Comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd)

It was a lovely clear night last night, typical when you can’t make full use of it. Serious deep sky observing was right out of the question because I can’t set up or use my 8″ or 12″ scopes, so I decided to compromise, hobble outside and sit on a garden chair to view Comet Garradd, currently in Sagitta, instead with my 8×42 binoculars. As it turned out, the comet wasn’t visible with the binocs, so I got my aunt to bring out my little Vixen refractor, camera tripod and eyepieces.

The comet was easily visible with the little refractor at 17x. It was a very pale greenish-white, not quite round and brighter towards the middle. It was around magnitude 7-8. I compared it to the globular cluster M71 and there was not a lot of difference in brightness.
I didn’t do a sketch because, with my foot in plaster and being on crutches, things are just too much hassle at the moment, and a sketch was just one more thing to do.

A detailed finder chart for C/2009 P1 (Garradd) can be foundĀ at the Skyhound website. In the meantime, here’s a Megastar chart with Comet Garradd’s position as of 28 August 2011 indicated by the red arrow. I removed all the DSOs (not that Sagitta is particularly blessed with lots of DSOs) except M71, which I left in for comparison.