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Reports from Geisei Observatory <March 8, 2002>

• Observation data and photograph of C/2002 C1( Ikeya-Zhang )
The tail streaming from the coma has become quite clear. The following is the results of observation with Geisei's 60cm reflector. The position measured photographically by me is about 3" off the latest orbit determined by Mr. Hirohisa Sato using CCD images. It may be caused by a difference in the position of the center between photographic and CCD images. Errors have begun to appear due to the large size of the coma. The measurements have not been submitted to IAU and by calculating O-C those with large errors will be excluded.
2002 UT      R.A(2000)    Decl.      m1
Mar.7.42240  1 13 50.49  +6 06 22.1  4.6    372
    7.43632  1 13 51.96  +6 07 13.0  4.6    372
    8.42451  1 15 35.48  +7 08 01.9         372
    8.43142  1 15 35.97  +7 08 27.9         372
   11.44924  1 20 20.76 +10.23 11.3  4.5    372

The photograph was taken at 19:10 March 7 by Geisei's 60cm reflector with a 36-second exposure. The details of the tail are clearly visible. It will be rather difficult to find it as a naked-eye comet because of its small coma.

The second photograph is a recent view from the hill where Geisei Observatory stands. This reminds me of a night view of the City of Kyoto seen from Hanayama Observatory a long time ago. The light pollution stretches westward to near Kochi City, 40 kilometers away. The sky conditions in the 1960s in Kochi City were much better than the skies we have here today. Wherever you go, light pollution will catch up with you soon or later. I could have declared the end of my astronomical observation long before, but I did not have a place to go anywhere else. I am observing C/2002 C1 (Comet Ikeya-Zhang) in this light pollution. It is hard to believe that I was worried about the effect of fogging by gegenschein in 1980, around the time when the observatory was opened. The Kochi plain being light-polluted like this, there will be nowhere you can escape light pollution unless you go deep into the mountains.

Photograph 1
19:10 March 7
60cm reflector with 36-second exposure
By Tsutome Seki at Seikei Observatory

Photograph 2
A night view from the hill where the observatory stands

Copyright (C) 2002 Tsutomu Seki.