Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Comet: P/2011 NO1

Cbet nr.2768, issued on 2011, July 19, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 19.5) by L. Elenin and I. Molotov on four 240-s unfiltered CCD exposures taken remotely with a 0.45-m f/2.8 astrograph at the ISON-NM observatory near Mayhill, NM, USA, on July 7.3 UT. Elenin and Molotov reported the new object with "slight apparent cometary appearance". The new comet has been designated P/2011 NO1.

After posting on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage, this object has been found by several CCD astrometrists to show cometary appearance. We performed some follow-up measurements of this object with the Faulkes-Telescope South while it was still listed in the NEOCP.

Stacking of 13 R-filtered exposures, 20-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Faulkes Telescope South at Siding Spring on 2011, July 12.5, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD under good seiing conditions, shows that this object has a slight cometary activity: small coma about 2" in diameter, elongated toward the southwest with a narrow tail 3" long toward PA 250.

Our confirming image (click for a bigger version):

M.P.E.C. 2011-O10 assignes the following preliminary orbital elements to comet P/2011 NO1: T 2011 Jan. 22.01; e= 0.78; Peri. =264.06; q = 1.24 AU; Incl.= 15.03

This object was announced by T. Spahr as a minor planet on MPEC 2011-O09 while a CBET was being prepared to announce it as a comet, and he assigned the designation 2011 NO1 to it.

by Giovanni Sostero, Nick Howes & Ernesto Guido

No comments: