8P Tuttle

Closest to Earth on 1 Jan 2008 at 0.25AU.
Closest to Sun on 26 Jan 2008 at 1.03AU.
Maximum magnitude 5.5 in Jan 2008
Orbital period: 13.6 years

2008 March 1.45 UT. 20x10 sec, C11 SCT at f/3 + MX7c ccd. FOV 15'

Jan 4.48UT. 2x3 min exposures. Canon 300D digital camera. 200mm zoom lens, cropped.

8P Tuttle had the most favourable appearance since its discovery in 1790.
It attained a maximum brightness of 5.5 during its close encounter with the
Earth on 1 January 2008 at a distance of 0.25AU.

As December began, 8P Tuttle was exclusively a northern hemisphere target
and brightened rapidly from magnitude 9 to 6 during the month. After the full moon
of December 24, the comet rapidly became observable from southern latitudes
as it travelled southwards by 4 degrees per day, crossing the constellations
of Andromeda, Pisces and Cetus.
On the nights of Dec 30 and 31, the comet was situated 2 degrees from the
large face-on spiral galaxy M33 in Triangulum.
The first 2 weeks of January 2008 offered the best viewing circumstances and
the magnitude 5.5 comet was well situated for evening viewing from southern
latitudes, attaining faint naked eye visibility.

Post perihelion, it faded much slower than expected. Thus its light curve is asymmetrical.