Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

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Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko, 29 January 2022

In late-January 2022, Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one of the brighter comets in the sky, visible some 0.66 AU distant from Earth at magnitude 10.

In an image of the comet taken on 29 January, showing the body moving amongst the stars, another faint trace was visible close to the head. Initially, I thought this was caused by a faint glint from an unknown satellite. Aligning the images on the comet showed that this was not the case: the trace was due to another solar system object. JPL's small body identification tool https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/tools/sb_ident.html enabled its subsequent identification as the magnitude 17 asteroid 2000BY4, some 1.17 AU distant from Earth.



Nigel Evans