Press Release

Comet Kudo-Fujikawa Nears the Sun

By SpaceRef Editor
January 27, 2003
Filed under , ,

Comet Kudo-Fujikawa (C/2002 X5) has now entered the field
of view of SOHO’s LASCO C3 coronagraph. It first appeared
today (January 25th), looking like the end of a thin
cotton swab directly above (north of) the Sun, at the top
of the circular frame. As expected, the tail points directly
away from the Sun. During the next few days, the comet
should make its way diagonally down to one side of the Sun
(which is behind an occulting disk at the center of the

Images are being returned hourly by the SOHO spacecraft,
and they may be viewed at:

The comet will spend the next six days in the C3 field
before exiting at the end of January. While it could
become as bright as magnitude 2 during this period, it
is much too close to the Sun to be observed safely in a
ground-based telescope.

This comet was independently discovered in mid-December
by Japanese amateurs Tetuo Kudo and Shigehisa Fujikawa.
If the comet survives its perihelion passage — near
0 hours Universal Time on January 29th, at just 0.19
astronomical unit from the Sun — it will emerge in
the evening sky for observers in the Southern Hemisphere.
More about this comet, including a current ephemeris,
can be found at (click
Observing, then Observing Highlights, and scroll down
to the story).

SpaceRef staff editor.