Comet Swan (C2006 M4)

Observations from the 17th to 26th October 2006, South Germany, Bavaria

in deutsch

SWAN M4 was the brightest comet of the year 2006. For a long time it was announced with a luminous intensity of max. mag * 8-9, and would have been an object for larger telescopes. Around the 24th of October however the brightness arose to mag 4.2 whereby the luminous intensity  on the 25th of Oct. was seen with the naked eye. The comet became estimated by me up to mag 3,8. This constant brightness was observed since the 26th of Oct. afterwards bad weather was dominating in Southern Germany. It is remarkable that the comet tail showed a noticeable brightness in the comparison to the coma.


Further detail maps under Winnies homepage

26th of October 2006


tb  mr mr

TB/ MR; Auerberg/ Bavaria: Nikon 480mm (dig)/2.8; 90 seconds;  ASA 800 Canon 20D

Swan M4 shows a very bright comet tail in the ' Corkscrew form '. This suggests a strong rotation of the comet nucleus.

25th of October



TB; Moorenweis, Fuerstenfeldbruck, Bavaria: Nikon 480mm (dig)/2.8; 80 seconds;  ASA 800 Canon 20D

The comet appears with a very broad and bright tail, which suggests a larger material loss. Possibly an explosion in or on the comet nucleus was the consequence.

19th of October


TB; Nikon 3040mm (dig) Newtonian; 90 seconds, Canon 20D

17th of October



TB; Nikon 480mm (dig)/2.8; 105 seconds, Canon 20D

Comet SwanM4 close to the star Seginus of Bootes. The comet with apprx. mag 6-7 could hardly be recognized with the naked eye.


 Small astro collection from Martin on the 25th of October 06

North America -, Andromeda- and Veil nebula.

*mag  = > light magnitude. Up to apprx. mag 5 stars are visible  in the city with the naked eye, in very dark areas to ~ mag 6. --> The more high numerical value is given, the more weak are the objects.

ALL comet reports

  Lovejoy C/2014 Q2   C/2013 R1 Lovejoy  C/2012 S1 ISON   C/2011 L4 PanSTARRS   P1/2009 Garradd    

  C103P/ Hartley     2/09 N3 Lulin      11/08 Holmes      1/07 McNaught    10/06  Swan M4  

  5/06  SchwWAch  1/05  Machholz     5/04: Q4/Neat     3/01: Ikeya-Zhang



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 2006 photos& text by Thorsten Boeckel (tb), 2006 photos by Martin Rietze (mr)