Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

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Comet C/2008 C1 (Chen-Gao), 04 February - 31 March 2008

Two amateur astronomers, Tao Chen and Xing Gao, while undertaking a digital patrol for novae, discovered the comet which now bears their names. The comet is faint, diffuse and small with a weak condensation. In early 2008, experienced observers could detect it in 25x100 binoculars from dark locations. However, larger apertures were necessary from locations suffering from light pollution.

I imaged the comet during February and March 2008 using a 16cm F/2.5 Schmidt camera and MX916 CCD. The results are shown below (north is up in all images).

04 February 2008, Chen-Gao 04 February 2008. 33x30 second exposures 18:31-18:53 UT. FOV 72x55 arcmin.

27 February 2008, Chen-Gao 27 February 2008. 33x30 second exposures 19:23-19:41 UT. FOV 25x25 arcmin.

Lunar eclipse, 3. 31 March 2008. 23x30 second exposures 21:58-21:13 UT. FOV 25x25 arcmin.

Mike Harlow