Comet Austin 1989 X1 Comet Austin was a comet discovered by New Zealand amateur
Rodney R. D. Austin on December 6, 1989.
By the time of its discovery, it was already obvious that it must be an unusually large object.
that time the comet was still more than 350 million kilometres from the Sun and
yet it was so bright that it was seen as an
11th magnitude object(that
is, 1/100 as bright as what can be perceived with the unaided eye).More
observations were soon made, establishing the comet's orbit, and it was
found that it will pass through its perihelion
(the point of its orbit
where it is closest to the Sun) on 9 April 1990 at a distance of about
53 million kilometres,
inside the orbit of Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun.Thereafter it will move outwards again and, by good luck, it will come
within 38 million kilometres of the Earth on May 25.
It will be well
situated in the sky for observation from the northern hemisphere after
20 April 1990 when it can be seen low above the NW horizon,
sunset, and even better above the NE horizon, shortly before sunrise.
It is expected that Comet Austin will then have developed a tail
should be easily observable and provide spectators with a grand
this apparation I was in southern Ohio turkey hunting. I brought the
scope and camera along, but the weather did not cooperate.
morning it was partially clear out I went to a good clear spot,
have it begin cloudy up shortly after I arrived there. So all I got was
a quick binocular view of Comet Austin.