C/2009 R1 (McNaught) – JUN 15, 2010

Sketch of comet C/2009 R1 (McNaught)

Sketch of comet C/2009 R1 (McNaught)

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Observation Notes:

I really enjoyed the view of the comet this morning with the 8 inch Dob, 15 x 70 binoculars, and naked eye. Through the telescope, the ion tail stretched about 45 arc minutes at PA 305 degrees. The dust tail also appeared as a westward smearing of the coma at a PA of about 270 degrees. The coma itself was a cool turquoise color that contrasted beautifully with an orange 8th magnitude star just to its north. I didn’t detect a distinct pseudo-nucleus, just a smooth rise in brightness toward the core.

The ion and dust tails showed up through binoculars as well. By comparing to two nearby stars of similar magnitude (TYC3330-3020-1 and TYC3330-2130-1) I estimated its magnitude at 5.7.

It was also visible to the naked eye, appearing as another faint star in Perseus.

Subject C/2009 R1 (McNaught)
Classification Comet
Position* Perseus: [RA: — / Dec: –]
Size Coma: 10 arc minute diameter
Degree of Condensation: 4
Ion Tail: 45 arc minutes at 305°
Dust Tail: 10 arc minutes at 270°
Brightness* est. 5.7 vMag
Date/Time JUN 15, 2010, 2:45-3:30 AM MST
(JUN 15, 2010, 09:45-10:30 UT)
Observing Loc. Cinder Hills Overlook, Sunset Crater National Monument, Arizona, USA
Instrument SkyQuest XT8 (8 inch f/5.9 Dobsonian); 15 x 70 Oberwerk Binoculars; Naked Eye
Eyepieces/Mag. 32 mm Sirius Plössl, Pentax XW10, Pentax XW10+2X Barlow
Conditions Clear, calm
Seeing 2/10 Pickering
Transparency Mag 7+ NELM
*Sources Starry Night Pro Plus 5.8