Comet C/2002 X5 (Kudo-Fujikawa)

Minor Planet Circular 2002-Y38


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THE ASTRONOMER Electronic Circular No 1834      2002 Dec 18 19.30UT
Ed:Guy M Hurst, 16,Westminster Close, Kempshott Rise,  Basingstoke,
Hants, RG22 4PP,England.Telephone/FAX(01256)471074Int:+441256471074
INTERNET: GUY@TAHQ.DEMON.CO.UK             GMH at AST.STAR.RL.AC.UK
WORLD WIDE WEB                         http://www.theastronomer.org
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COMET C/2002 X5 (KUDO-FUJIKAWA)
The comet announced on TA E-Circular 1832 has now been designated
as above in a note appearing on IAUC 8033. This follows an
independent visual discovery by Shigehisa Fujikawa on Dec
14.86UT when the comet was estimated to be of magnitude 9, using a
0.16-m reflector. The following orbital elements by Dan Green have
also now been made available:

     T = 2003 Jan. 28.776 TT          Peri. = 188.205
                                      Node  = 119.389   2000.0
     q = 0.18485 AU                   Incl. =  94.431

Ephemeris by Guy Hurst using EPH.EXE by Nick James:
  Date    R.A. (2000) Dec.     R       r     Elong  Mag.    Motion
          h  m       o  '     (AU)    (AU)     o          "/hr P.A.

2002 Dec
  18.00  16 19.32  +42 54.6   1.075   1.168   69.0   7.8   253  115
  19.00  16 27.68  +42 10.9   1.063   1.147   68.1   7.7   258  116
  20.00  16 36.01  +41 24.4   1.052   1.126   67.1   7.6   263  117
  21.00  16 44.30  +40 34.8   1.041   1.105   66.1   7.5   268  118
  22.00  16 52.53  +39 42.3   1.031   1.084   65.1   7.4   272  120
  23.00  17  0.70  +38 46.9   1.022   1.063   64.0   7.3   277  121
  24.00  17  8.78  +37 48.6   1.014   1.041   62.8   7.2   281  122
  25.00  17 16.78  +36 47.4   1.006   1.020   61.6   7.1   285  123
  26.00  17 24.66  +35 43.5   0.999   0.998   60.4   7.0   289  124
  27.00  17 32.43  +34 36.9   0.994   0.976   59.1   6.9   292  125
  28.00  17 40.08  +33 27.7   0.989   0.953   57.8   6.8   295  127
  29.00  17 47.59  +32 16.0   0.984   0.931   56.5   6.7   298  128
  30.00  17 54.97  +31  1.9   0.981   0.908   55.1   6.5   301  129
  31.00  18  2.20  +29 45.7   0.979   0.885   53.6   6.4   303  130

2003 Jan
   1.00  18  9.28  +28 27.4   0.977   0.862   52.2   6.3   304  131
   2.00  18 16.21  +27  7.1   0.976   0.839   50.7   6.2   306  132
   3.00  18 22.98  +25 45.0   0.976   0.815   49.2   6.1   307  132
   4.00  18 29.60  +24 21.3   0.977   0.791   47.6   5.9   308  133
   5.00  18 36.06  +22 56.0   0.979   0.767   46.0   5.8   308  134
   6.00  18 42.37  +21 29.3   0.982   0.743   44.4   5.7   308  135
   7.00  18 48.52  +20  1.4   0.985   0.718   42.8   5.5   308  136
   8.00  18 54.52  +18 32.2   0.989   0.694   41.2   5.4   308  137
   9.00  19  0.37  +17  2.0   0.995   0.668   39.5   5.2   307  138
  10.00  19  6.07  +15 30.6   1.001   0.643   37.8   5.1   307  138

Martin Mobberley comments:
Comet Kudo-Fujikawa is currently a circumpolar object from the UK,
at +42 Dec, but is much better placed in the morning sky than the
evening sky; in the latter it is a little more than 20 degrees
altitude in the NW evening sky at astronomical twilight and 7th
mag. The Full Moon complicates matters, but, once this has reduced
to a crescent in the morning sky, by Dec 30th, and the comet
brightens to maybe 6th mag, the comet should be a very nice object
at 30 degrees altitude in the Eastern morning sky at astronomical
twilight (6am in the UK). The solar distance should be 0.9 AU by
this time, so, hopefully, a good tail should be developing nicely.
The comet will be close to the Hercules/Lyra border at this time.
By Jan 7th the comet will be entering Aquila and will be only 0.7AU
from the Sun. The MPEC mag is predicted as 5.0 by this time and the
comet will still be a decent 18 degrees altitude at dawn
astronomical twilight. Comet Kudo-Fujikawa may still be just
detectable from the UK by Full Moon (Jan 18th) when it will be at
8-degrees altitude in dawn *nautical* twilight, but, possibly mag
3.0, still due East, for those with a flat UK horizon! Perihelion
occurs on Jan. 28th at a q of 0.185 AU. After disappearing into
dawn twilight, UK observers should next see it as an evening
object, very low in the western evening twilight at about 8th mag,
in Lepus (below Rigel).
Guy M Hurst

Last Revised: 2010 February 22nd