Comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto

A periodic comet with period of around 1300 years, it passed within 0.3 AU of Earth on 2019 February 13 when there were reports that it was just visible to the naked eye under very dark and transparent skies. It then faded moved away from both the Earth and Sun. At closest approach its motion against the stars was apparent in less than one minute. When the images were processed I was truly amazed to find that it presented two tails - dust and ion. A real bonus.


2019 February 14: photographed against the stars of Leo when it was about magnitude 6 under the dark skies of Lady's Pass, near Heathcote, Victoria; Canon 5D II + 500mm lens, at f4, on an NEQ6 Pro mount tracking the sky. Sixty minutes of 45sec exposures stacked and combined. Field of view ~3x2, north is to the right. The dust tail is directed towards the top of the frame (SE) while the ion tail points to the left (S) of the frame.

Comet Home