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Reports from Geisei Observatory <October 30, 2003>

• Comet Encke and Mr. Minoru Honda
I attempted to photograph Comet Encke by Metcalf guiding method. I also observed it using the 20cm telescope at 60x, but the coma was small (30") and the gas extending from it was extremely faint, not clear at 40x.

When Mr. Honda, our great predecessor in comet hunting, was still just a beginner around 1937, he found Comet Encke and reported his finding to Kwasan Observatory as a new comet. Mr. Kaname Nakamura, who was at the observatory at that time, sent Mr. Honda thoughtful advice. According to Mr. Honda, he also mistakenly reported a ghost image of Venus as a new comet. Such errors seem unavoidable when one has just started searching for comets.

Around 1950 a book was published by OAA which included articles written by three gentlemen, Mr. Shigeki Okabayashi, Mr. Honda, and Mr. Kaname Nakamura, the renowned lens maker. Mr. Okabayashi wrote about methods of finding new comets, Mr. Honda observation of the zodiacal light, and Mr. Nakamura about observing comets. There would be no-one who still has a copy of that book. The book was a good companion for me when I started searching for comets.

1.16am - 1.31am (J.S.T.),October 29, 2003
60cm f/3.5 reflector at Geisei Observatory
TP6415 film

Copyright (C) 2003 Tsutomu Seki.