Although this comet would have benefited from a trip outside of town to get away from the low altitude light pollution, I was still able to find it from my front yard. The comet showed up as a very gradual brightening with a very subtle concentration at the core. It is a slow mover, so I was only able to track about 2 arc minutes worth of movement over the 45 minute span I noted its position. After that, it had sunk too far into the southwestern light pollution to observe further. The best part of the observation was the beautifully red carbon star that shared the low power field with the comet. I couldn’t resist researching its identity (V Hydrae) and sketching what turned out to be a double star with a carbon star as its primary: V HYA (BU 1428).
|Subject||C/2007 W1 (Boattini)|
|Position*||05:25 UT – Hydra: [RA: 10:51:43.8 / Dec: -21:34:29]
06:10 UT – Hydra [RA: 10:51:36.5 / Dec: -21:34:45]
|Size||Coma: 7 arc minutes diameter|
|Brightness*||~ 8.0 vMag|
|Date/Time||April 30, 2008, 9:25 – 10:10 PM
(May 1, 2008, 04:25 – 05:10 UT)
|Observing Loc.||Flagstaff, AZ – Home|
|Instrument||Orion SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian|
|Eyepieces/Mag.||32 mm Sirius Plossl (37.5X)|
|Conditions||Clear, gusty winds|
|Transparency||Mag 4.5 NELM|
|*Sources||Aerith.net; Starry Night Pro Plus 5.8|
*Based on published data.