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
The geocentric distance is only 0.1 AU! It has finally arrived
2006UT RA (2000.0) Decl. m1
Apr.30.60938 16 41 15.00 +31 56 54.5 8.1 372
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.