Observing report for 21 March 2002

Location/Conditions

Gear

Objects

Comet Hyakutake

Report

What a comet! We've actually been observing the last two nights, and the comet was noticeably better tonight. Integrated magnitude about 2.0-2.5. Coma about 20-30 arcminutes in binocs, with a 4 degree ion tail. There looked to be some structure in the short, broad dust tail. (I think my interpretation of what I'm seeing in the tail is correct, but I'm hardly a comet expert.) The nucleus was very point-like in the telescope, and this can even be discerned in binocs (this was much easier tonight than last night). The first part of the tail was naked-eye visible. My observing partner said that he thought this was better than anything he saw with Halley. For me, Hyakutake doesn't quite match my best view of Halley from a dark site in Iowa 10 years ago, but it's getting close.


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