Meteor and Comets


MAS Member Michael Oates Discovers Comet

Michael Oates discovers his first comet on the evening of 7th February 2000 while sat at his computer!

At the Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA) meeting in London on Saturday January 29th 2000, Jonathan Shanklin the SPA Comet Section Director gave a short talk on how to find comets using the images available on the internet taken with the SOHO spacecraft (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) based in his recent discoveries of three such comets. The following day Michael downloaded some images, and displayed them on the computer in an animation so that any movement of an object could be followed. Very quickly he found a comet, but unfortunately Maik Meyer a German amateur had already discovered it and reported the find (SOHO-98), so in this case Michael had made an independent discovery. Spurned on by what must have been beginners luck, Michael spent the next week downloading lots of images from the SOHO web site. Many hundreds of high resolution images later (each image is 750-950Kb!) on the evening of February 7th 2000 he found an object in the top left corner of the image. Very quickly the find was reported to Doug Biesecker, a member of the SOHO team at the Goddard Space Flight Center by email. A few minutes later the reply came that Michael was the discoverer of the object. The next day it was given the name SOHO-103, the 103rd comet to be found on images taken with the SOHO instruments.

This is the forth recent discovery with the LASCO C2 instrument and all have similar paths, so they may have all belonged to one parent comet in the past that has since broken up. More research is needed to establish if they are indeed from the same body.

Note: The Comet has now been given the designation "C/2000 C5"

Comet C/2000 C5 (SOHO-103)

[Comet C/2000 C5 (SOHO-103) discovered by Michael Oates]
Comet C/2000 C5 (SOHO-103) discovered by Michael Oates

Click on the image for an animation (1.2MB)


Comet SOHO-98

[Comet SOHO-98 indipendent discovery by Michael Oates]
Comet SOHO-98 independent discovery by Michael Oates

Found on the 30th Jan 2000 on frames 20000129_1542_c3.gif to 20000129_2318_c3.gif taken with LASCO C3 on SOHO. Click on the above image for an animation produced by Michael.(600K) or download a larger size animation - 4Mb Thanks go to Jonathan Shanklin the SPA Comet Section Director, who only the day before at an SPA meeting in London, descibed how to undertake this type of observation. Jonathan is also the BAA Comet Section Director

The probable faint Kreutz sungrazer SOHO-98 was discovered on C3 frames by Maik Meyer on the 29th Jan 2000


Hale-Bopp Image Hale-Bopp Image Hale-Bopp Image
Various Hale-Bopp images by Kevin Kilburn.


Hale-Bopp Image
Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 01, 22:00 UT 30th March 97.
Photo taken with 500mm f8 telephoto lens, 20mins exposure on Ektachrome 400.
Observed from Winscar Reservoir site.

By Ray Grover (jpg 9k)


Hale-Bopp Image
Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 01, 21:00 UT 30th March 97.
Photo taken with 135mm f3.5 telephoto lens, 5mins exposure on Ektachrome 400.
Observed from Winscar Reservoir site.

By Ray Grover (jpg 9k)


Hale-Bopp Image
Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 01, 30th March 97.
Photo taken with 300mm f4 telephoto lens, 5mins exposure on Ektachrome 400.
Observed from Winscar Reservoir site.

By Ray Grover (jpg 9k)


Hale-Bopp Image
Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 01, 12th March 97 19:40UT.
Drawing, by observing with 20 x 60 Binoculars. Observed from Prestwich Manchester.

By Michael Oates (jpg 15k)


Hale-Bopp Image
Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 01, 3rd March 97 4:04UT.
Drawing, by observing with 10 x 50 Binoculars. The tail on this drawing is 2.5 deg long. Observed from Prestwich Manchester.

By Michael Oates (gif 5k)


Hale-Bopp Image
Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 01, 3rd March 97 3:50UT.
Drawing, by observing with 20 x 60 Binoculars. Not all of the tail is drawn. from Prestwich Manchester. By Michael Oates (gif 14k)


Hale-Bopp Image
Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 01, 3rd March 97 3:54UT.
Drawing, by observing with 20 x 60 Binoculars, drawn at a larger scale to show detail in the Nucleus. The coma on this drawing is approx 20 arc min across. Observed from Prestwich Manchester.

By Michael Oates (gif 14k)


Hale-Bopp Image
Comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 01, 10th June 96 23:00UT. 300mm lens f4 5min exposure with the Color Starlight XPress Camera. Taken at the COAA, Portugal.

By Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw (JPEG 14k)


Hyakutake 96b2 Image
Comet Hyakutake 1996B2, 29th March 96. 35mm lens f2.8 2min exposure on Kodak Panther 1600.

By Kevin Kilburn (JPEG 20k)


Hyakutake 96B2 Image
Comet Hyakutake 1996B2, 29th March 96. 100mm lens f3.5 3min exposure on Kodak Panther 1600.

By Kevin Kilburn (JPEG 20k)


Hyakutake 96b2 Image
Comet Hyakutake 1996B2, 100mm lens f3.5 3min exposure on Kodak Panther 1600.

By Kevin Kilburn (JPEG 20k)


3-Views Image Description Full Description
3 images of the same meteor taken with different films, T-Max 100, Fujichrome 400, and Infra Red.

Perseid Meteor, by Michael Oates (JPEG 66k)


[Fireball, Color] [Fireball, B/W] [Train of Fireball B/W] [Description] [Full Description]
Rare Photographs of Fireball against a background of Aurora, with the icing on the cake of an after image showing the ionised train left behind the fireball.
Fireball by Joe Billington, train by Dave Baker.(JPEG 27k, JPEG 30k, JPEG 16k)


ir-88 Image Description Full Description
Taken in Infra Red.

Perseid Meteor, by Michael Oates (JPEG 33k)


Liller88 Image Description Full Description
Comet Liller 1989a, by Michael Oates (JPEG 33k)


brad87s Image Description Full Description
Comet Bradfield 1987s, by Michael Oates (JPEG 35k)


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Page modified 19 January, 2005