Comet Section        


June 3, 2021 – ALPO Comet News for June 2021

Comets C/2020 T2 (Palomar) and 7P/Pons-Winnecke should vie for the title of brightest comet of June though they should only reach magnitude 10.0. While June won’t see any “bright” comets, there are a large number of fainter objects, in addition to the aforementioned comets, between magnitudes 10 and 13. These fainter objects include some low numbered periodic comets (4P/Faye, 8P/Tuttle, 10P/Tempel, and 15P/Finlay) and long period comets C/2019 L3 (ATLAS), C/2020 J1 (SONEAR), and C/2020 R4 (ATLAS). C/2021 A1 (Leonard) is still inbound and has the potential to be a notable object at the end of the year, though its lack of recent brightening is concerning.

Comets Section News
During the month of May 2021, the ALPO Comets Section received 32 images and/or sketches from Denis Buczynski, John Chumack, Carl Hergenrother, Martin, Mobberley, Mike Olason, Gregg Ruppel, John D. Sabia, and Chris Schur of the following comets: 4P/Faye, 6P/d’Arrest, 7P/Pons-Winnecke, 8P/Tuttle, 10P/Tempel, 15P/Fnlay, 17P/Holmes, 28P/Neujmin, 57P/du Toit-Neujmin-Delporte, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, 117P/Helin-Roman-Alu, C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), C/2019 K7 (Smith), C/2020 H5 (Robinson), C/2020 S1 (SONEAR), C/2020 R4 (ATLAS), C/2020 S3 (Erasmus), C/2020 T2 (Palomar), C/2021 A1 (Leonard), C/2021 A9 (PANSTARRS), and C/2021 E3 (ZTF).

On the magnitude front, J. J. Gonzalez, Carl Hergenrother, and Chris Wyatt submitted 43 visual and CCD/CMOS brightness measurements of comets 7P/Pons-Winnecke, 117P/Helin-Roman-Alu, 246P/NEAT, C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), C/2018 U1 (Lemon), C/2019 F1 (ATLAS-Africano), C/2019 T4 (ATLAS), C/2020 F5 (MASTER), C/2020 J1 (SONEAR), C/2020 R4 (ATLAS), C/2020 T2 (Palomar), and C/2021 A1 (Leonard).

The Comets Section Image Gallery ( also reached a milestone in May when the number of images/sketches passed the 6000 mark. The next milestone is the total number of different comets represented in the Gallery. We are only 4 comets away from having images of 600 comets.

We plan on publishing our analysis of the bright comets of 2019 in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the ALPO. If you have any comet observations from 2019, especially for comets 260P/McNaught, C/2018 N2 (ASSASN), C/2018 W2 (Africano), and C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto), please consider sending them to the Comets Section at We would like to thank Jef De Wit, Uwe Pilz, and Michael Rosolina who recently contributed sketches of 2019’s brighter comets.

The monthly ALPO Comet News PDF can be found here. A shorter version of this report is posted on a dedicated Cloudy Nights forum. All are encouraged to join the discussion over at Cloudy Nights.

- Carl Hergenrother

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