Friday, January 9, 2009

COMET P/2008 X4 = P/2003 K2 (CHRISTENSEN)

IAUC nr. 9005, issued on 2008, December 12, announced the recovery of P/2003 K2 (CHRISTENSEN): A. Watson found a comet through the SECCHI HI1-B images on Dec. 8.2; at that time, the comet displayed a very faint, short tail; subsequently M. Meyer suggested its identity with comet P/2003 K2.

We observed this comet while it was emerging from the morning twilight, in Ophiucus. The observation has been performed remotely, through the GRAS scopes network, from Mayhill (NM) on 2009 Jan. 8.5 (details on image, click on it for a bigger version):

In our stacking the comets show a nice coma, elongated toward North-West, about 3 arcmin in diameter. Image processing through an azimuthal median subtraction routine, show the presence of a fan-like feature in solar direction, about 2-arcmin long, likely originated by the activity of the nucleus facing our star:

by Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero and Paul Camilleri

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