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Memorable Comets

Crommelin's Comet

    At 4 o'clock in the morning, October 10, 1956, a 10th-magnitude comet entered the field of my 15cm comet seeker. It was Crommelin's Comet, which had appeared 28 years earlier. It was Pajdusakova of Skalnate Pleso Observatory in Czechoslovakia (presently in Slovakia), who had rediscovered the comet, but it is not widely known that Mr. Minoru Honda and I had independently rediscovered it, too.

    This comet was discovered by Mr. Masamitsu Yamasaki at Mizusawa Latitude Observatory in October, 1928. About one month later, Mr. Forbes of South Africa discovered it, though his "discovery" was more like confirmation of Mr. Yamasaki's discovery. However, Mr. Yamasaki's name is not found in Marsden's famous Comet Catalog, in spite of the fact that he was awarded the Donohoe Comet Medal from Astronomical Society of Pacific for the discovery. It was much later that this comet was determined to be a periodic comet and was given the name of Crommelin.

    In 1984 I saw this comet in the evening sky. It was at 7th to 8th magnitude and disk-like without a tail. It will return around 2012.

10-minute exposure from 20:30, February 29, 1984 J.S.T.
60cm f/3.5 refelctor

Copyright © 2006 Tsutomu Seki.