Friday, April 17, 2009

Recovery of comet P/2003 H4 (LINEAR) = P/2009 F7 (LINEAR)

IAU Circular No. 9038, issued on 2009 Apr 15, announces the recovery P/2003 H4 (LINEAR) = P/2009 F7 (LINEAR) by the LINEAR team and the undersigneds; it was last observed in August 2003.

The Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research facility: 

picked-up P/2003 H4 on 2009, March 31 during a single-night observing session. We indipendently found the return of this object on 2009 April 15.60 through one remotely controlled telescope of the "Skylive" network, located at Grove Creek (near Trunkey, Australia). 

In our images (stacking of 30 unfiltered images, 60-seconds each, with a 0.35-m f/7 reflector + CCD), the comet showed a diffuse coma about 15-arcsec in diameter, with a central condensation, having m2 about 19.6.

The recovered comet was about 8 arcmin East, South-East to the ephemerids positions, located in Hydra.

Here you can found our recovery image of April 15, 2009:

Afterwards we performed some further follow-up from different observing sites and instruments, that confirmed the aspect of this object. 

Like the Iowa Robotic Observatory (MPC# 857) 20x60 stack of images, obtained on 16 April 2009:

or the GRAS stacking, obtained on the same night under good seeign conditions (details on image):

According to the orbital elements published so far by the Minor Planet Center website (, perihelion will occur on June 2009, with the comet at 1.7 AU from the Sun. This Jupiter-family comet moves along an elliptic orbit in 6.1 years, having a semi-major axis of 3.3 AU, eccentricity of 0.49 and an inclination of 18 deg.

We would like to thank the Grove Creek-Skylive staff for their kind support during this recovery.

by Giovanni Sostero, Enrico Prosperi, Ernesto Guido & Paul Camilleri 

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