Monday, May 5, 2008

Recovery of Periodic Comet 15P/Finlay

Periodic comet 15P/Finlay has been picked-up by the undersigneds on 2008, April 27.79 by means of a 0.25m, f/6 reflector + CCD (remotely, near Moorook, AU) and confirmed on 2008, April 28.70 through the same instrumentation.

Our recovery image:


Our astrometry:
0015P C2008 04 27.79053 22 58 27.09 -12 37 33.0 17.2 N EJ027D90
0015P C2008 04 27.79941 22 58 29.31 -12 37 19.0 17.5 N EJ027D90
0015P C2008 04 28.78638 23 02 33.02 -12 10 37.3 17.4 N EJ027D90
0015P C2008 04 28.79848 23 02 36.10 -12 10 18.9 17.5 N EJ027D90

According to the Minor Planet Center's website "Dates of last observation of comets" it was last observed on: 2002 03 30.42 14.0 T 340

W. H. Finlay (Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa) discovered this comet with a 7-inch equatorial on 1886 September 26.83.

It's interesting to notice that, due to the proximity to Earth of its orbit (15P/Finlay is a Jupiter-family comet in a low inclination orbit just outside Earth's orbit), comet Finlay has been studied by several authors as a potential candidate for meteoroid delivering. D.A.J. Seargent discussed a potential relation of the famous Murchison meteorite fall with 15P/Finlay.

"Lubor Kresak identified comet 15P/Finlay as a likely source of meteor storms in the period 2004-2064. Neslusan and coworkers searched for photographed orbits in the IAU database, expecting activity around september 24, but no orbit could be linked to this comet. Martin Beech found that in the years 2001 and 2008 some meteoroids can make it toward the Earth's orbit, but Earth is not a the right time at that spot to cause a meteor outburst." (P.Jenniskens, 2006, chap. 19)

In a paper published in 1993, Z. Sekanina investigated about the orbital anomaly of 15P/Finlay (and few other periodic comets) as a result of the temporary activation of new discrete sources in cometary nuclei.

by Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero


P. Jenniskens (2006), Meteor Showers and their Parent Comets
L. Kresak (1992), Meteor Storms. Meteoroids and Their Parent Bodies

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