Comet Ikeya-Zhang
by Philipp Keller and Christian Fuchs

Ikeya-Zhang Comet
Ikeya-Zhang Comet
Item# Z2315
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Product Description

SBIG ST10 E
10.03.2002, 19.00 UT
L=2x60s 2xBin, R,G,B=2x30s, 3xBin
Pentax 100mm SDUF f/4 400mm
SBIG Filter Set provided with the CFW8
2.8 Pixel unbinned
MaximDL LRGB composit, PS 5.5


This image from March 3, 2002 captured the active comet's bright, condensed coma and a delightful array of subtle structures in its developing tail. The tail stretches for 5 degrees or so against a background of stars in the constellation Pisces. Cataloged as comet C/2002 C1, improved orbit determinations now make it seem very likely that Comet Ikeya-Zhang has been around here before. Refined calculations indicate this comet's last trip through the inner Solar System was 341 years ago, in 1661, when it was recorded as a bright comet.

Image: Philipp Keller and Christian Fuchs
Text: APOD