Saturday, May 27, 2006

73P - C, B Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann

I arrived at the field around 5:00am. Sky was cleared at zenith where Altair presided, low clouds in the East. I scanned the NE mid elevation, trying to make out the Pegasus's Square. Using one branch of the 'Pegasus' Square, I star-hopped to the area where 73p fragment C supposed to be located. But in 7x50s view, no fuzzy ball jumped out at me from hazy sky. I returned home to get a map printout and brought my usual tripod/Mintron/lens setup.

Nothing was detected at x12 integration. Then I pumped up and maxed the integration - the unmistaken tiny tadpole finally showed up at 100mm end! It was fragment C. I let the Video Walkman run for a few minutes and shifted the FOV 'lower' to locate fragment B. Another fainter tadpole found. Venus appeared above the orws of African Tulips meanwhile early joggers pounding the pavement. This event is unique in a way - how often do you get to see fragments from the same comet!

Got some spare time to burn so I restacked
both images using 200 frames to bring out the 'tadpole' a bit better. Both tails are pointing in the same general direction as expected.

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