Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Comet: C/2013 P2 (PANSTARRS)

Cbet nr. 3621, issued on 2013, August 07, announces the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (discovery magnitude ~19.5) by professional survey F51 Pan-STARRS 1 (Haleakala) on CCD images obtained with 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien on August 04, 2013 (pre-discovery Pan-STARRS1 observations from July 26 were found later by P. Veres). 

After posting on the Minor Planet Center's NEOCP webpage, this apparently asteroidal object as been found to show cometary features by astrometric observers elsewhere (including our team). The new comet has been designated C/2013 P2 (PANSTARRS).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 30 R-filtered exposures, 40-sec each, obtained remotely from iTelescope network (MPC code H06, New Mexico) on 2013, August 06.3, through a 0.43-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet: coma about 5" in diameter elongated in PA 120.

Below you can see our image. Click on it for a bigger version.

M.P.E.C. 2013-P42 assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2013 P2: T 2014 Feb. 17.50; e= 1.0;  Peri. = 105.19; q = 2.83;  Incl.= 125.54

by Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes


Charles Bell said...

Good post. I read every one. Thanks for posting about all these new comets.

I have an account with LOCGT but since I am not from England, they say I can't use FTN or FTS telescope. I am also not a student. I am retired. I have my own much smaller scope Meade 12 inch SCT + SBIG ST-8XME which I do astrometry of comets and asteroids at H47. I can't get to magnitude 20 or 21 like FTN or FTS can. I can get to mag 18 or 19.
There are plenty targets still. I try for fainter comets, the ones that do not get observed often. Maybe one day, I win some jackpot and buy bigger scope. I have had my present one about 10 years now.

Rolando E. Tellez said...

I hope one of these animals do not hit us.