Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Comet: C/2015 P3 (SWAN)

CBET nr. 4136, issued on 2015, August 11, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~11) by M. Mattiazzo on low-resolution public website hydrogen Lyman-alpha images obtained during Aug. 3 and 4 with the Solar Wind Anisotropies (SWAN) camera on the Solar and Heliospheric Observer (SOHO) spacecraft. The new comet has been designated C/2015 P3 (SWAN).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 13 unfiltered exposures, 15-sec each, obtained remotely on 2015, August 10.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network - Siding Spring) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet: sharp central condensation surrounded by bright coma about 1 arcmin in diameter.

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

M.P.E.C. 2015-P25 assigns the following very preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2015 P3: T 2015 July 27.26; e= 1.0; Peri. =  131.81; q = 0.71;  Incl.= 59.32

by Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes


Brandon Doyle said...

Very interesting. I wasn't aware of SWAN, but I look forward to looking through the data and learning more about this instrument.

Great post!

fabio said...

Che fine ha fatto la cometa? La Nasa non l'ha ancora messa nell'elenco delle comete?