Friday, June 1, 2012

Recovery of comet P/1994 X1

Cbet Circular No. 3132, issued on 2012, May 31, announces the recovery of comet P/1994 X1 = 2012 K7 (McNaught-Russell) by our team; this comet was discovered on 1994, December 12 with the UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring observatory and it was last observed on 1995, April 17.

On 2012, May 29 we started an observing session to recover the periodic comet P/1994 X1. We found an object of magnitude ~19.5 located ~35 arcsec south-west  of the nominal position, along the line of variations (LOV). Stacking of 7 R-filtered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Haleakala-Faulkes Telescope North on 2012, May 29.6, through a 2.0-m f/10.0  Ritchey-Chretien + CCD, under good seeing conditions, shows that comet P/1994 X1 appears slightly diffuse, with a tiny coma about 3" in diameter, having a total m1 magnitude measured through a Bessel-R filter of about 19.5.

Second night follow-up observations, has been obtained on 2012, May 30.4, under the code H06. Stacking of 8 unfiltered exposures, 180-sec each, obtained on  2012, May 30.4 remotely from the ITelescope network near Mayhill, NM, through a 0.43-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer, shows that this comet has a nearly stellar appearance.

Below you can find our recovery image of 2012, May 29.6 (click on the image for a bigger version)

Below you can find the recovery image of 2012, May 30.4 (click on the image for a bigger version)

While below you can see a small animation showing the movement of this faint comet on May 30.4 (click on the thumbnail to see the animation):

The indicated correction to the prediction on MPC 79019 is Delta(T) = +0.024 day. The linked orbital elements and an ephemeris by G. V. Williams appear on MPEC 2012-K75.

by Giovanni Sostero, Nick Howes, Erik Bryssinck & Ernesto Guido

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