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Reports from Geisei Observatory <October 11, 2011>

Photograph of 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

    I encountered the news of Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova when I was at high school. I was planning on observing this comet with a star-loving classmate using a toy-like telescope. We only had a rather childish idea that we would be able to pick out the comet as the distinctive feature of a comet is its tail. Our predawn observation was a complete failure and only the cold air of late autumn to early winter is remembered clearly.
    How many times has this comet orbited the sun since? I have a lot of memories about observing this comet, as its orbital period is rather short. At the apparition about 15 years ago, Mr. Honda departed this life as if lured to the comet still shining in the predawn sky. I attended his funeral service at Kurashiki with a photograph of the comet in my chest pocket. A little earlier, he had asked me to send him a photo if I had a chance to take a good one. The comet that symbolizes truly great Mr. Honda is shining in the predawn sky now

A composite of 4 images at 4:42 - 5:53, October 7, 2011
Total exposure time 556 seconds
70cm f/7 reflector with Nikon D700 at ISO 1600
Image copyright (C) 2011 Geisei Observatory

Copyright (C) 2011 Tsutomu Seki.