Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Comet: P/2012 K3 (GIBBS)

Cbet nr. 3122, issued on 2012, May 23, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 18.3) by  A. R. Gibbs on CCD images taken with the Mount Lemmon 1.5-m reflector on May 21.3. The new comet has been designated P/2012 K3 (GIBBS).

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of eight R-filtered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Siding Spring-Faulkes Telescope South on 2012, May 23.5, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD, shows that this object is a comet: coma 5" in diameter and a tail nearly 5" long in PA 250 deg.

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

M.P.E.C. 2012-K50 assigns the following preliminary elliptical orbitalelements to comet P/2012 K3: T 2012 Sept. 3.56; e= 0.37; Peri. = 158.59; q = 2.16 AU; Incl.= 12.76

by Giovanni Sostero, Nick Howes & Ernesto Guido

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