C/2002 X5 Kudo-Fujikawa

Closest to Sun on 29 Jan 2003 at 0.19AU
Closest to Earth on 20 Feb 2003 at 0.86AU
Maximum magnitude 4 in late January 2003
Orbital period 22,500 years.


C/2002 X5 Kudo-Fujikawa on 2003 Feb 10.46 UT
Star to the lower right is Nu Gruis. Dust tail is about 1 degree long.

This visual discovery was made by Tetuo Kudo on 2002 Dec. 13.8UT at RA15 44 Dec+45 30', estimating a magnitude of 9.5
An independent visual discovery was made by Shigehisa Fujikawa the following morning.

The comet had a very close encounter with the Sun on 2003 January 29 at 0.19AU and its survival was at risk.

I made my first observation of comet on the evening of February 7th, 2003 when the comet was a mere 23 degrees from the Sun.
Through 25x100mm binoculars, the comet shone at magnitude 5.7 with a dust tail stretching over half a degree to the south

On 2003 Feb 10.46 UT, the fast fading comet shone at visual magnitude 6.7
Then, a minor outburst seems to have occurred on Feb 25th, when I estimated it to be one magnitude brighter than predicted.
This is clearly seen in my light-curve below.

By March 5th, the comet had further faded to magnitude 8.2


2003 March 5.49 UT
CCD image taken through C11 telescope operating at f/3.3, 5x20 sec combined exposures.
The image below has been digitally processed to reveal detail in the ion tail.

My last observation occurred on April 4th when I estimated it at magnitude 12.5.

See below a light curve based on my personal observations.
Red curve - Predicted magnitude parameters. Ho=10, n=4
Orange curve - Calculated magnitude parameters. Ho=8.8, n=3.1

My observations in ICQ format below