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

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

I made my first observation of comet Kudo-Fujikawa 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


2003 Feb 10.46 UT
This wide field CCD image was captured a few days later. The comet shone at visual magnitude 6.7.
Star to the lower right is Nu Gruis. Dust tail is about 1 degree long.

A minor outburst seems to have occurred around Feb 25th, when I estimated it to be 1 magnitude
brighter than predicted. This is clearly seen in my lightcurve above.

By March 5th, the comet had 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 on the right has been digitally processed to reveal forks in the ion tail.

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

Orbital period of comet Kudo-Fujikawa is about 22,500 years.