IAU Circular No. 9039, issued on 2009 Apr 19, announces our recovery of P/2002 LZ_11 (LINEAR), now designated P/2009 H1 (LINEAR); it was last observed in January 2004 (MPC code #372, Geisei).
After several frustating and unsuccessful tryings due to moonlight interference and stellar crowding (the searched comet was in Sgr) we initially picked-up P/2002 LZ11 on 2009, Apr. 17.45 through a remotely controlled telescope of the GRAS network (details on image):
In our stacking the comet was located about 4 arcmin to the East-Northeast of the ephemerids position: co-adding of 25 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, through a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD, revealed the presence of an extremely compact coma, about 12-arcsec in diameter, and a short tail nearly 25-arcsec long toward West.
We tried further follow-up on April 18 from the same site and from the Skylive-Grove Creek Obs. (MPC #E16), however our efforts were hampered due to the star crowding and to the unsuitable observing conditions (a magn. 19 comet seen through amateurs instrumentation, needs a pretty good sky).
Hopefully we were more lucky using the 0.37-m, f/14 reflector + CCD of the Iowa Robotic Observatory near Sonoita, AZ ((MPC# 857) over the same night: co-adding of 20 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, showed the presence of a tiny coma about 8-arcsec in diameter, with a faint extension toward West (two bright field stars were interfering with the detection of the small tail we had recorded well the day before). Our image is available here:
According to the orbital elements published so far by the Minor Planet Center website (http://tinyurl.com/cqnamw), perihelion will occur on March 2010, with the comet at 2.4 AU from the Sun. This Jupiter-family comet moves along an elliptic orbit in about 7 years, having a semi-major axis of 3.7 AU, eccentricity of 0.35 and an inclination of 11.5 deg.
Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero, Paul Camilleri and Enrico Prosperi