March 96 Observations

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03/26/96 9:00PM
Tail of Hyakutake was 30 degrees in length to the naked eye with the moon nearly half lit. Photographed the spectra of Hyakutake. Took several different length exposures of the coma and the tail. Viewed in 10x50 B and 8" Dob at 48x. Unbelievable object, just unreal...

03/25/96 9:00PM
Observed the head of the coma in the 8" at 48x. The coma was causing a star to rapidly dim and even blink completely out, and then reappear again. This occured on a time scale of seconds from brightest to dimmest.
03/23/96 10:00PM - 03:00 AM 03/24/96
The sky was quite dark
up in Mt. Airy
Not a single star twinkled
Not even Antares

People there: Chas Redmond, Dave Varros, Dave Dear, John Akers, Biff LeVee and myself.

LM=6.2+ Nearest the Zenith, the tail of comet Hyakutake spanned some 60 degrees when observed with the naked eye. M1 = somewhere below 0. Conditions were very rare for central Maryland with utter stability. A most exceptional night.... that made me write my first piece of poetry (go figure...)

03/18/96 04:30 AM EST
Saw HYAKUTAKE thru a large hole in the clouds. It was sporting a 2.5 degree tail.
03/16/96 03:00 - 05:20 AM EST
What a treat! LM 6.0+ easy. HYAKUTAKE is getting very bright. Equivalent to a blurred 7 Delta Sco which is mag 2.32 (on my charts). Two well defined tails of up to 5 Degrees pointing almost due west, using 10X50 Binos and a 60mm f/6 Refractor at 12x. The center of the coma is extremely condensed. Just a gleaming! Got back the photos I took using 100mm f/4 with Kodak Gold 100. The photos reveal a tail of up to 7 degrees! I will scan and post in a few days.
03/14/96 4:25 AM EST
Bummer, no B1 observation last night :(

With 7 hr sleep adapted vision, B2 is a very easy naked eye thru a hole in the clouds, a window and also when behind a thin layer of clouds!! Maybe around mag 4. Fairly large too but I'm not of sound mind yet to make an estimate. The moon is becoming less of a factor too.

03/13/96 5:20 AM EST
C/1996B2 naked eye m1=4.5, center=stellar 5.5, dia=2/3 full moon with averted vision. Impressive in 10X50 Binos. Took 2 still photos with 55mm f/1.8 30 seconds. My brother viewed it with Night Vision and said it had "twin tails". The photo mentioned before reveals the same!
03/12/96 7:30 9:00 PM EST
C/1996B1 *1996 Mar. 13.05 UT: m1=8.6, Dia=6.0', DC=2...20cm f/6 L (48X,96X,163X)....G. Varros (Mt. Airy, MD, USA) *B1 seemed somewhat extended in PA 150. Watched B2 for 1 1/2 hours. When first found, it was sitting directly over a mag 10.2 star giving it "new" look. This quickly changed as it moved about 7 arc min over the next hour. Saw extended area in PA 150 at all three magnifications. What a spell of butiful weather!!!!!
03/12/96 5:20 AM EST
Observed C/1996B2. Naked eye object even with the half lit moon, the glow of the rising sun, and without dark adapted eyes. The size was close to that of the full moon and slightly elongated to the west. Magnitude estimated at around 3.5 - 4 all things considered.
03/11/96 7:30 8:30 PM EST
Observed C/1996B1. LM 6.0+
1996 Mar. 12.05 UT: m1=8.5, Dia=6.0',DC=2...20cm f/6 L (48X,96x) Motion easily observed over a 1 hour period. This sucker is hauling ass. Did a binocular tour of the best objects currently visible such as M42,M31, Double Open Cluster, M65 & M66 area, Pleaides, and other objects.
03/10/96 7:30 8:30 PM EST
Observed C/1996B1. 1996 Mar. 11.05 UT: m1=8.5, Dia=6.0',DC=2-3...20cm f/6 L (48X,96x,162X) Averted vision reveals slightly brighter condensation at NW side of coma.
03/09/96 8:00 10:30 PM EST
M1=8.5 DC=2-3 Dia=5' 20cm reflector. It was within 11 arcminutes of mag 7 GSC-01423-00457 and was originally very hard to spot at 48X. Once found, 163X provided a better view. Brighter condensation at times using averted vision that is why DC=2-3. Size may have been limited due to proximity to mag 7 star. Also observed NGC2903. Nice object.