. The tail should become visible again sometime in November, even though it will actually be further away.

Here’s an update for locating comet 103P Hartley, at least according to Stellarium. On October 19, the comet should appear about magnitude 5.5 – easily visible in binoculars, but challening to see with the naked eye in the city. It’s closed approach there is about 0.12 AU, or about 45 times further away than the moon is. While this comet is small and will eventually be vaporized, it’s easily influenced by gravitational perturbations. Could this comet one day find it’s way on a collision course with Earth? I sure hope not…

Comet 103P Hartley

Comet 103P Hartley

Comet 103P Hartley Locations for October

Comet 103P Hartley Locations for October

In addition to the updated map, here are the coordinates for it in the upcoming weeks in an RA DEC table (J2000)

Date @ 9:00 PM PST RA (J2000) Dec Magnitude Distance (AU = 150M km)
2010-10-11 3h 23m 32.0s +54 31’54.4″ 5.76 0.135
2010-10-12 3h 40m 46.5s +53 28’34.3″ 5.71 0.132
2010-10-13 3h 57m 41.7s +52 12’14.0″ 5.67 0.129
2010-10-14 4h 14m 06.3s +50 43’06.6″ 5.63 0.127
2010-10-15 4h 29m 50.8s +49 01’47.1″ 5.60 0.125
2010-10-16 4h 44m 48.3s +47 09’10.2″ 5.58 0.123
2010-10-17 4h 58m 54.1s +45 06’28.4″ 5.56 0.122
2010-10-18 5h 12m 05.8s +42 55’07.7″ 5.55 0.121
2010-10-19 5h 24m 22.8s +40 36’43.9″ 5.55 0.121
2010-10-20 5h 35m 45.9s +38 12’58.3″ 5.55 0.121
2010-10-21 5h 46m 17.0s +35 45’32.8″ 5.57 0.121
2010-10-22 5h 55m 58.7s +33 16’06.6″ 5.59 0.122
2010-10-23 6h 04m 54.2s +30 46’12.5″ 5.62 0.123
2010-10-24 6h 13m 06.5s +28 17’14.3″ 5.65 0.125
2010-10-25 6h 20m 38.0s +25 50’25.1″ 5.69 0.126
2010-10-26 6h 27m 34.7s +23 26’20.0″ 5.73 0.129
2010-10-27 6h 33m 56.9s +21 07’07.4″ 5.78 0.131
2010-10-28 6h 39m 48.1s +18 52’06.7″ 5.83 0.134
2010-10-29 6h 45m 11.1s +16 42’11.5″ 5.89 0.137
2010-10-30 6h 50m 08.2s +14 37’40.4″ 5.94 0.140
2010-10-31 6h 54m 41.7s +12 38’43.5″ 6.00 0.143
2010-11-01 6h 58m 53.4s +10 45’24.5″ 6.06 0.147
2010-11-02 7h 02m 45.1s +08 57’41.9″ 6.12 0.151
2010-11-03 7h 06m 18.5s +07 15’30.0″ 6.18 0.155
2010-11-04 7h 09m 35.1s +05 38’40.2″ 6.24 0.159
2010-11-05 7h 12m 36.1s +04 07’01.4″ 6.30 0.163
2010-11-06 7h 15m 22.7s +02 40’21.4″ 6.36 0.167
2010-11-07 7h 17m 56.0s +01 18’26.7″ 6.42 0.172
2010-11-08 7h 20m 17.0s +00 01’03.5″ 6.48 0.176
2010-11-09 7h 22m 26.6s -01 12’01.9″ 6.53 0.181
2010-11-10 7h 24m 25.6s -02 21’03.4″ 6.59 0.186
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