Discovery in my boyhood
Wow, a comet! This might be a new comet. I was excited on the spot.
I found that comet in the Big Dipper trying to observe M101 using 5 cm
binocular. It happened in the summer vacation at age 13.
The sole sources on astronomy at that time were monthly astronomical
magazines and I had no friends to rely on, since I live in a remote village.
I thought it probably would be a known comet, because it was bright one
with a tail. At any rate, I decided to contact the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory
(renamed as “The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan” at present)
on the phone on the next day.
Comet Kobayashi-Berger-Milon A 5 cm
binocular that "discovered" C/1975 N1 Kobayashi-Berger-Milon
Aug. 3 1975, 200 mm F4
A bright star somewhat upper center is Mizar
Photo: S. Murakami
I belonged to a field and track club in junior high and went
for training during the vacation. I made a phone call to the Observatory
from a public phone at the school before the practice. I told a staff
the position of the comet with my heart beating fast and he replied, “It
has been already discovered.”
This four weeks late “discovery” of C/1975 N1 Kobayashi-Berger-Milon
led me to a resolution that I try to find new comets. Then, I built a 10
cm comet-seeker whose mirror I began to polish just before the “discovery”.
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