- Wanted to pass this along for those that have been following the comet the
last few weeks...picked this off the Arkansas Observatory Pg.,
By Dr. Clay.......
......anyone interested in heading out to darks skies Thursday?
I want to alert you to an incredibly wonderful sight that awaits us on the
evening of APRIL 4, only a couple of days away. At about 7:30 p.m. local
time - or actually as soon as it gets really dark - persons in dark skies
and binoculars can see something very rare:
The Great Andromeda Galaxy, Messier 31 AND comet Ikeya-Zhang within only 1/2
degree of one-another! The comet will be only 32 minutes of arc - about the
diameter of the moon if seen in that part of the sky - EAST of the huge
galaxy which will appear as a gaseous cigar-shaped smudge in binoculars.
Ikeya-Zhang coordinates for April 7 at 01:40 UT:
RA = 00h 48.39'
DEC = 42d 17.45'
The evening before, they will still be in the same view, but the comet will
be slight south....the night after, slightly north! This will give
observers a chance to actually watch the comet MOVE against a distant
On April 4, Ikeya-Zhang is only about 47 million miles distant, whereas the
galaxy is an incredible 2.2 million light years distant.
Curiously, on this night BOTH galaxy and comet will appear about the SAME
magnitude (M-31 at 4.5 magnitude and Ikeya-Zhang at about 4th magnitude)!
This is a rare opportunity for folks with modest scopes and I certainly hope
you will have clear skies to check on this wonderful experience!
Photographers with modestly wide field instrumentation (i.e., a piggybacked
camera with a 200mm telephoto lens) should most definitely be out for this
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