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Catalina Fly-by, 


            Tony Cook

Catalina Fly-by

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Televue TV-85

Mounts: 10 Micron 1000 HPS

Focal reducers: TeleVue TRF-2008 0.8x

Software: Russle Croman GradientXTerminator  ·  Noel Carbonni Astrotools  ·  Mike Unsold Images Plus  ·  Photoshop CS 2

Dates:Jan. 30, 2016

Frames: 155x198" ISO800

Integration: 8.5 hours

Darks: ~128

Flats: ~100

Flat darks: ~100

Avg. Moon age: 20.69 days

Avg. Moon phase: 65.22%

Basic astrometry details job: 938360

Resolution: 8368x2162

Locations: Home, Bramhope, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom; Dark Sky Site, Kirby Malzeard, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Data source: Backyard


A panel showing four key moments as Catalina approaches its closest encounter with Earth and then flies by us - the comet is moving from right (closest to the sun) to left.

You can see a number of changes: first the coma grows and finally starts to shrink in size as the comet approaches and then retreats; the ion tail is strongest when the comet is nearest the sun and gradually fades as the comet moves further away from the sun; the coma is also brightest and densest when the comet is heated by the sun and gradually thins and becomes more transparent as the comet cools; the angular separation of Earth from the plane of the comets orbit is changing throughout this sequence and we can see this as the angle between the ion tail and the dust tail changes from our point of view; the dust tail is like a fan - thin in the plane of the comets orbit but with a broad spread when seen from the side.

The four panels have the same orientation - north to left. The key dates right to left are: 21st December 2015, 8th January 2016, 15th January 2016 and 30th January 2016.

Other images of C/2013 US10

29th December 2015
1st January 2016
9th January 2016
15th January 2016
31st January 2016
28th February 2016
30th March 2016

3D Stereo (relaxed eyes) 15th January 2016
3D Stereo (crossed eyes) 15th January 2016
Evolution sequence



Tony Cook
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons


Catalina Fly-by, 


            Tony Cook

In these public groups

Cloudy Nights
Comets Imaging