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Reports from Geisei Observatory <March 29, 2002>

• Photographs of C/2002 F1(Utsunomiya) and C/2002 C1(Ikeya-Zhang)
Cherry blossoms are in full bloom now. The area where the observatory stands is called Sakuragaoka or Cherry Blossom Hill and surrounded by cherry blossoms at their best. The parking lot at the foot of the hill is lit by red lanterns and is crowded by visitors to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms. In contrast, we are viewing the stars, not cherry blossoms. Under near-full moon brightness, I observed Comet Utsunomiya in the morning and Ikeya-Zhang in the evening. They were observable only for a short period of time at the morning and evening twilight. C/2002 F1 (Utsunomiya) was captured with some difficulties between branches of trees in the east. Moonlight and brightening twilight sky did not help. It was of 10th magnitude with a short tail. These are the conditions where visual comet searchers can work effectively and where photographs and CCD cannot match them. Under these conditions visual discovery will continue.
[Photo of C/2002 F1(Utsunomiya)]
C/2002 F1(Utsunomiya)
04:41 March 28, 2002
3-minute exposure on TP6415 film
Gesiei's 60cm reflector

[Photo of C/2002 C1(Ikeya-Zhang)]
C/2002 C1(Ikeya-Zhang)
19:26 March 18, 2002
30-second exposure on TP6415 film
Geisei's 60cm

Copyright (C) 2002 Tsutomu Seki.