Comet Section        


September 1, 2022 – ALPO Comet News for September 2022

C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) continues to dominate the attention of comet observers. It is currently the brightest comet in the sky at around magnitude 8, a position it should hold for a couple more months. Unfortunately for those at northern latitudes, September will probably be the last month to observe C/2017 K2 before it is lost in the glow of dusk. Southern observers will be able to follow the comet without interruption for many months to come.

Five other comets will be brighter than magnitude 12 though all may be fainter than magnitude 10.5 to 11.0. 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann continues its habit of shedding secondary nuclei and so far, 5 new ones have been reported (though all are faint at 17-19th magnitude). C/2019 L3 (ATLAS) should return to view after its solar conjunction, first for southern observers, and later in the month for the northern hemisphere. C/2020 V2 (ZTF) and C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will brighten to around magnitude 11 by the end of September but will both get even brighter in 2023. Finally, C/2022 P1 (NEOWISE) is a brand-new discovery and due to its very rapid rate of brightening may be a 11th magnitude object this month.

Last month the ALPO Comets Section received 60 magnitude estimates and 38 images/sketches of comets C/2022 L1 (Catalina), C/2022 E3 (ZTF), C/2021 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), 285P/LINEAR, 117P/Helin-Roman-Alu, 116P/Wild, 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, and 22P/Kopff. A big thanks to our recent contributors: Dan Bartlett, Denis Buczynski, J. J. Gonzalez, Jose Guilherme de Souza Aguiar, Christian Harder, Carl Hergenrother, Eliot Herman, Michael Jäger, Gianluca Masi, Martin Mobberley, Uwe Pilz, Michael Rosolina, Tenho Tuomi, and Chris Wyatt.

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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