Is ATLAS comet disintegrating?

Is ATLAS comet disintegrating?

By Luke86 | Astrofacts | 7 Apr 2020

New observations revealed an elongation of the nucleus and a lower magnitude

Is the probability to see a naked eye visible comet dashed? There were great expectations about this comet, and probably we can still have them. Although the last observations showed a longer elongation of the nucleus, indicating a probably its disintegration: this is based on the behavior of other comets in the past that got fainter after showing a nucleus elongation.

By the way, these are the news: after crossed the Mars' orbit and raised till a magnitude of 8.0, it has sunk till a 8.8 magnitude (remember: the bigger number, the fainter celestial body). Is this indicating about the comet disintegration? It's possible..but not certain.


Credits: Quanzhi He - Qicheng Zhang


The two astronomers Quanzhi He (University of Maryland) and Qicheng Zhang (Caltech) submitted:

We report the possible disintegration of comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS), revealed by the public monitoring program carried out by the 0.6-m Ningbo Education Xinjiang Telescope (NEXT). Images taken on UT 2020 April 5.6-5.9 showed an elongated pseudo-nucleus measuring about 3 arcsec in length and aligned with the axis of the tail, a morphology consistent with a sudden decline or cessation of dust production, as would be expected from a major disruption of the [comet’s] nucleus.

This seems meaning the "end" of the comet, but don't remember that comets are unpredictable. Let's hope ATLAS can realize what we expect for.


See you next time 



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