C/2010 X1 (Elenin) post solar conjunction recovery attempt

Recently we tried to image C/2010 X1 (Elenin) after its solar conjunction. The observing conditions for this comet are currently quite difficult: very low in the morning sky at twilight, within the zodiacal light pollution.

Anyway we decided to go with several robotic scopes, operating under excellent sky conditions (New Mexico and Mauna Kea). At first we aimed at the expected comet's position (MPC ephemerids) on 2011, Oct 09.5, through a 0.25-m f/3.4 reflector + CCD and, nearly simultaneously, through a 0.10-m f/5 APO refractor + CCD, from the Global Rent a Scope facility (near Mayhill, NM).

Stacking of a number of images, we observed no distinct evidence of the comet within about 30 arcmin of the expected position, with a limiting magnitude around 17, and to limiting magnitude about 15, within about 2 deg from the expected position. Below you can see the crop of the 0.25-m reflector stacked image set (click on the image above for a bigger version).

On 2011, Oct. 10.6, we imaged the area where comet Elenin was supposed to be, through the 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD of Faulkes Telescope North (Mauna Kea, Hawaii). Stacking several exposures, with limiting magnitude at around 20.5, doesn't show any trace of the comet within the 10'x10' field of view centered on the comet's ephemerids (while stacking these images along the proper motion of the field minor planets, we can easily distinguish the asteroid (43629), with its magnitude at 20.3 (click on the image for a bigger version):

by Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero and Nick Howes