Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Comet P/2009 Q1 (HILL)

IAU Circular nr.9067, issued on 2009, Aug. 29, announces the discovery of a new comet by R. E. Hill, named P/2009 Q1 (HILL). It was found on Aug. 27 in the course of the Catalina Sky Survey with a 0.68-m Schmidt telescope.

After posting on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage, the object's cometary appearance has been noted by several observers.

We have been able to confirm this object remotely, through the GRAS network, using a scope located in Mayhill (NM): on 2009, August 28.3, co-adding of 15 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained by means of a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD, shown a diffuse coma almost 15 arcmin in diameter and a broad tail 50" long in p.a. 255. The total magnitude m1 has been established to be about 18 (unfiltered CCD).

Our image is available here:

An MPEC (including pre-discovery Spacewatch observations on Aug. 16) with preliminary orbital elements and an ephemeris has been issued too:

The first orbit indicates for comet P/2009 Q1 (HILL) a perihelion on July 19, 2009, at about 2.8 AU.

by Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero

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