The Great Southern Binocular Comet of 2002

A spectacular outburst on Jan 29th 2002 turned this comet from interesting to "great binocular". Appearing star like to the eye at magnitude 3.0, 25x100mm binoculars revealed 2 bright jets emanating from opposite poles of the nucleus like a volcanic eruption frozen in time. This image of the comet was taken the following morning. By then, the jets had travelled down the length of the comet forming a classical parabolic shape with a "dark lane" separating the jets.

Larsen-Sekanina filter processed images of C/2000 WM1.
Left: Jan 31st 2002, Middle: Feb 1st, Right: Feb 5th

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Photo of comet LINEAR C/2000 WM1 on the morning of Feb 4th 2002. 50mm lens, 30 second exposure, fuji 800 ASA. Sagittarius " the teapot" is to the left. Moonlight gives the sky background its blue colour.

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Photo of comet LINEAR C/2000 WM1 on Feb 5th 2002.
200mm lens, 2 minute exposure, fuji 800 ASA

LINEAR C/2000 WM1 and Corona Australis, Feb 12th 2002.

This comet is not expected to return.