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Comet 2001A2 LINEAR

The Comet in March 2001

This comet was discovered by LINEAR in January 2001 and a very good treatment of the discovery circumstances and history of observations since discovery is done by Gary Kronk on his page

The Comet calming down

The comet appears to be calming down a little. These images taken on July 15 do not show as much tail activity, but some of that could be due to sky haze conditions. This was not as good a night as July 14th.

There is no obvious splitting of the nucleus and the tail seems reduced. That strange looking irregular bright spot in the image is caused by a bright star, 7th mag. SAO 107796. The star was so bright it saturated the CCD and developed a spike. When the images were offset and combined the spikes formed the irregular pattern seen here.

The Comet in mid July 2001

The comet is now high in the northern sky passing through Pegasus.

The comet was nice and bright and looked like a fuzzy ball in binoculars, similar in appearance to early July. Faint wisps of tails can be seen in this image and some detail in the next.

There have been some recent observations of pieces splitting off of the comet's nucleus. Looking at just the nuclear region did not show any fragments or splitting of the nucleus at the time of this observation.

The Comet in early July 2001

The comet went behind the sun and went to the southern hemisphere after March and was no longer visible up in the northern hemisphere until late June. The following image was taken the night of June 30/ July 1 from my backyard.

The comet was visible only in binoculars from the backyard in the morning haze and twilight.

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