Sunday, February 3, 2008

Comet C/2008 C1 (CHEN-GAO)

We performed some follow-up of C/2008 C1 (CHEN-GAO) on 2008 Feb 3.10 through one of the R.A.S. telescope (details on image). In our stacking is visible a nice coma, nearly 1.5 arcmin wide. Image processing shows a clear elongation of the coma, and hint of a tail, toward North-East (click on the image below for a bigger version):

Preliminary photometric data reductions returns a total (unfiltered) magnitude close to 13. The central condensation is nearly magn.16. The afrho parameter (proxy of dust abundance within the coma) is almost 80 cm +/- 20cm, with an asymmetric profile (higher values for wider apertures). Considering the current distance from the Sun (r nearly 1.6 AU, inbound) this amount seems to point toward a comet of moderate activity.

Congratulation to our Chinese fellows for this nice find!

Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero (A.F.A.M., C.A.R.A.)

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