Location of photoSliding Springs Observatory, NSW, Australia, remotely via itelescope.net from La Jolla, CA, USA.
Date/Time of photoApril 30, 2017, at 0500 AM local time.
EquipmentPlanewave CDK 435 mm reflecting telescope and imaging platform.
DescriptionComet hunting in the Southern Hemisphere today, remotely (iTelescope.net) via the Sliding Springs Observatory in NSW Australia, where it is 5:00 AM on April 30. The 10 minute long image on a Planewave CDK 430 mm Reflecting Telescope (T17) shows the very faint Comet 41P Clark (Arrow), a periodic Jupiter class comet in the Solar System with an orbital period of 5.5 years, making its closest pass, 0.74 AU (68,787,297 miles) to Earth, today. The only way to distinguish the comet from the background stars is by its trajectory (transverse) as compared to the slight obliquity of the stars. An image from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab shows 41P's orbit around the sun, and notice its current proximity to Earth. It was discovered by Michael Clark at Mount John University Observatory, New Zealand on 9 June 1973 with a brightness of apparent magnitude 13. Subsequently it has been observed in 1978, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2000, 2006 and 2011, and today!!!