A Tale of Two Tails
By James & Forrest Maxwell (C/2009 P1 (Garradd))
Object Name: Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd
Object Type: Comet
Location: Caldera Rim Observatory, Jemez Springs, NM, 8300 ft. elevation
Date: March 23, 2012, approximately 10:15 PM
Media: Pencil on Tracing Paper, Multiple Layers for Color
Notes: We used a 20-inch F/5 telescope at 195X (13mm Ethos). This drawing is a composite of two overlapped sketches, one of green-grey luminosity, another of a dark red background that was observed. The sketches were scanned with a Kodak 10 megapixel digital camera while backlit by a red light, and were then aligned/combined in Photofiltre, to create a color image.
North is to the right in the image. We observed what appeared to be two tails, one green-grey, and another dark red (at the edge of visibility). When the comet nucleus was moved out of the view, we could follow the red “tail” for more than 1/2 degree, and it curved to the North. Distinct streamers (lines) could also be seen in the green-grey tail–at the edge of visibility. The faintest stars in the drawing are about magnitude 14.7.
The comet moved and changed during the observation. The drawing should be representative of what was seen at approximately 10:15PM.
–James & Forrest Maxwell