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Reports from Geisei Observatory <December 13, 2004>

• P/2004 V1 (Skiff), C/2004 X2 (LINEAR), C/2004 Q2 (Machholz)
   It is a clear day. I observed comets with the 60cm telescope while watching the Geminid meteor shower.
    After an overnight observing, I returned home, had a nap, and went to the swimming pool at the Prefectural Gymnasium. You enjoy your life most while you are working on something with a passion.
    Here are the observations of two comets. These haven't been sent to the MPC, as the accuracy is uncertain.
                        RA (2000.0)   Deal.          m1
P/2004 V1  Dec.13.41563 22 59 56.89  +01 57 35.3     16     372
C/2004 X2  Dec.13.72292  9 27 54.37  +11 40 33.2     17     372
               13.75139  9 27 53.28  +11 40 15.8     17     372
    I took two photographs of the wrong field for C/2004 X1 (LENEAR) because I used incorrect ephemerides. What a waste! And 40-minute exposures of all things! Many years ago Dr. Elizabeth Roemer at Flagstaff made incredibly long 120-minute guided exposures and went as deep as 21st magnitude using emulsion. Geisei did something similar to that. With TP6415 film now gone, I am struggling with objects that CCDs can capture with only a few minute exposure.

    As for Comet Machholz (C/2004 Q2), I was able to confirm it with the naked eye today, too. A photograph taken with the 16cm Epsilon is presented here. You can see a straight and long Type I tail appearing as a jet in PA 15° as well as a broad Type II or III tail extending faintly in PA 270°(west). Hasn't a non-gravitational effect showed up yet?

[Photo of Comet Machholz]
C/2004 Q2 (Machholz)
5-minute exposure from 21:30, December 13, 2004 J.S.T.
ε160 f/3.5 ISO 800 film


Copyright (C) 2004 Tsutomu Seki.