Friday, September 9, 2011

New Comet: P/2011 R3 (NOVICHONOK-GERKE)

Cbet nr.2812, issued on 2011, September 09, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 18.9) by Artyom Novichonok on six images taken by Vladimir V. Gerke (Moscow) during Sept. 7.02-7.05 UT using a 0.4-m "Jigit" telescope at the TAU station of the Ka-Dar Observatory (located near Nizhniy Arkhyz, Russia). The new comet has been designated P/2011 R3 (NOVICHONOK-GERKE).

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp, with "Faulkes-Telescope North" on September 08, 2011.

Stacking of 6 R-filtered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Haleakala-Faulkes Telescope North on 2011, September 8.4, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD, shows that this object is a comet: sharp central condensation, coma nearly 4-arcsec in diameter elongated toward southwest, broad tail at least 7-arcsec long toward PA 252.

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

M.P.E.C. 2011-R34 assignes the following preliminary orbital elements to comet P/2011 R3: T 2011 Aug. 23.36; e= 0.26; Peri. =189.68; q = 3.56 AU; Incl.= 18.04

by Giovanni Sostero, Nick Howes and Ernesto Guido

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