Comet C/2006 M4 SWAN

This bright, beautiful comet was seen by me today evening from the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bangalore, India. The comet was far far brighter than M13, which was also in the same field. I should remark that M13 is a naked eye object from dark skies. While M13 was barely visible in an old home-made finder scope morphed from a binocular by people there, comet SWAN was bright and everybody could easily see it.

I suppose it was even visible to the naked eye in the bright city light, but this may just be a hallucination. But definitely, it should be visible from sites like Dod Ballapur or even the outskirts of Bangalore City.

I recommend that those living on the outskirts of Bangalore or less light polluted cities can give it a try with naked-eyes / binoculars. Those who have binoculars can find it from the city center too.

Use http://www.skyhound.com for charts or you can use software like Cartes du Ciel too.
Photograph:
http://www.space.com/php/multimedia/imagedisplay/img_display.php?pic=ig311_comet_swan_wilder_02.jpg&cap=Tony%20Wilder%20of%20Chippewa%20Falls%2C%20Wisconsin%20captured%20this%20wonderful%20scene%20looking%20through%20our%20city%20glow%20facing%20west%20a

3 Responses to “Comet C/2006 M4 SWAN”

  1. The cynic Says:

    I saw it too.. but it was as bad as not seeing it
    my aesthetic retina fails to admire objects in light polluted skies

  2. The cynic Says:

    and yeah. I found it with binocs

  3. amar10sharmaa Says:

    I could observe this comet first (and last as of now) on 26th Oct. from Hosahalli. Skies were bad in that direction and they were no better than half-a-town. Little light-pollution. With the 10×50 binoculars I could at my extreme limit of visibility sense an ~1 degree tail (the binocs were 6 deg. I divided the field into half and this appeared to me to be 1/3rd of that division). It was not an exciting sight through the binocs. just a fuzzy patch similar to M13 which was at the other edge of field. And the tail’s direction too coincided with that as in the software – away from the Sun – and more towards North-East that is at 2’o’ clock position. This is about the gas tail of the comet, thin and diffuse. I dont know more about the tougher to see, dust tail. I dont know what apertures are required to see it.

    But in my 9.5″ telescope it was a beautiful sight…a bright coma and a much brighter stellar nucleus. It looked to me like a brighter version of M15 or M2 globular. I had a very hard time noticing it’s tail, I could somehow at my extreme limit sense some extension in one direction. And here too the direction was perfectly oriented, at 7’o’ clock in the eyepiece. There was very slight feeling of a bulge/extension in that direction but this was spoiled due to the little light-pollution there.

    Over all it’s a fantastic comet for 4th magntiude. A darker sky and a bigger scope can show a lot more. Anyway it’s fading out now and Moon’s also increasing in phase now to spoil our view for another half a month or so. We need to get it fast after that.


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