Deep Sky Objects
C/2006 M4 (SWAN)
R. D. Matson (Irvine, California, USA) and M. Mattiazzo (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia) independently reported a possible comet shortly before early July of 2006. The comet was found on images obtained using the SWAN camera aboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft during the period of June 20 to July 5. A request for confirmation revealed a couple of immediate responses. First, T. Lovejoy (Thornlands, Queensland, Australia) found a 12-magnitude image taken on June 30 using a digital camera. He said the coma was about 0.5 arc minutes across and exhibited a greenish hue. Second, R. H. McNaught (Siding Spring Observatory, Australia) photographed the comet on July 12, using the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt reflector. He determined the magnitude as 12.3 and said the comet was strongly condensed, with a short tail. The following images were obtained at Kronk Observatory.