Comet Section        


July 7, 2022 – ALPO Comet News for July 2022


The comet of the moment is C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS). Currently around 8th magnitude, C/2017 K2 has become an interesting object for both visual and imaging observers. While K2 is visible from both hemispheres, the second brightest comet of the month, C/2021 E3 (ZTF) at 9-10th magnitude, is solely a southern hemisphere object. A number of fainter comets are in the 10th to 13th magnitude range, including 22P/Kopff, 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, 169P/NEAT, C/2019 L3 (ATLAS), C/2019 T4 (ATLAS), C/2020 V2 (ZTF), C/2021 P4 (PANSTARRS), and C/2022 E3 (ZTF). C/2022 E3 is still looking like it will become a nice borderline naked eye object in 2023.

In June the ALPO Comets Section received 52 magnitude estimates and 34 images/sketches of comets C/2022 L2 (ATLAS), C/2022 E3 (ZTF), C/2021 P4 (ATLAS), C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS), C/2021 E3 (ZTF), C/2021 A1 (Leonard), C/2020 V2 (ZTF), C/2020 R7 (ATLAS), C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS), C/2019 U5 (PANSTARRS), C/2019 T4 (ATLAS), C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), 337P/WISE, 327P/Van Ness, 325P/Yang-Gao, 287P/Christensen, 117P/Helin-Roman-Alu, 116P/Wild, 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, 22P/Kopff, and 12P/Pons-Brooks. A big thanks to our recent contributors: Dan Bartlett, John Chumack, J. J. Gonzalez, Christian Harder, Carl Hergenrother, Eliot Herman, Michael Jäger, John Maikner, Martin Mobberley, Michael Phillips, Uwe Pilz, Raymond Ramlow, Michael Rosolina, Gregg Ruppel, John D. Sabia, Chris Schur, Tenho Tuomi, and Chris Wyatt.

In addition to observations submitted directly to the ALPO, we occasionally use data from other sources to augment our analysis. We would like to acknowledge with thanks observations submitted directly to the ALPO as well as those originally submitted to the International Comet Quarterly, Minor Planet Center, and COBS Comet Observation Database. We would also like to thank the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for making available their Small-Body Browser and Orbit Visualizer and Seiichi Yoshida for his Comets for Windows programs that are used to produce the lightcurves and orbit diagrams in these pages. And last but not least, we’d like to thank Syuichi Nakano and the Minor Planet Center for their comet orbit elements, the asteroid surveys and dedicated comet hunters for their discoveries, and all of the observers who volunteer their time to adding to our knowledge of these amazing objects.

The monthly ALPO Comet News PDF can be found here. A shorter version of this report is posted on a dedicated Cloudy Nights forum. All are encouraged to join the discussion over at Cloudy Nights.

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