eso9513 — Photo Release
An Infrared Image of Bright Comet 1995 Q1
19 August 1995
The newly discovered, bright Comet 1995 Q1 was again observed at La Silla last night (18 - 19 August 1995).
A 15-minute exposure was made with the ESO Schmidt telescope by G. Pizarro and J.L Beuzit. While the comet head appeared very similar to last night (see ESO Press Photo eso9512), there had been important changes in the tail structure. Tonight there was only one 3 degree long, narrow, somewhat wavy tail. Several faint streamers were visible in the SE quadrant, extending up to about 0.5 degrees from the coma.
CCD observations with the Dutch 0.91-m telescope (observer Stefano Benetti) in various standard bands (e.g., V, B and R) showed an almost round inner coma with no obvious features and a central condensation with a width of about 6 arcseconds. There was also an extension towards the tail in outer coma.
Infrared images in the J, H and K passbands were obtained with the IRAC2 camera at the MPI/ESO 2.2-m telescope (observer Patrice Bouchet). A K-image is shown here in a false-colour reproduction. The width of the frame is 3.2 arcminutes and the coma measures about 2 arcminutes across. North is up and east is to the left. On this and all other infrared images it is seemingly featureless and extended in the tail direction.
The orbit of Comet 1995 Q1 has not yet been securely established and it is therefore not yet possible to predict its future visibility. The comet is now moving towards North (in the direction of the Sun) at a rate of about 1 degree per day. On August 19.0 (UT), the approximate position was R.A. = 11 hours 04.9 minutes; Decl. = -12 degrees 26 arcminutes (2000.0), that is in the constellation of Crater.