P/2002 T6 (NEAT-LINEAR)
This object was imaged from Great Shefford while it was on the NEO
Confirmation Page on 2002 Oct 23.9 and again on 2002 Oct 27.9. The images
from the second date appeared to show some odd tail activity.
An animation of 11 images, stacked into three frames shows the comet
slowly drifting south-west, with tails pointing east and west moving with
the comet. These details were sent to the Minor Planet Center and IAUC
8002 was issued two days later after Tim Spahr, observing with the
1.2-m reflector at Mt. Hopkins had also noted a coma and a tail in p.a.
Stacking all the frames into a single image shows the detail with more
clarity on the right of the animation.
P/2002 T6 had brightened by a couple of magnitudes in the three months
after being announced when it was imaged on 2003 Feb 1, approaching conjunction with the Sun (perihelion
occurring on 2003 June
27). Some slight tail activity can be seen to the north.
Seven months later and the comet was just coming out of conjunction with the Sun when it was
caught here in the north-east of Orion at the end of August 2003. Two months
after perihelion, a stubby, broad fan of tail can now be seen to the north of
2003 Aug 30 03:13 - 03:34 UT
Each frame is a stack of five 30s exposures, field is 5'x5', N up.