Comet 2001 A2 LINEAR

Comet 2001 A2 LINEAR was the second comet discovered in 2001 and it proved to be a fine sight especially during June when it peakad at around magnitude 3.5.

Discovered as a 19th magnitude object on January 3, 2001, the comet brightened rapidly, reaching 10th magnitude by the end of March and reaching naked eye visibility by the beginning of May. During this time the comet was most favourably visible from the southern hemisphere. In a telescope during May, the comet displayed a large, well condensed coma and a narrow gas tail over 4 degrees long. On May 23, the comet passed close enough to M79 in Lepus, for the two objects to be visible in the same field of view.

Shortly after this, the comet disappeared into the evening twilight on its way to perihelion. It reappeared in the morning sky in mid-June, and during late June and early July, the comet was at its best, displaying a large, well condensed, greenish coma and a long bluish gas tail which contained many streamers. With the naked eye about 2 degrees of the tail was visible, but photographs showed it was much longer. Following this the comet faded rapidly as it receeded from the Sun, falling below 12th magnitude by mid September.

April 15, 2001

May 22, 2001

May 23, 2001

May 27, 2001

June 17, 2001

June 18, 2001

June 19, 2001

June 20, 2001

June 21, 2001

June 22, 2001

August 2001