Friday, January 9, 2009

2009 AU1

This interesting object has been discovered on 2009 Jan 03 by the Italian amateur Fabrizio Tozzi, remotely through the Sierra Stars 0.60-m reflector, and confirmed at first by himself, using other remotely controlled scopes of the "Skylive" network, located in Sicily and Australia.

The preliminary orbital elements available published on MPEC 2009-A48 (http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/mpec/K09/K09A48.html) report e~0.5, a~4.6 and Incl.~ 26 deg; this is a very comet-like orbit!

The object passed perihelion on July-August 2008, and at the moment of discovery it was located in Orion, at about magnitude 18.

We performed some follow-up of it while it was posted in the NEO-CP webpage; in our stacking (20 x 120 sec unfiltered exposures) we cannot distinguish any coma and/or tail, the FWHM of 2009 AU1 being very similar to that of the nearby field stars.

Our image is available here:
http://tinyurl.com/77hwuj

Anyway congratulations to Fabrizio for his interesting find.

by Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero and Paul Camilleri

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