Comet 21P Giacobini–Zinner

Jon Greif
Location of photo
Nerpio, Spain, remotely from La Jolla, CA, USA
Date/Time of photo
July 28, 2018, at 3 AM local Spain time
Planewave 318 mm Reflecting Telescope and Imaging System
omet 21P/Giacobini–Zinner is a periodic comet in our solar system, circling the sun and returning with predictable periodicity every 6 1/2 years. It is currently headed for a return trip around the sun, which will happen on September 10, 2018. It was discovered by Michel Giacobini (from Nice, France), on December 20, 1900, and was rediscovered two passages later by Ernst Zinner (from Bamberg, Germany) on October 23, 1913. It's nucleus (seen here) is only 2 kilometers in diameter. It is currently 57,227,727 miles from Earth and 109,941,391 miles from the Sun. At its closest, the comet will pass 3,231,130 miles from Earth. This comet is the parent body of the Draconids meteor shower, best seen in October, at the time of the new moon. 21P/Giacobini–Zinner was the target of the International Cometary Explorer spacecraft, which passed through its plasma tail on September 11, 1985. This image, stacked exposures with clear, red, green and blue filters, was taken today, at 3 AM local time, remotely, from the 318 mm reflecting telescope in Nerpio, Spain.
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