Greetings Comet Watchers

Well, comet Hyakutake has lived up to or surpassed all expectations.  I've
watched it double in brightness and size every night for the past week.  It
has been an easy naked eye object for the past several days.  Robert and I
went up to the observing site for a trial run Friday night. Robert took some
photographs while I just observed with binoculars.  Wow!  The fuzzy smudge I
had seen from home dramaticly improved under truly dark skies.  It has a
large bright coma with a seven degree tail naked eye (at least 15 degrees
with the binoculars.  Motion against the background stars is obvious over
just five minutes.

Please make a special effort to come Saturday night.  It will be a sight to
remember for many years.  Bob Howell from WSFA will be there to video tape
the event.  It would look good to have the hilltop covered with telescopes
(hint, hint).

Ferenc Fodor is new to our group.  Ferenc, a graduate student in the Math
department, is a native of Hungary and a  member of the Hungarian
Astronomical Society.  He needs a ride to Holley's Field Satudray.  If you
are willing to share a ride, e-mail at the address (in the header above)
before 1:00pm, or call him at 887-5465.

For those of you who haven't been to Holley's Field in a while, here are the
directions:

(1)  You're on your own to get to Alabama highway 63, north of Eclectic.
(2)  Procede north to mile marker 11
(3)  Turn right onto Elmore county road 357
(4)  Go one mile.
(5)  The field is on the left.

I'll have some reflectors at the entrance to the field.  Please park your
vehicles pointing back toward the entrance in order to minimize headlight
trauma for those staying later.

Bring more warm clothes and coffee or hot chocalate than you think you'll
need.  It gets cold!
Sleeping bags and chaise longues might be a good idea for those who want to
savor the event.

Bring your binoculars.

See you Saturday night,

Russell



Russell Whigham
rwhigham@mont.mindspring.com