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Comet Ikeya Zhang, April 6th, 2002

Original drawing made using white pencil on black paper:

Same drawing on a white background:

Comet Ikeya Zhang, April 6, 2002, 23:35-23:45 UT, seeing 6, transparency 5.1.

90mm f/5 refractor on alt-az mount. Magnification 48x, field of view: 1.65 degrees. North is to the upper right in this drawing.

The coma appeared much larger than the last time I observed it, so I used higher magnification to examine the head of the comet. The outer coma wrapped around the front and both sides of a relatively bright parabolic hood, with the pseudo-nucleus appearing star-like. The outer coma and parabolic hood appeared light blue in color. The gas tail appeared feathered and extended straight back, while the dust tail appeared somewhat feathered near the head of the comet. The tail appeared to be approximately 2.5 - 3 degrees in length.

Some nine hours after observing the comet in the evening sky I observed it again in this morning. It was better placed in the sky than the night before, as it was higher in the sky and the transparency was better. The gas and dust tails were much better defined, with the tail length was between 3 - 4 degrees in length with direct vision, and somewhat longer with averted vision. The dust tail appeared very feathered off to the right hand side, and it appeared to have changed since I observed it the night before.