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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 4, 2006 4:55:50 GMT -6
Comet Swan in Morning Skies
There's a new comet in the night sky, Comet Swan. It's too dim for naked-eye viewing, but it is an easy target for binoculars and small telescopes. Observers report a "spectacular" emerald-colored head and a long sinuous tail.
The following is a Magnitude chart for Swan:
The orbit of SWAN comes from "under" the plane of the solar system:
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 25, 2006 14:05:09 GMT -6
SWAN has Brightened to Naked eye Visability
October 24: C/2006 M4 (SWAN) is reported to have brightened suddenly by as much as two magnitudes--possibly as bright as 4.0! This would make it a much easier naked eye object and may foretell stronger tail development or even disruption.
Some comments from around the net:
* A heads up: reports are coming in consistently during the last 24 hours that M4 (SWAN) has brightened significantly. People are reporting naked eye sightings and I just saw a report from Europe of magnitude 4.0!
* Observed comet swan last night. Didn't have any trouble seeing it with the naked eye. In a 5 inch at 200x and 250x nothing unusual to report.
* Magnitude estimates of 4.0 would not be out of order for this comet! I viewed it tonight from a vineyard outside of Visalia, Calif., and it was markedly brighter than nearby Messier 13, which has an apparent magnitude of 5.6. I was not able to view it naked eye. Sky conditions were mostly clear with some overall haze and scattered clouds. SWAN has a pronounced bluish-green color.
This comet is currently being reported as magnitude 4 as of October 24. Look for an 8-10' coma, a faint skinny gas tail and a stubby dust tail. This comet underwent an outburst on October 24 and will likely be very interesting in the next few days! If not visible to the unaided eye, look for a hazy star in binoculars.