Comet 15-15


C/2002 C1 Ikeya - Zhang on March 21st 2002 at 19.56 LT in the 8" F/10 S.Cass showing the classic profile of what a comet should look like with parabolic shaped coma and a long bright tail which I could see stretching for 7 degrees with 7X50mm binoculars. The comet was a mag 3.5 object within Aries at only 30 degrees elongation from the sun. I first spotted the comet that evening with the naked eye from inside my bedroom window. Despite the glow of the 1st 1/4 moon and interference from passing cloud the comet looked wonderful. Ikeya - Zhang even made it onto the television news and weather reports!

This long period comet passed within 37 million miles of Earth and was shown to be a periodic visitor with an orbital period of 341 years. It was last seen in 1661 just a year after Charles II became king.