IAU circular No. 9172, issued on October 05, 2010, announces the discovery by R. H. McNaught of a diffuse comet on CCD images obtained with the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt telescope. After posting on the Minor Planet Center's NEOCP webpage, some observers have commented on the cometary appearance of this 18.5 magnitude object, designated P/2010 T1 (McNAUGHT).
We have been able to confirm this object remotely, using a 0.15-m f/7.3 refractor at the Tzec Maun Observatory (near Moorook, Australia): on October 5.6, co-adding of 16 unfiltered exposures, 300-seconds each, shows a coma nearly 7-arcsec in diameter with a central condensation, and a broad fan-shaped tail about 12-arcsec long toward PA 310.
Our confirming image (click below for a bigger version):
The preliminary orbit for comet P/2010 T1 (McNAUGHT) shows perihelion on November 24, 2010, at about 3.2 AU. The period is about 10.2 years.
This is the 57th comet discovered by McNaught.
by G. Sostero, E. Guido, L. Donato & V. Gonano