168/P (Hergenrother)

Celestial visitors from the edge of the Solar System.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 4810
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

168/P (Hergenrother)

Post by Christopher K. » October 9th, 2012, 8:58 pm

Although I usually don't post information concerning a comet unless it is now (or is predicted to soon be) magnitude 10 or brighter, it seems I missed the Thursday article from Kelly Beatty and as such feel compelled to post something here and now.

Carl Hergenrother discovered this comet in 1998 on Catalina Sky Survey images. As it has an orbital period of not quite seven years, this is its second apparition since discovery. The predicted magnitude was no more than about 15, yet observations on 6 September revealed an outburst. Interesting, though T. Seki of Japan has uncovered magnitudes of 8.0 to 9.5 from 23 September to 26 September, it's unclear to how thoroughly this data was transmitted to amateurs. I don't see any recent S&T article aside from the aforementioned 4 October posting.

Gary Kronk gives probably one of the more optimistic magnitude estimates for the beginning and end of October. Extrapolating, I find...
9 October = 11.0
15 October = 11.1
20 October = 11.2
25 October = 11.4
31 October = 11.5
However, a report in today to the Minor Planet Center (from Siding Spring/Faulkes Telescope South) gives a more conservative 13.5.

Here are the times when Hergenrother is highest in the Baton Rouge sky...
9 October = 11:45pm
10 October = 11:40pm
11 October = 11:35pm
12 October = 11:30pm
13 October = 11:25pm
14 October = 11:20pm
15 October = 11:15pm
16 October = 11:10pm
17 October = 11:05pm
18 October = 11pm
19 October = 10:55pm
For much of the next ten nights Hergenrother will be so close to zenith in Baton Rouge that many with manual Dobsonians may have a tough time.

All through the dark hours of 15 /16 October, Hergenrother is less than a degree from 79 Pegasi.

More information:
http://cometography.com/pcomets/168p.html
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... 53901.html

168/P Finder Chart:
http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/comets/168P.pdf

Faulkes Telescope South:
http://lcogt.net/network/2m/faulkes-telescope-south

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