73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann “C”

Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (fragment “C”)

April 2006

This comet really surprised me. A telescopic comet that actually showed a tail ! Usually if it takes a scope to see a comet, a tail is not expected. This comet had suffered a break-up, and I could track several parts (C was the biggest, and B was next). Several photos of this comet are shown near M57 that are pretty cool, although I did not see it there.

It is speculated that this comet will continue to break apart and one day be no more.

This first drawing (below) is from the back side of an observing report from April 21, 2006. Tom Richards and I were at Whiteside MO, and I went for this just before packing it in. It showed a hint of tail.

(click on any drawing to get the full-sized versions)

This second drawing (below) includes notes that tails were observed on both frag. C and frag. B on April 22nd. I think this alone qualfies frag. B as yet another allowable comet observation, but I did not count it.

This was also the date/page where I finished my Messiers. Quite a night. This page is actually parts of the front and back of the original observing page. The notes above go with the drawing below.

This 3rd page (below) was observed on May 2nd from a slightly more light-polluted area than Whiteside, and observed just before a heavy dew shut us down.