Comet Section        


August 2, 2022 – ALPO Comet News for August 2022


This month’s ALPO Comet News will be shorter than usual. Basically, I’ve been having trouble finding the time to support the production of these reports. To lighten the work load a bit, I am only highlighting comets brighter than magnitude 12.0 rather than 13.0. So, a few comets from the past few months which might be expected to be discussed in these pages have been dropped. The upside is this issue is actually going out on the 1st of the month (OK, the 2nd for posting on the ALPO site)!

C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) is near its peak brightness this month at around magnitude 8. Northern hemisphere observers only have another month or two to observe it before it travels too far south. Southern observers will be able to continue observing K2 for a long time to come. Among the fainter comets, 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann has split once again. Michael Jäger has reported on the comet-ml list that at least two faint 19th magnitude secondaries have been imaged. With 73P reaching its peak brightness at ~11th magnitude at the end of August, perhaps a few more secondaries will be detected.

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will be around 12th magnitude this month. The comet is continuing to brighten at a healthy rate increasing confidence that it will become a nice binocular or even borderline naked eye object early next year.

In June the ALPO Comets Section received 72 magnitude estimates and 36 images/sketches of comets C/2022 E3 (ZTF), C/2020 V2 (ZTF), C/2020 R7 (ATLAS), C/2020 K1 (PANSTARRS), C/2019 U5 (PANSTARRS), C/2019 T4 (ATLAS), C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), 426P/PANSTARRS, 377P/Scotti, 291P/NEAT, 117P/Helin-Roman-Alu, 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, 61P/Shajn-Schaldach, 22P/Kopff, 12P/Pons-Brooks, and 9P/Tempel. A big thanks to our recent contributors: Dan Bartlett, J. J. Gonzalez, Jose Guilherme de Souza Aguiar, Christian Harder, Carl Hergenrother, Eliot Herman, Michael Jäger, John Maikner, Martin Mobberley, Charles Morris, Uwe Pilz, Raymond Ramlow, Michael Rosolina, Gregg Ruppel, John D. Sabia, Chris Schur, Tenho Tuomi, and Chris Wyatt.

I’d like to especially thank Charles Morris and Jose Guilherme de Souza Aguiar who have agreed to contribute their observations to the ALPO. Both Charles and Jose were prolific past contributors and we welcome them back!

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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