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Comet C/2002 F1
Utsunomiya

Michael Jäger photograph of Utsunomiya on April 30
Copyright 2002 by Michael Jäger (Austria)

This photograph was obtained by Michael Jäger on 2002 April 30.82. It is a composite of two 1-minute exposures obtained with a 250/450 Schmidt camera and Kodak Ektachrome 100 film. He estimated the comet was then near magnitude 5.0.

Discovery

Syogo Utsunomiya (Minami Oguni-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto-ken, Japan) discovered this comet in morning twilight with 25x150 binoculars on 2002 March 18.44. He gave the magnitude as 10 and estimated the coma diameter as 1 arcmin. Utsunomiya confirmed the comet the next morning and described it as magnitude 10.0, with a diffuse, weakly condensed coma about 1.5 arcmin across

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Historical Highlights

  • The first published orbit came on March 21. B. G. Marsden (Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams) took 31 positions obtained on March 20 and 21, and calculated a parabolic orbit with a perihelion date of 2002 April 23.46. The orbit indicated the comet would pass 0.46 AU from the sun (just under 43 million miles) and could reach a maximum brightness of magnitude 5.6 during the last half of April.
  • The initial visual observations confirmed the magnitude 10 estimate of Utsunomiya. Observers using CCD cameras noted a tail extending toward the west-southwest, with the greatest estimates being near 1.5° in length.

  • Latest Images


    Michael Jäger photograph of Utsunomiya on April 13
    Copyright 2002 by Michael Jäger (Austria)

    This photograph was obtained by Michael Jäger on 2002 April 13.10. It is a composite of two 4-minute exposures obtained with a 250/450 Schmidt-Cassegrain and Kodak Ektachrome 100 film.


    Alfredo Garcia, Jr. image of Utsunomiya on May 3.13
    Copyright 2002 by Alfredo Garcia, Jr. (Arizona)

    This image was obtained by Alfredo Garcia, Jr. on 2002 May 3.13. It is a composite of two 30-second unguided exposures obtained with a 127-mm f/5 Orion Short Tube Refractor and an MX5C CCD camera.

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