OBS-V: C/2006 M4 (SWAN)
The sky turned clear a few days ago. It was a good chance for me to observe the comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN), which has just experienced just an outburst on Oct 24, 2006.
Oct. 25, 2006
The sun shone brightly on the day, but cloudy in the evening. Failed certainly. It was my second failure of catching this comet. The first one was on Oct. 05.
Oct. 26, 2006
I had received a great number of reports that the comet C/2006 M4 experienced an outburst. Observation showed that it was 1.5m brighter than a few days ago. The sun shone brightly on the day. Having done some of my homework, I came back home at about 10: 15UT but I found that the sky was covered with thin clouds, especially the western and southern parts. I still tried to observe it but failed. It was my third failure.
Oct. 27, 2006
The sky seemed to be clearer than yesterday. The clouds happened to turn up again in the evening, but this time they moved away quickly and remained a beautiful blue sky. I moved my 10.0cm-refractor to the balcony swiftly when I got home. It was waste of time that searching the stars through the finder because of the heavy light pollution above the NW horizon. I swept the sky carefully and very soon, a comet-like object near an orange double-star burst into my field. I checked the software Carte du Ciel immediately and was excited to find that it really was the comet!
Though it was still slight hazy and bright background, I could see the coma and maybe its tail! It was fuzzy but condensed. An hour later, the comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN) seemed to have moved about 0.1 deg. towards east. Certainly I sketched it and measure its brightness and some others.
Here’s the report that I sent it to the CometObs:
Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN)
2006 Oct. 27.46UT: ml=4.7, Dia.=9′, DC=8, Tail: 0.5 deg.? PA=40 deg.
Refractor, D=100mm, f/7, 28x
PS: Severe light pollution above the NW horizon, so I can’t measure the length of tail exactly, however, I can "feel" the direction of it.
Weather condition: slight hazy sky (much better than some days before).
I finished the observation since the comet was hidden by the bright background. The whole of it lasted about 1.5 h : from 10: 20UT to 11: 50UT.
Oct 28, 2006
The sky became a little hazier again. I started my hunting at about 10: 15UT and it took me long to sweep the double-star again because the poorer weather condition. Then I swept a few degrees towards east and found nothing except some of the faint stars in the field. Gradually I did find something fuzzy in the bottom. That was just the right position for the comet. I caught it again! It still remained its high condensation but the magnitude was down. Was it influenced by such kind of weather? I sketched and sent a report again.
Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN)
2006 Oct. 28.46UT: ml=5.1, Dia.=6′, DC=8, Refractor, D=100mm, f/7, 28x
PS: Severe light pollution above the NW horizon. The comet was hard to be seen though it was
Weather condition: hazy sky (worse than yesterday).
I tried to write those visual reports in ICQ Format:
IIIYYYYMnL YYYY MM DD.DD eM mm.m:r AAA.ATF/xxxx &dd.ddnDC &t.ttmANG ICQ XX*OBSxx
2006M4 2006 10 27.47 M 4.7 TK 10.0R 7 28 9 8 25 m 40 ICQ XX XUxx
2006M4 2006 10 28.46 M 5.1 BD 10.0R 7 28 6 8 ICQ XX XUxx
That’s all! Good night!