C/2009 K5 (McNaught)

This comet was circumpolar when viewed.  Although it wasn't nearest the zenith until the wee hours of the morning, its' close approach to Polaris when peaking allowed me to find it fairly easily.  I first located it while playing with some new equipment for my 8" SCT.  I had purchased a small slave video monitor, and used it with a B&W electronic eyepiece to look at Saturn.  I hoped to use this for some public efforts.  It seemed to work fine, but lacked clarity.  It was about then that I noticed I had forgotten a dewshield, and my front collector lens was soaked.  I started packing up, got almost half packed, when I recalled that I had with me a hair dryer and 110v access.  It had been probably 2-3 yrs since I had used that hair dryer.
I got everything set back up and went comet hunting.  I had my star hop well figured out, and it took less than a minute to positively identify it.  It looked very faint in the 8", fairly low in the northern sky with a good dose of light pollution from a shopping area just 4-5 miles north.  
So, my appetite was whetted for what this would look like in my 16".  It was noticeably easier.  Part of which was that it had moved up another couple of degrees above the northern horizon and the associated light pollution.  Both nights showed a comet with no pseudo-nucleus, but a strong inner coma and a week outer coma.


 In addition to viewing this at low power (60x, above) on May 4, I also viewed it at higher power (203x) and drew it an hour apart.  It moved noticeably in that one hour period, as shown here-->.

I managed to view this once more on Friday May 7, under VERY windy sky conditions.  With winds from 15 to 30 mph typical, I was not able to draw it.  I did show it to Grant Martin, and noted to myself that it appeared very similar to the previous view on May 4, showing no pseudo-nucleus, but with a brighter inner coma and a very faint outer coma.
<click on the image below to increase the size.>