Sunday, January 20, 2008

Comet C/2008 A1 (McNaught)

Below you can see our image of comet  C/2008 A1 taken on 2008, Jan. 11.3. Click on the image for a bigger version:

In our stacking is possible to appreciate a nice coma, nearly 30arcsec across, elongated toward North-East. The total magnitude (unfiltered CCD) is nearly 15, while the Afrho calculation (proxy of the dust abundance within the coma) provide a value close to 670 +/-50 cm (with a photometric profile very flat between 15,000 and 40,000 Km from the central condensation).

This seems to indicate an active object, if we consider that currently this comet is nearly 4 AU from the Sun (inbound). The preliminary orbital elements, published by the Minor Planet Center in M.P.E.C. 2008-A48, show that this comet will remain a mainly southern object, with perihelion occuring in November 2008, and a total m1 considered to be nearly magn. 10 at its best.

Giovanni Sostero and Ernesto Guido

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