Monday 12 July 2021

Comet Viscara and a Cooke


The comet of 1901 was photographed by Captain P B Molesworth at the Tricomali observatory in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on May 13th 1901 using a Cooke & Sons camera lens of 8.42 inch focal length.

The comet had three tails, two slightly diverging, separated by a dark streak; the third is peculiar, as it does not diverge from the nucleus but from a point just behind it. The comet is moving daily two degrees E N E and has caused quire a sensation among the locals.

Molesworth was using Klein’s Star Atlas to plot the course of the comet.


This is comet Viscara, which was discovered in Uruguay on April 12th 1901 as a naked eye comet and at its brightest it reached magnitude 1.0. This comet was a southern hemisphere object. It faded from naked eye view on May 20th but was visible in telescopes through until October 1901.

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