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Key dates

December-January:
A chrismas comet(h)!
Comet 8P/Tuttle
visible in evening sky,
+5.7 magnitude in Pisces.

December 30:
8P/Tuttle moves over M33

8P/Tuttle at a glance


When:
Date: December 2007 and January 2008
Closest to Earth: 1 Jan 2008 at 0.25 AU
Closest to the Sun: 26 Jan 2008 at 1.03 AU

What:
Size: 15 km diameter
Brightness: +5.7 magnitude comet in Pisces
Dust/gas: as much gas as Halley, much less small dust grains

Where:
Visible in constellation of Pisces

Moon:
Bad Moon in period late December

Best viewing direction:
Best viewing: late December and early January
Best time: Early evening

Important because:
Could well be brightest comet for 2008

Find out where 8P/Tuttle is now:
In its orbit;
On the sky;
In near future.
A very good finder chart was made by the Federation des Astronomes Amateurs du Quebec.

Public interest: This comet only returns every 13.6 years, but only once in 27 years is a good viewing. Last time was in 1980. Observe the Ursid parent comet 8P/Tuttle with binoculars, or your telescope and CCD camera.


[Back to Ursid shower observing campaign]

8P/TUTTLE - IMAGE OF THE DAY

This page will post images of comet 8P/Tuttle during its 2007-2008 return. Send your contribution to: Ursid MAC mailbox.

8P/Tuttle
[click on date link for larger picture]
2007 12 30 - C. Schur [8P + M33] [tail!]
Finding chart courtesy of Heavens Above

8P/TUTTLE - IMAGE ARCHIVE


2008 01 13 - D. Bender [tail]
2008 01 12 - R. Naves [tail]
2008 01 08 - G. Rhemann [tail]
2008 01 07 - D. Strange [tail]
2008 01 06 - M. Jaeger [tail]
2008 01 05 - M. Mobberley [tail]
2008 01 04 - M. Jaeger [tail]
2008 01 03 - M. Holloway [tail]
2008 01 02 - G. Sostero, E. Guido, L. Donato [tail]
2008 01 01 - G. Varros [spiral]
2007 12 31 - M. Broussard [8P + M33]
2007 12 30 - G. DeShirlia [8P + M33]
2007 12 29 - M. Langbroek [8P + 17P]
2007 12 28 - G. Salvato [8P + 17P]
2007 12 27 - M. Holloway [tail!]
2007 12 26 - H. Wilson
2007 12 25 - D. Zubenel [8P + 17P]
2007 12 21 - M. Holloway
2007 12 16 - M. Broussard
2007 12 15 - C. Harder
2007 12 14 - L. Philippe [8P + 17P]
2007 12 13 - M. Broussard
2007 12 12 - F. Freestar
2007 12 11 - A. van Duin
2007 12 10 - P. Lawrence [8P + 17P]
2007 12 09 - M. Broussard
2007 12 08 - N. Patel
2007 12 07 - R. Naves
2007 12 06 - R. Pfiffl
2007 12 04 - M. Broussard
2007 12 01 - D. Bender
2007 11 30 - G. Varros
2007 11 28 - G. Varros
2007 11 17 - P. Heinzen
2007 11 16 - A. van Duin
2007 11 15 - A. van Duin
2007 11 12 - C. Harder
2007 11 06 - G. Muler
2007 11 01 - R. Ligustri
2007 10 29 - M. Holloway
2007 10 20 - M. Holloway
2007 10 17 - J. Mueller
2007 10 13 - J. Bel
2007 10 12 - M. Holloway
2007 09 16 - S. Beck
2007 09 14 - J.-A. Henriquez
2007 09 11 - R. Ligustri
2007 08 30 - C. Rinner, F. Kugel
2007 08 24 - R. Naves
2007 08 18 - M. Jaeger, G. Rhemann
2007 08 08 - I. Toth [with movie]
2007 07 24 - R. Naves
2007 07 17 - L. Donato, E. Guido, G. Sostero
2007 07 15 - R. Naves

8P/Tuttle at aphelion

8P/Tuttle in 2005
Comet 8P/Tuttle on 1 July 2005 in an image from the thesis by Colin Snodgrass of Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, when the comet was only 21.61 magnitudes bright (red filter). From the brightness of the bare nucleus, he estimated the diameter of the comet at D = 15.16 +/- 0.25 km.

1980 return

8P/Tuttle in 1980
Comet 8P/Tuttle on 16 Nov. 1980 during one of its prior returns, in a photograph by Mitsunori Tsumura.

LINKS

bookMeteor Showers and their Parent Comets (Cambridge University Press), Chapter 7.7: Further reading on 8P/Tuttle



Other links:

8P/Tuttle Discovery History

8P/Tuttle Ephemerides

IQC comet magnitudes

8P/Tuttle information

Popular article

Campaign Highlights

News

2008 Mar 10 - Nucleus rotation period investigated.

2008 Jan 11 - Radar observations of comet 8P/Tuttle show the comet to be strongly bifurcated, possibly a compact binary, with two roughly spherical lobes measuring 3 and 4 km in diameter.

2007 Dec 30 - Ursid comet to travel over M33 galaxy on night of Dec 30 17h UT - Dec 31 00 UT.

2007 Dec 14 - Comet 8P/Tuttle update (I.A.U., Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams)

2007 June 12 - Comet ephemerides (Minor Planet Center)

Accepted observing proposals

The following accepted proposals are listed in public records of ground-based and spaceborne astronomical observatories:

Chandra - D. Christian: High resolution imaging and spectroscopy of 8P/Tuttle (Cyle 9). 50 ksec ACIS-S.

HST - WFPC2 imaging observations F336W, F439W, F555W, F675W, F814W

IRTF - R. Vervack, N. Dello Russo, H. A. Weaver, C. M. Lisse, N. Biver, D. Bockelee-Morvan, J. Crovisier: Investigating the organic composition of 8P/Tuttle using SpeX

Gemini South - Woodward: The nucleus and dust of comet 8P/Tuttle at perihelion (GS-2007B-Q-232)

Nordic Telescope - M. J. Vidal, Spain: Studies of 8P/Tuttle during its closest approach to Earth (Jan 1-5). ALFOSC + CAT.

SETI Institute logo Curator: Peter Jenniskens
Responsible NASA Official: Dave Jordan

Last update: July 01, 2008


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