Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze 21 Million Miles from Earth

Mike Olason
Location of photo
Denver, Colorado
Date/Time of photo
3 January 2018, 0718UT
11" SCT f/6.4 and STF-8300M CCD Camera
Comet C/2017 T1 Heinze was 21 million miles from Earth the night before it's close approach to Earth when these GIF images were taken. Comet Heinze has it's close appraoch to Earth on January 4 when it will be about 20 million miles from Earth. Unfortunately, the Full Moon was only 42 degrees from the comet when these images were taken. The images were only 20 seconds long to not show a streaked comet because the comet was moving at 0.31 degrees per hour to the northwest. The short images and Full Moon resulted in the tail being washed out in this GIF of 8 images each 20 seconds long with a 5 minute interval between images. The tail is to the left of the comet coma in this GIF.
All comments must follow the Sky & Telescope Terms of Use and will be moderated prior to posting. Please be civil in your comments. Sky & Telescope reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter’s username, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.