Observation Log 10/30/06: Comet SWAN (C2006 M4) #3! Plus my first M13, not at all my first M31

Comet SWAN in Hercules

(Image by Starry Night Pro)

I’d read that Comet SWAN would be impossible to see after last weekend, since the Moon is 62% illuminated, shining at -12.7 magnitude, and it culminates at 6:53PM EST, which is prime viewing time for the setting SWAN before it drops toward the murky horizon. Perhaps it was the 75mph wind storms we’ve had for the last 24 hours, but the sky was quite clear of haze tonight, and SWAN was an easy target.

I was also fortunate to stumble upon M13, a globular cluster orbiting outside the plane of the Milky Way, which I’d never actually looked for before, but I knew it would be nearby SWAN. Just for fun, since I was already out with my Canon 10×30 IS binoculars, I also had a peek around Cassiopeia, and of course M31, the Andromeda Galaxy.

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