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Reports from Geisei Observatory <February 17, 2009>

Venus and C/2006 W3 (Christensen)

    This is the observation of C/2006 W3 (Christensen), which is getting lower in the evening sky.
    Mr. Oba, a staff member of Geisei Observatory, was shooting Venus with a video camera. Venus was near its maximum brightness at about 4.5 magnitude shining intensely bright. I remember that, in June 1940, near the end of the war, enemy plane spotters found a bright spot (Venus) close to the sun in broad daylight causing quite a stir. In the morning of December 1941, when the Great Nankai Earthquake occurred, the eerie glow of Venus penetrating thin clouds seemed to be some sort of omen.
    Before the clouds began to cover the sky one hour later, I managed to observe C/2006 W3 in the evening sky. It was quite a while after the last observation of this comet. It was a cold day with the wind so strong that it could blow the dome off.
    The magnitudes given below are photographic magnitudes and would be a little brighter visually. I am looking forward to seeing it in the morning sky. It will pass perihelion in summer this year.

    CK06W030   2009 02 17.41146 22 24 05.26 +36 04 59.2          12.4 T      372
    CK06W030   2009 02 17.41840 22 24 05.52 +36 04 56.5                      372
    CK06W030   2009 02 17.42118 22 24 05.61 +36 04 55.0          12.3 T      372

Copyright (C) 2009 Tsutomu Seki.