Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Comet Discovery: P/2009 S1 (Gibbs)

IAU Circular nr. 9074 issued on 2009, Sep. 22, announces the discovery of a new comet by A. R. Gibbs, named P/2009 S1 (Gibbs). It was found on Sep. 20 in the course of the Catalina Sky Survey with the Catalina 0.68-m Schmidt telescope. After posting on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage, other observers have noted the cometary appearance of this 18.5 - 19 magnitude object.

We have been able to confirm this object remotely, through the GRAS network, using a scope located in Mayhill (NM): on 2009, September 21.4, co-adding of 14 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained by means of a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD, show a condensed coma nearly 8" in diameter and a broad tail about 20" long in p.a. 260 deg.

Our image:

The preliminary orbit for comet P/2009 S1 (Gibbs) indicates perihelion already on Jul. 25, 2009, at about 2.4 AU:

This is the 13th comet discovery for Gibbs.

by Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero

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