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Comet Comments - April 9, 1996



Don Machholz
April 9, 1996

Comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2) performed well as it passed by Earth in late March. Not only did it shine brightly, but bits of material were blown off the nucleus while the tail stretched for over 70 degrees. It has been a most memorable comet! It will reach its closest point to the sun on May 1, then becoming an exclusively Southern Hemisphere object, with two possible exceptions. First, it may be visible in daylight through a telescope to experienced observers who take the proper precautions to avoid pointing their instrument at the sun. Secondly, the comet's tail may be seen rising at morning twilight between roughly April 28 and May 7. A long tail will point toward the northern part of the constellation Triangulum on April 28, swinging southward during the next week until it points toward the planet Saturn (due east) by May 7.

		C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake)
DATE(00UT) R.A. (2000) DEC	  El.	Sky	Mag
04-12	03h00.6m	+39o02'	  37o	E	  2.5
04-17	02h55.0m	+35o47'	  30o	E	  2.1
04-22	02h47.4m	+32o29'	  23o	E	  1.3
04-27	02h37.0m	+27o59'	  15o	E	  0.1
05-02	02h25.9m	+20o52'	    6o	E	 -0.3
05-07	02h21.7m	+12o19'	  10o	M	  0.8
05-12	02h24.8m	+04o33'	  19o	M	  2.2
05-17	02h31.9m	 -02o29'	  27o	M	  3.3
05-22	02h41.5m	 -09o12'	  35o	M	  4.1
05-27	02h53.2m	 -15o47'	  42o	M	  4.8
06-01	03h06.7m	 -22o21'	  50o	M	  5.3
06-06	03h22.2m	 -28o55	  57o	M	  5.8
Don Machholz
(916) 346-8963

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