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Mike Olason

Location of Photo:

Tucson, Arizona

Date/Time of photo:

9 May 2021, 0922 UT


11" SCT and STF-8300M CCD Camera


Comet 420P/Hill was very faint at magnitude 19.8 and 272 million miles from Earth in these images. Wind shaking my telescope and a crowded star field did not make for a very nice image of this faint comet. 420P will be at perihelion in it's 12.97 year orbit in May 2022 when it will be 258 million miles from the Sun. The comet may brighten to magnitude 18 in September 2022 when it makes it's close approach to Earth at a distance of 178 million miles. Of interest to photographers is that during the first week of September in 2022 Comet 420P will pass within 1/2 degree of Jupiter and it's Moons as seen from Earth. Unfortunately, Jupiter will be 107 million times brighter than the comet assuming the comet only brightens to magnitude 18. So to see Jupiter and 420P nicely within 1/2 degree of each other the photo-shoppers will have to put together a portrait from separate images taken of each, like they did during the Saturn/Jupiter conjunction.