Friday, July 8, 2011

New Comet: P/2011 N1

IAUC nr.9219, issued on 2011, July 07, announces that an apparently asteroidal object (discovery magnitude 19.9) reported by Ignacio de la Cueva, Ibiza, Spain (from exposures taken by J. L. Ortiz, P. Santos-Sanz, N. Morales, and himself with a 0.40-m f/3.7 reflector at San Pedro de Atacama, Chile) was found to show cometary appearance after initial posting on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage. The new comet has been designated P/2011 N1

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object while it was still listed in the NEOCP. Stacking of 20 R-filtered exposures, 30-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Faulkes Telescope South on 2011, July 7.7, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD, shows that this object is a comet: elliptical coma measuring about 7" x 4", elongated toward west, with a sharp central condensation. Tail nearly 10" long toward PA 270

Our confirming image (click for a bigger version):

M.P.E.C. 2011-N29 assignes the following preliminary orbital elements to comet P/2011 N1: T 2012 May 30.02; e= 0.54; Peri. =330.23; q = 2.87 AU; Incl.=35.69

by Giovanni Sostero, Nick Howes and Ernesto Guido

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