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Sky Alerts

Dr Ian Musgrave  - iTelescope Science Advisor

An avid amateur astronomer, Ian writes the weekly sky updates for ABC Radio Science and is science adviser to iTelescope. When not staring at the sky he is an equally enthusiastic molecular pharmacologist at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

You can follow Ian Musgrave on his Astroblog for daily posts about astronomy, biology and life, the Universe and everything.

"Over at Astroblog I largely guide people to the view of the sky as seen with the unaided eye. But I’m also an iTelescope.Net user, and I’m very honoured to have been invited to highlight some of the interesting objects that can be seen through the iTelescopes.

While many people are familiar with the larger, more glamorous objects in the night sky that make good iTelescope targets, there are a host of lesser known, interesting objects that are well worth chasing such as fast moving Near Earth Objects, Novae and Comets."  Twitter @ianmusgrave

Entries in alert (214)

Friday
Feb092018

Chasing the Space X Roadster

Chart of the position of the Space X roadster as seen from SSO at 3:00 am local daylight saving time (16:00 UT). The large rectangle is the filed of view of T12, the small that of T31.

The open circle is the Location of the roadster accounting for parallax of the SSO observatory, the closed circle the unpeturbed position (the crosses mark the movement of the roadster over several hours, the positions are offset from the predicted positions, yeh, its complicated I know. Click to embiggen).

If you have been living under a rock, you will have missed the fact that Elon Musk launched his roadster convertible, playing David Bowies "Space Oddity" and with "Don't Panic" displayed on the dashboard, on a Mars orbit trajectory on top of the Falcon Heavy rocket.

Although a dim magnitude 15 and getting dimmer, it has been imaged by several amateurs including  iTelescope user Alan Ferguson.

If you wish to try imaging yourself, the car is not far from Libra, and is high enough for imaging from around 2:30 am local time, there is still substantial parallax involved, you will need a perturbed ephemeris, I have used the JPL horizons ephemeris generator.

https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi

use -143205 as the object ID, and Q62 as the observatory ID.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the most recent ephemeris for the next few days.

*******************************************************************************
Ephemeris / WWW_USER Fri Feb  9 08:29:46 2018 Pasadena, USA      / Horizons    
*******************************************************************************
Target body name: SpaceX Roadster (spacecraft) (-143205) {source: tesla_s3}
Center body name: Earth (399)                     {source: DE431mx}
Center-site name: iTelescope Obs., Siding Spring
*******************************************************************************
Start time      : A.D. 2018-Feb-09 00:00:00.0000 UT      
Stop  time      : A.D. 2018-Feb-11 00:00:00.0000 UT      
Step-size       : 30 minutes
*******************************************************************************
Target pole/equ : No model available
Target radii    : (unavailable)                                                
Center geodetic : 149.064400,-31.273358,1.1649936 {E-lon(deg),Lat(deg),Alt(km)}
Center cylindric: 149.064400,5457.31536,-3292.440 {E-lon(deg),Dxy(km),Dz(km)}
Center pole/equ : High-precision EOP model        {East-longitude +}
Center radii    : 6378.1 x 6378.1 x 6356.8 km     {Equator, meridian, pole}    
Target primary  : Earth
Vis. interferer : MOON (R_eq= 1737.400) km        {source: DE431mx}
Rel. light bend : Sun, EARTH                      {source: DE431mx}
Rel. lght bnd GM: 1.3271E+11, 3.9860E+05 km^3/s^2                              
Atmos refraction: NO (AIRLESS)
RA format       : HMS
Time format     : CAL 
RTS-only print  : NO       
EOP file        : eop.180208.p180502                                           
EOP coverage    : DATA-BASED 1962-JAN-20 TO 2018-FEB-08. PREDICTS-> 2018-MAY-01
Units conversion: 1 au= 149597870.700 km, c= 299792.458 km/s, 1 day= 86400.0 s 
Table cut-offs 1: Elevation (-90.0deg=NO ),Airmass (>38.000=NO), Daylight (NO )
Table cut-offs 2: Solar elongation (  0.0,180.0=NO ),Local Hour Angle( 0.0=NO )
Table cut-offs 3: RA/DEC angular rate (     0.0=NO )                           
**************************************************************************************************************
 Date__(UT)__HR:MN     R.A._(ICRF/J2000.0)_DEC  APmag  S-brt            delta      deldot    S-O-T /r    S-T-O
**************************************************************************************************************
$$SOE
 2018-Feb-09 00:00 *m  14 31 28.11 -27 05 28.4  16.76   n.a. 0.00432427631023   3.9499937  95.6456 /L  84.1053
 2018-Feb-09 00:30 *m  14 31 29.94 -27 03 42.7  16.78   n.a. 0.00437187201277   3.9612644  95.6697 /L  84.0785
 2018-Feb-09 01:00 *m  14 31 33.87 -27 01 56.3  16.80   n.a. 0.00441956809942   3.9666548  95.6864 /L  84.0590
 2018-Feb-09 01:30 *m  14 31 39.87 -27 00 11.1  16.83   n.a. 0.00446729307175   3.9660569  95.6958 /L  84.0469
 2018-Feb-09 02:00 *m  14 31 47.88 -26 58 28.6  16.85   n.a. 0.00451497474993   3.9594654  95.6979 /L  84.0420
 2018-Feb-09 02:30 *m  14 31 57.82 -26 56 50.6  16.87   n.a. 0.00456254150601   3.9469770  95.6929 /L  84.0443
 2018-Feb-09 03:00 *s  14 32 09.54 -26 55 18.3  16.89   n.a. 0.00460992347549   3.9287876  95.6810 /L  84.0534
 2018-Feb-09 03:30 *m  14 32 22.91 -26 53 53.2  16.92   n.a. 0.00465705372798   3.9051882  95.6627 /L  84.0690
 2018-Feb-09 04:00 *   14 32 37.74 -26 52 36.4  16.94   n.a. 0.00470386937941   3.8765595  95.6386 /L  84.0905
 2018-Feb-09 04:30 *   14 32 53.83 -26 51 29.0  16.96   n.a. 0.00475031262968   3.8433647  95.6091 /L  84.1173
 2018-Feb-09 05:00 *   14 33 10.97 -26 50 31.7  16.98   n.a. 0.00479633171098   3.8061420  95.5749 /L  84.1487
 2018-Feb-09 05:30 *   14 33 28.94 -26 49 45.3  17.01   n.a. 0.00484188173393   3.7654950  95.5369 /L  84.1841
 2018-Feb-09 06:00 *   14 33 47.49 -26 49 10.2  17.03   n.a. 0.00488692542004   3.7220836  95.4957 /L  84.2226
 2018-Feb-09 06:30 *   14 34 06.39 -26 48 46.7  17.05   n.a. 0.00493143371038   3.6766125  95.4523 /L  84.2634
 2018-Feb-09 07:00 *   14 34 25.38 -26 48 35.0  17.07   n.a. 0.00497538624295   3.6298208  95.4075 /L  84.3057
 2018-Feb-09 07:30 *   14 34 44.22 -26 48 34.9  17.09   n.a. 0.00501877169152   3.5824697  95.3621 /L  84.3485
 2018-Feb-09 08:00 *   14 35 02.67 -26 48 46.2  17.11   n.a. 0.00506158796110   3.5353304  95.3171 /L  84.3910
 2018-Feb-09 08:30 *   14 35 20.50 -26 49 08.4  17.13   n.a. 0.00510384223742   3.4891724  95.2732 /L  84.4324
 2018-Feb-09 09:00 C   14 35 37.50 -26 49 41.1  17.15   n.a. 0.00514555088821   3.4447506  95.2314 /L  84.4719
 2018-Feb-09 09:30 N   14 35 53.46 -26 50 23.4  17.17   n.a. 0.00518673921704   3.4027936  95.1923 /L  84.5086
 2018-Feb-09 10:00 A   14 36 08.20 -26 51 14.4  17.19   n.a. 0.00522744107213   3.3639913  95.1567 /L  84.5418
 2018-Feb-09 10:30     14 36 21.55 -26 52 13.2  17.20   n.a. 0.00526769831389   3.3289838  95.1253 /L  84.5708
 2018-Feb-09 11:00     14 36 33.38 -26 53 18.6  17.22   n.a. 0.00530756014812   3.2983504  95.0987 /L  84.5951
 2018-Feb-09 11:30     14 36 43.57 -26 54 29.3  17.24   n.a. 0.00534708233293   3.2725994  95.0773 /L  84.6142
 2018-Feb-09 12:00     14 36 52.03 -26 55 44.1  17.25   n.a. 0.00538632627007   3.2521592  95.0617 /L  84.6275
 2018-Feb-09 12:30  r  14 36 58.71 -26 57 01.7  17.27   n.a. 0.00542535799373   3.2373704  95.0521 /L  84.6349
 2018-Feb-09 13:00     14 37 03.56 -26 58 20.5  17.29   n.a. 0.00546424707153   3.2284788  95.0487 /L  84.6360
 2018-Feb-09 13:30     14 37 06.60 -26 59 39.4  17.30   n.a. 0.00550306543479   3.2256307  95.0518 /L  84.6307
 2018-Feb-09 14:00     14 37 07.85 -27 00 56.7  17.32   n.a. 0.00554188615699   3.2288694  95.0613 /L  84.6190
 2018-Feb-09 14:30     14 37 07.36 -27 02 11.3  17.33   n.a. 0.00558078220087   3.2381330  95.0770 /L  84.6010
 2018-Feb-09 15:00  m  14 37 05.23 -27 03 21.9  17.34   n.a. 0.00561982515599   3.2532551  95.0989 /L  84.5768
 2018-Feb-09 15:30  m  14 37 01.57 -27 04 27.1  17.36   n.a. 0.00565908398947   3.2739669  95.1267 /L  84.5468
 2018-Feb-09 16:00  m  14 36 56.51 -27 05 26.0  17.37   n.a. 0.00569862383317   3.2999005  95.1599 /L  84.5114
 2018-Feb-09 16:30  m  14 36 50.21 -27 06 17.5  17.39   n.a. 0.00573850483030   3.3305954  95.1981 /L  84.4709
 2018-Feb-09 17:00  m  14 36 42.84 -27 07 00.7  17.40   n.a. 0.00577878106404   3.3655062  95.2407 /L  84.4260
 2018-Feb-09 17:30  m  14 36 34.61 -27 07 35.1  17.41   n.a. 0.00581949958961   3.4040118  95.2872 /L  84.3772
 2018-Feb-09 18:00  m  14 36 25.71 -27 08 00.0  17.43   n.a. 0.00586069958899   3.4454264  95.3368 /L  84.3252
 2018-Feb-09 18:30 Am  14 36 16.36 -27 08 15.1  17.44   n.a. 0.00590241166612   3.4890119  95.3889 /L  84.2707
 2018-Feb-09 19:00 Nm  14 36 06.77 -27 08 20.3  17.45   n.a. 0.00594465729640   3.5339912  95.4427 /L  84.2146
 2018-Feb-09 19:30 Ct  14 35 57.17 -27 08 15.5  17.47   n.a. 0.00598744844211   3.5795623  95.4974 /L  84.1574
 2018-Feb-09 20:00 *m  14 35 47.76 -27 08 00.9  17.48   n.a. 0.00603078734155   3.6249132  95.5523 /L  84.1000
 2018-Feb-09 20:30 *m  14 35 38.76 -27 07 36.9  17.49   n.a. 0.00607466647560   3.6692364  95.6067 /L  84.0432
 2018-Feb-09 21:00 *m  14 35 30.36 -27 07 04.0  17.51   n.a. 0.00611906871204   3.7117437  95.6597 /L  83.9877
 2018-Feb-09 21:30 *m  14 35 22.74 -27 06 22.9  17.52   n.a. 0.00616396762414   3.7516806  95.7107 /L  83.9341
 2018-Feb-09 22:00 *m  14 35 16.08 -27 05 34.2  17.53   n.a. 0.00620932797617   3.7883393  95.7591 /L  83.8831
 2018-Feb-09 22:30 *m  14 35 10.50 -27 04 39.1  17.55   n.a. 0.00625510636535   3.8210718  95.8043 /L  83.8353
 2018-Feb-09 23:00 *m  14 35 06.14 -27 03 38.4  17.56   n.a. 0.00630125200653   3.8493007  95.8457 /L  83.7913
 2018-Feb-09 23:30 *m  14 35 03.09 -27 02 33.2  17.58   n.a. 0.00634770764378   3.8725293  95.8829 /L  83.7514
 2018-Feb-10 00:00 *m  14 35 01.44 -27 01 24.8  17.59   n.a. 0.00639441057016   3.8903493  95.9156 /L  83.7161
 2018-Feb-10 00:30 *m  14 35 01.21 -27 00 14.3  17.61   n.a. 0.00644129373620   3.9024480  95.9434 /L  83.6856
 2018-Feb-10 01:00 *m  14 35 02.45 -26 59 02.9  17.62   n.a. 0.00648828692590   3.9086125  95.9662 /L  83.6601
 2018-Feb-10 01:30 *m  14 35 05.15 -26 57 51.7  17.64   n.a. 0.00653531797849   3.9087326  95.9838 /L  83.6398
 2018-Feb-10 02:00 *m  14 35 09.27 -26 56 42.0  17.65   n.a. 0.00658231403442   3.9028024  95.9963 /L  83.6246
 2018-Feb-10 02:30 *m  14 35 14.78 -26 55 34.9  17.67   n.a. 0.00662920278390   3.8909189  96.0038 /L  83.6144
 2018-Feb-10 03:00 *s  14 35 21.58 -26 54 31.3  17.68   n.a. 0.00667591369669   3.8732804  96.0064 /L  83.6091
 2018-Feb-10 03:30 *m  14 35 29.58 -26 53 32.3  17.70   n.a. 0.00672237921378   3.8501818  96.0043 /L  83.6085
 2018-Feb-10 04:00 *m  14 35 38.68 -26 52 38.8  17.71   n.a. 0.00676853588131   3.8220095  95.9979 /L  83.6123
 2018-Feb-10 04:30 *m  14 35 48.74 -26 51 51.6  17.73   n.a. 0.00681432540988   3.7892344  95.9876 /L  83.6199
 2018-Feb-10 05:00 *   14 35 59.61 -26 51 11.2  17.74   n.a. 0.00685969564274   3.7524037  95.9738 /L  83.6311
 2018-Feb-10 05:30 *   14 36 11.14 -26 50 38.3  17.76   n.a. 0.00690460141901   3.7121315  95.9570 /L  83.6453
 2018-Feb-10 06:00 *   14 36 23.16 -26 50 13.2  17.77   n.a. 0.00694900531899   3.6690887  95.9377 /L  83.6620
 2018-Feb-10 06:30 *   14 36 35.49 -26 49 56.3  17.79   n.a. 0.00699287828131   3.6239921  95.9167 /L  83.6805
 2018-Feb-10 07:00 *   14 36 47.97 -26 49 47.6  17.80   n.a. 0.00703620008252   3.5775921  95.8943 /L  83.7003
 2018-Feb-10 07:30 *   14 37 00.42 -26 49 47.3  17.81   n.a. 0.00707895967282   3.5306611  95.8714 /L  83.7207
 2018-Feb-10 08:00 *   14 37 12.66 -26 49 55.0  17.83   n.a. 0.00712115536229   3.4839806  95.8485 /L  83.7412
 2018-Feb-10 08:30 *   14 37 24.52 -26 50 10.7  17.84   n.a. 0.00716279485553   3.4383288  95.8261 /L  83.7611
 2018-Feb-10 09:00 C   14 37 35.85 -26 50 33.9  17.85   n.a. 0.00720389513293   3.3944673  95.8050 /L  83.7798
 2018-Feb-10 09:30 N   14 37 46.49 -26 51 04.0  17.87   n.a. 0.00724448218046   3.3531295  95.7857 /L  83.7968
 2018-Feb-10 10:00 A   14 37 56.30 -26 51 40.6  17.88   n.a. 0.00728459057085   3.3150076  95.7687 /L  83.8114
 2018-Feb-10 10:30     14 38 05.16 -26 52 23.0  17.89   n.a. 0.00732426290193   3.2807415  95.7546 /L  83.8233
 2018-Feb-10 11:00     14 38 12.96 -26 53 10.2  17.90   n.a. 0.00736354909953   3.2509078  95.7438 /L  83.8318
 2018-Feb-10 11:30     14 38 19.62 -26 54 01.4  17.92   n.a. 0.00740250559473   3.2260097  95.7366 /L  83.8367
 2018-Feb-10 12:00     14 38 25.05 -26 54 55.7  17.93   n.a. 0.00744119438774   3.2064683  95.7335 /L  83.8376
 2018-Feb-10 12:30  r  14 38 29.21 -26 55 52.2  17.94   n.a. 0.00747968201203   3.1926151  95.7346 /L  83.8343
 2018-Feb-10 13:00     14 38 32.07 -26 56 49.8  17.95   n.a. 0.00751803841482   3.1846852  95.7402 /L  83.8264
 2018-Feb-10 13:30     14 38 33.63 -26 57 47.5  17.96   n.a. 0.00755633577196   3.1828132  95.7504 /L  83.8141
 2018-Feb-10 14:00     14 38 33.89 -26 58 44.3  17.97   n.a. 0.00759464725628   3.1870300  95.7652 /L  83.7971
 2018-Feb-10 14:30     14 38 32.91 -26 59 39.2  17.98   n.a. 0.00763304578049   3.1972614  95.7845 /L  83.7756
 2018-Feb-10 15:00     14 38 30.72 -27 00 31.2  17.99   n.a. 0.00767160273596   3.2133289  95.8083 /L  83.7496
 2018-Feb-10 15:30     14 38 27.42 -27 01 19.5  18.00   n.a. 0.00771038675040   3.2349522  95.8364 /L  83.7193
 2018-Feb-10 16:00  m  14 38 23.09 -27 02 03.2  18.01   n.a. 0.00774946248631   3.2617533  95.8684 /L  83.6850
 2018-Feb-10 16:30  m  14 38 17.84 -27 02 41.6  18.02   n.a. 0.00778888950308   3.2932630  95.9041 /L  83.6471
 2018-Feb-10 17:00  m  14 38 11.82 -27 03 14.0  18.03   n.a. 0.00782872120399   3.3289285  95.9431 /L  83.6059
 2018-Feb-10 17:30  m  14 38 05.14 -27 03 39.9  18.04   n.a. 0.00786900388828   3.3681235  95.9849 /L  83.5618
 2018-Feb-10 18:00  m  14 37 57.97 -27 03 58.8  18.05   n.a. 0.00790977592695   3.4101583  96.0291 /L  83.5153
 2018-Feb-10 18:30 Am  14 37 50.45 -27 04 10.6  18.06   n.a. 0.00795106707840   3.4542928  96.0751 /L  83.4670
 2018-Feb-10 19:00 Nm  14 37 42.75 -27 04 15.0  18.07   n.a. 0.00799289795743   3.4997495  96.1224 /L  83.4173
 2018-Feb-10 19:30 Ct  14 37 35.03 -27 04 12.0  18.08   n.a. 0.00803527966803   3.5457273  96.1704 /L  83.3669
 2018-Feb-10 20:00 *m  14 37 27.44 -27 04 01.6  18.09   n.a. 0.00807821360735   3.5914159  96.2185 /L  83.3164
 2018-Feb-10 20:30 *m  14 37 20.16 -27 03 44.2  18.10   n.a. 0.00812169144436   3.6360108  96.2663 /L  83.2661
 2018-Feb-10 21:00 *m  14 37 13.31 -27 03 20.1  18.11   n.a. 0.00816569527338   3.6787274  96.3131 /L  83.2168
 2018-Feb-10 21:30 *m  14 37 07.04 -27 02 49.8  18.12   n.a. 0.00821019793917   3.7188149  96.3584 /L  83.1690
 2018-Feb-10 22:00 *m  14 37 01.48 -27 02 13.8  18.13   n.a. 0.00825516352667   3.7555699  96.4018 /L  83.1231
 2018-Feb-10 22:30 *m  14 36 56.73 -27 01 32.7  18.14   n.a. 0.00830054800530   3.7883488  96.4428 /L  83.0796
 2018-Feb-10 23:00 *m  14 36 52.90 -27 00 47.4  18.15   n.a. 0.00834630001495   3.8165785  96.4809 /L  83.0388
 2018-Feb-10 23:30 *m  14 36 50.07 -26 59 58.6  18.16   n.a. 0.00839236177804   3.8397667  96.5159 /L  83.0013
 2018-Feb-11 00:00 *m  14 36 48.28 -26 59 07.2  18.17   n.a. 0.00843867011997   3.8575098  96.5474 /L  82.9671
$$EOE
**************************************************************************************************************

SOLAR PRESENCE (OBSERVING SITE) Time tag is followed by a blank, then a solar-presence symbol: '*' Daylight (refracted solar upper-limb on or above apparent horizon) 'C' Civil twilight/dawn 'N' Nautical twilight/dawn 'A' Astronomical twilight/dawn ' ' Night OR geocentric ephemeris LUNAR PRESENCE WITH TARGET RISE/TRANSIT/SET MARKER (OBSERVING SITE) The solar-presence symbol is immediately followed by another marker symbol: 'm' Refracted upper-limb of Moon on or above apparent horizon ' ' Refracted upper-limb of Moon below apparent horizon OR geocentric 'r' Rise (target body on or above cut-off RTS elevation) 't' Transit (target body at or past local maximum RTS elevation) 's' Set (target body on or below cut-off RTS elevation)

Friday
Dec222017

ALERT! Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze near M44 for Christmas

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze as seen at 2:22 pm Local time for Mayhill, NewMexico, when it is at transit. The Comet is near M44, the Beehive cluster. The large square is the field of view of T14, and the small square the field of view of T5. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze is currently in cancer and will pass close to M44, (the Beehive Cluster) on Christmas Day.

From the northern hemisphere it is in range of the scopes from around 10:00 pm local time until astronomical twilight in the morning. It is highest at transit (2:22 am).

For Southern scopes it is in range from 1 am local time until astronomical twilight in the morning, being highest at 3:45 am local time. The Northern scopes have the best view

Imaging the comet and M44 will need wide field imagers like T12, T14 or T20, or assembly of mosaics with narrower field scopes. Getting the balance between the “bright” (magnitude 5-6) stars of the Beehive and the fainter magnitude 11 comet. You may need to shoot short exposures of the cluster and longer exposures of the comet then assemble them into one picture.

Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze as seen at 3:45 pm Local time for SSO, when it is at transit. The large square is the field of view of T12. Click to embiggen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

CK17T010  2018 02 21.7136  0.580751  1.000503   96.9069  102.3228   96.8246  20170904  12.5  4.0      C/2017 T1 (Heinze)

Wednesday
Dec202017

ALERT! Comet C/2016 R2 in Outburst (and keep an eye on 174P/Echeclus)

Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS as seen at 22:40 Local time for Mayhill, NewMexico, when it is at transit. The Comet is currently near the Hyades. The large square is the field of view of T14, and the small square the field of view of T5. Click to embiggen.

Comet C/2016 R2 PanSTARRS is currently near the Hyades. It is visible from both Northern and southern scopes from astronomical twilight (northernscopes) about an hour after astronomical twilight (Southern scopes), being highest around 22:40 am local time for northern scopes and 23:45 local time from SSO. The Northern scopes have the best view.

The comet is currently in outburst, having brightened to nearly magnitude 9, a full magnitude brighter than the predicted maximum. The tail is showing some interesting structure and is well worth following (see these gifs for the 18th, here and here, and this image from the 19th). It is possible the comet will continue to brighten.

The MPC one line ephemeris is:

CK16R020  2018 05 09.5796  2.602313  0.996530   33.1930   80.5696   58.2198  20170904   7.0  4.0      C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS)

174P/Echeclus is developing a very distinctive coma, and is staying reasonably bright after its outburst, so it is well worth keeping an eye on too. Details here.

Tuesday
Dec122017

ALERT! 174P/Echeclus in outburst and showing coma, observations required. 

Comet 174P/Echeclus from Mayhill  at transit (21h 29m 25s local time). Click to embiggen and print.

AS many of you are aware, the Centaur and sometimes comet 174P has brightened to magnitude 14, up from 17.8.

It is visible from both northern and southern scopes at the base of Cetus (near Mu Ceti), with northern scopes favoured, transit is 21h 25m 28s local time from MayHill and 22h 37m 44s local time from SSO. The comet is moving slowly, so may be difficult of discern on a single image, comparing images over several days will help.


Comet
174P/Echeclus high power scope spotting image, the comet is near Mu Ceti. The small rectangle is the field of view of T5. Click to embiggen and print

The outburst has been confirmed by several people including some itelescope users.

A major question is if there has been any outgassing to create a coma and the evolution of such a coma.

Coma observations have now been reported from independent sites, and ongoing observation is requested to follow the evolution of the outburst.

MPC one line ephemeris is:

0174P 2015 04 21.1812 5.814420 0.455667 162.8046 173.3329 4.3445 20170904 9.4 2.0 174P/Echeclus

Chart by Charles Ball of outbursts of 174P.