• Karen Klamczynski

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková

Comet 45P will be passing closest to Earth on February 11th. Many are calling it the "Green Comet." If you are looking for information on showing Comet 45P in your dome, here are some tips.

The "Green Comet" as depicted in Digistar 5

The one-line elements for the comet are as follows:

0045P 2016 12 31.2647 0.532505 0.823934 326.2852 88.9746 4.2479 20170216 9.0 4.0 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Digistar 3, 4, 5, and 6 users can put that information into their UserComets.txt data file so that Digistar will create the comet at startup. Digistar II users can use the elements found on this page at the Minor Planet Center to input the comet.

Digistars 5 and 6 have more sophisticated comet rendering; they can display real-time dynamic dust and ion tails that match, to reasonable approximation, the comet. In order to take advantage of these features, add the following line to the CometRadius.ds file (in same location as UserComets.txt):

COM_45P/Honda-Mrkos-PajdusakovaData radius 2.5 km

Remember to restart Digistar after entering a new comet and/or editing the CometRadius.ds file. After that, you will find comet "Honda" in your system with your other comets.

In D5 and D6, you can go a step farther and tweak the color and appearance of the tail. In Preferences, find the comet and set a greenish color. Also try setting the dustTrailScale to 0.5. (After you change preferences, the next time you turn on the comet you will see the results of the new settings.)

Happy comet hunting!

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