IAU Circular nr.9063, issued on 2009, Aug. 18, announces the discovery of a new comet by Andrea Boattini, named C/2009 P2 (BOATTINI). It was found in the within Pegasus, with the 0.68-m schmidt of the "Catalina Sky Survey" on 2008, Aug 15.4. Afterwards this object has been posted on the NEO-CP with the ID code of "9P1083D", in search of follow-up observations. Then, several astrometrists provided positive feedbacks about its cometary nature.
We first picked up this object on 2009, Aug. 17.4 remotely, from the Mayhill (NM) station of the Global Rent a Scope network. Unfortunately, of the 10 unfiltered exposures, 120-sec each we obtained through a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD, only a few were usable, because the object was merging with a field star. Under those circumstances, we could only obtain an astrometric position, with no clues about its nature because in our stacking we had not enough signal/noise to discriminate if it was an asteroid or a little comet.
We were more lucky on Aug. 18.3, when we were able to secure 20 unfiltered exposures, 120-sec each, by means of the same instrumentation. After careful image processing, it was clear to us that the object was not showing a stellar aspect: comparison of its FWHM profile with that of nearby field stars, was consistently showing higher values; the reason of this difference was the presence of a tiny coma, about 8 arcsec in diameter, with a slight elongation toward south-west.
Our image is available here:
Preliminary orbital elements were published on M.P.E.C. 2009-Q1
by E. Guido, G. Sostero, P. Camilleri, E. Prosperi