Comet 18-18


C/2001 A2 LINEAR in the 8" F/10 S.Cass on July 12th at 01.22 LT. This comet was a very faint object but suddenly went into outburst during April and came within visual range at mag 7.7 in Monoceros however by July 2001 it was a faint naked eye object at mag 5.8 in the eastern sky near the square of Pegasus. The coma was large (15'), wedge shaped with very soft (diffuse) edges - it was difficult to tell where the comet ended and the sky began. The central condensation was elongated and I could detect rapid motion to the NW. The waning gibbous moon had already risen in the east. This is just one of a large number of sketches I made showing the comet moving across the background sky every 15 min's.

It was a nice summer comet for binoculars and I spent many a pleasent warm night watching it as a gentle mild breeze quietly stirred the leaves on the trees and a fox would silently pass by my yard disappearing into a hedgerow with its long bushy tail. It was the only tail I seen that time as the comet lacked this feature for visual observers. A2 LINEAR is what the chinese classified as a 'bushy star' or 'po'.