Monday, September 28, 2009

New Comet Discovery: P/2009 S2 (McNAUGHT)

IAUC nr. 9075, issued on 2009 Sept. 24th, announces the discovery of another comet by Robert McNaught, named P/2009 S2. This object has been picked-up by McNaught on 2009, Sept.20.7 in the southern constellation of Fornax, at about magnitude 19.

We performed some follow-up of this target remotely on 2009, Sept. 24.36 with a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD (near Mayhill, NM). Stacking of 15 unfiltered exposures, 120-seconds each, showed a coma nearly 10" in diameter, remarkably elongated in the same direction of a narrow tail, that was measured to be about 14" long in p.a. 255 deg.

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version):

Preliminaty orbital elements and ephemerids of this periodic comet have been published on M.P.E.C. 2009-S90. Perihelion has been reached on June, 2009, at about 2.2 AU from the Sun. The orbit has an inclination of 28 degrees and is completed in nearly 8.5 years. P/2009 S2 will mostly remain a faint southern comet for the rest of the current perihelium passage.

by Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero

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