central condensation

central condensation

[′sen·trəl ‚kän·dən′sā·shən]
(astronomy)
The bright, central portion of the coma of a comet, containing one or more nuclei.
References in periodicals archive ?
9 and was possibly a little brighter in the east, but he saw no central condensation or stars.
Its adjacent small companion, NGC 4264, is visible with direct vision, and exhibits a slight central condensation.
The star density usually increases greatly toward the center, but the degree of central condensation varies widely.
But this abruptly changed on December 20th when the comet's head exhibited a long, bright tailward-pointing ray instead of a compact central condensation.
In my 10 x 50 binoculars, NGC 300 shows up as a small, hazy patch, about 10' across with no apparent central condensation.
Moreover it was quite diffuse, with almost no central condensation.
A number of faint stars dot a hazy face nearly 1/2[degrees] across with a slight central condensation.
From outer suburbia, NGC 2516 is easily visible to the unaided eye as a hazy patch, and my 10 x 50 binoculars show a diffuse 1/2[degrees]-diameter halo with quite a strong central condensation.
My 8-inch f/6 Newtonian at 135x revealed a central condensation, but not a very pronounced one.
Southwest of NGC 4434, the face-on barred spiral NGC 4416 is a distinct little fuzzy with a slight central condensation.
My favorite globular is 47 Tucanae (NGC 104), second in size to mighty Omega Centauri but much prettier due to its dramatic class III central condensation.
At the eyepiece, clusters such as M13, M22, Omega Centauri, and 47 Tucanae accord well with the mental images we carry with us from photographs--a central condensation with a web of faint stars gently laid over a soft haze.

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