Into March 2013 it was well-placed for observation in the evening sky for southern observers, when, during the pre-perihelion brightening phase it became just visible to the naked eye under dark skies (peaking at 5th mag). It was a splendid object viewed in binoculars or a small telescope having a bright turquoise-coloured coma and fine whispy ion tail extending several degrees.
Photographed from bayside metropolitan Melbourne (Rickett's Point)
against the stars of Phoenix on 2013 March 4 when around
6th magnitude; Canon 5D II/500mm lens combination on an NEQ6 Pro mount tracking the sky. Note the
ion tail stretching a few degrees towards upper left.
|Photographed under darker skies from Heathcote, Victoria, against the stars of Phoenix on 2013 March 8 when around 6th magnitude; Canon 5D II/500mm lens combination on an NEQ6 Pro mount tracking the sky. Thin high clouds passed through during the exposures. Note there may be a tail dislocation event in progress.|