Friday, May 15, 2009

Secondary condensation on 19P/Borrelly

Prompted by an alert note of Bernhard Haeusler, posted in the newsgroup [Comets-ml] on May 11, 2009 about a possible secondary "condensation" in 19P/Borrelly, we performed some follow-up about this comet.

Images obtained by the undersigneds on 2009, May 15.21 with the 0-61-m Cassegrain + CCD of the Sierra Stars Observatory (Maarkleville, CA) confirms the presence of a tailward, diffuse, secondary condensation or "knot", placed about 4.7 arcsec in PA 301 from the primary central condensation. This feature is nearly 1.5 magnitude fainter compared to the central condensation itself. Image processing techniques (azimuthal median subtraction of the inner coma) enhances the visibility of this detail.

Our image is available here:

Comparing the offset data posted in the same blogspot by B. Hausler (May 7: 13 arcsec in PA 310) and F. Kugel (May 10: 8 arcsec PA 305), this feature apparently approaches the central condensation; however some foreshortening effect might be under course, also considering the fact that, on about 2009 June 5th, Earth will cross the orbital plane of this comet.

Paul Camilleri, Enrico Prosperi, Giovanni Sostero & Ernesto Guido

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