177P – C/2006 M3 (Barnard 2) – AUG 25, 2006

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Observation Notes

Because I was observing at Anderson Mesa this comet was fairly easy to find, a bit more than a degree southwest of Alrakis in Draco. It was large–about 9 arc minutes–and very diffuse. It was only very slightly condensed, as noted in the sketch. Over the course of an hour and ten minutes, the comet had moved about 3 to 4 arc minutes to the north (move mouse over sketch to see labels). Actual motion turned out to be a bit more than 2 arc minutes.


According to Gary Kronk’s Cometography, Comet 177P/Barnard 2 was discovered by Barnard in 1889. It was lost for 117 years and finally recovered on June 23, 2006. According to B. G. Marsden, the orbital period for the 1889 apparition was 117.36 years; by the 2006 apparition the period was 119.64

Subject Comet 177P/2006 M3 (Barnard 2)
Classification Comet
Position* Draco
06:15 UT – [RA: 16:59:03.4 / Dec: +53:37:27]
07:25 UT – [RA: 16:59:05.9 / Dec: +53:39:28]
Size Coma: 9′
Brightness* ~8.5
Date/Time August 25, 2006 – 11:15 PM MST to August 26, 2006 – 12:25 AM MST
(August 26, 2006 – 06:15 – 07:25 UT)
Observing Loc. Anderson Mesa, AZ
Instrument Orion SVP 6LT Reflector (150 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag. 32 mm Sirius Plössl (37.5X)
Conditions Partly Cloudy, humid, 55°F
Seeing 5/10
Transparency Mag 6.8 + NELM
*Sources Gary Kronk’s Cometography;Aerith.net
Starry Nights Pro Plus 5.8

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