The Great Binocular comet of 2003
Photo of comet C/2002 V1 NEAT on the evening of March 4th 2003. 50mm lens, 30 second exposure cropped, fuji 400 ASA. This comet survived its 15 million km approach to the sun on Feb 18th 2003 and was later well placed for southern hemisphere observers in Sculptor appearing 3rd magnitude with a bright golden dust tail stretching over 3 degrees in length.
Image of comet C/2002 V1 NEAT on March 5th 2003. 80mm lens and starlight express MX7c imager, 3x30 sec combined exposures. Note the faint, thin ion tail (type I) to the right of the broad curving dust tail (type II) and the rare type III fan tail nearly at right angles to the comet.
Image of comet C/2002 V1 NEAT on March 5th 2003. C11 telescope operating at f/3.3 and starlight express MX7c imager, 4x10 sec combined exposures. Image processed to draw out the ion tail streamers running through the dust tail.
This comet has an orbital period of 29,000 yrs