EXPLANATION of TERMS in the COMET VISUAL OBSERVATION REPORT FORM
GENERAL: This form is an adaptation of the Forms used by the International Comet Quarterly and by the A.L.P.O. Comet Section. Both organizations archive comet observations by amateurs, and make them available to researchers. Both organizations have approved the use of this Form for contributed observations. Make as many copies of this Form as you need. Before starting to contribute observations, contact these organizations for information about their operations and publications, and for advice about making, recording, and submitting your comet observations to them. Use only the standard abbreviations in this Explanation on the Form. (ICQ has a “Key to Abbreviations.”) Also, use the standard convention when recording the date, units of measure, and the number of significant decimal places. Re-check all of your data before recording them onto the Form. Accuracy is far more important than timeliness! Make two copies of each Form. Keep the original for your files, and send the copies to:
ICQ, c/o Dan Green, S.A.O., 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138
A.L.P.O., Don Machholz, Post Office Box 1716, Colfax, CA 95713
IDENTIFICATION: The name and provisional (or Roman Numerical) designation of the target comet for the Form. Use one Form for each comet, also, the contributor's name, mailing address, and ICQ identification (if any).
DATE: The year that the observation was made in, and for each observation, the month, the date, the time to 0.01 day. All times must be recorded in Universal Time! For example: May 9 @ 6:00UT = 5 9.25
MAGNITUDE: M/M (Magnitude Method). One of these Methods: Bobrovnikoff (B): Compare out-of-focus comet to out-of-focus stars, Sidgwick (S): Compare in-focus comet to out-of-focus stars, or Morris (M): Compare slightly out-of-focus comet to out-of-focus stars. Mv = Total integrated coma magnitude to 0.1 mag. REF = The reference used for comparison star magnitudes, such as S = SAO, AA = AAVSO variable star finder chart, SC = Sky Catalog 2000.o, and SP = Skalnate Pleso Atlas Catalog.
INSTRUMENT: APR = Aperture diameter in cm. TYPE = configuration, one of these: L = Newtonian, R = Refractor, B = Binoculars, C = Cassegrain, A = Camera, T = Schmidt-Cassegrain, and N = Naked-eye. F/ = Effective focal ratio, PWR = Magnification or power.
COMA: DIA = Diameter to 0.01 arcmin, if possible. If the accuracy is less than +-0.3 arcmin, use the approximate sign (~). D/C = Degree of Condensation the scale: 0 = completely diffused with no central condensation, to 9 = completely stellar with no coma.
TAIL: LEN = Tail Length from the center of the coma to the end of the main tail, to 0.01 deg if possible. Record observations of other tails in the Remarks area on the Form. P.A. = Position Angel of the main tail from the come, to 1 Deg. 0 = North, 90 = East, 270 = South, 270 = West.
SKY: L/M = The approximate naked-eye limiting magnitude of stars in the vicinity of the comet. This data is not required by ICQ.
ST #: Observing site location. Enter a site number for each observation, and identify the numbed sites in the lower part of the Form. This data is not required by ICQ.
REM #: Enter a remark number for appropriate observations, and record the numbed remark texts in the lower part of the Form.
This Form and Explanation were prepared by CRAS - Revised 7/8/92.