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Reports from Geisei Observatory <May 1, 2006>

73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 approaches.

    The following are the observations of Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 at Geisei accompanied by a photograph. The original Nucleus C is impressive always showing a solid coma. The tail is faint and 20 to 30 minutes long. Nucleus B, however, changes its appearance like ninja. It has formed a bright, firm, and round coma again. As the gas of the coma has become more dense, Nucleus AQ cannot be distinguished from Nucleus B. They appeared to be connected, but I made measurements assuming it was Nucleus B. Quite recently it has become bright again with outbursts. I can hardly wait for the next observation to see what kind of appearance it takes on in the future.
    The geocentric distance is only 0.1 AU! It has finally arrived .
73P-C/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3
2006UT        RA (2000.0)   Decl.        m1
Apr.30.60938  16 41 15.00  +31 56 54.5   8.1     372

73P-B/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3
Apr.30.60139  16 00 57.52  +34 44 09.6   7.9     372
    The magnitudes given above are visual magnitudes by the 20cm refractor at 60x. There was no sign of Nucleus G at first glance. It might have faded a little. There were two faint 15th-magnitude nuclei nearby with tails. I will measure them to find out their identity. Look forward to the next report from Geisei Observatory.

73P-B/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3
4-minute exposure from 1:20 on May 1, 2006 (J.S.T.)
60cm f/3.5 reflector. Acros 100 fim

Copyright (C) 2006 Tsutomu Seki.