C/2013 UQ4 (CATALINA)

I knew that I would be heading to a dark-sky site soon, but the Moon would be up until midnight.  Luckily, this little Mag 10+ comet was available and well placed just after midnight, and so I printed out my maps.

Once the Moon set, I started searching for this comet.  It was a little further along than I had expected (this comet is 0.3AU from Earth and reaches perihelion on July 6).  It was just a dim smudge at 60, hardly noticeable, with no p-nucleus.  At 200x, not much change, but some outer coma was just barely noted with averted vision.  While drawing it, it seemed to disappear (!).  I knew it was moving fast, and I suspected it was hovering over a star.  I waited 2-3 more minutes and it reappeared on the other side.  Within a couple of minutes, now away from that star, it seemed to grow in size. 

This comet was really moving!  The movement almost seemed visible.  Very minute-to-minute.  Unfortunately, with the Moon growing brighter and approaching Full Moon while this comet starts receding very fast, I doubt that I will get another opportunity to observe it.

This comet was previously cataloged as an asteroid on an elliptical orbit, but it started growing a coma as it approached perihelion and was given comet status.
(click on image below to enlarge)

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