Monday, January 11, 2010

New Comet Discovery C/2010 A3 (HILL)

IAU circular No. 9106, issued on 2010, Jan. 09, announces the discovery of another comet by R. E. Hill, named C/2010 A3. It was discovered with the Catalina 0.68-m Schmidt telescope + CCD in the course of the Catalina Sky Survey.

After posting on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage, other observers have noted the cometary appearance of this 18.0 magnitude object.

We have been able to confirm this object remotely, through the GRAS network, using a scope located in Mayhill (NM): on 2010, January 09.1, co-adding of 18 unfiltered exposures, 120-seconds each obtained by means of a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD, show a coma nearly 10" in diameter and a broad fan-shaped tail about 10" long in p.a. 50 deg.

Our image is available here:

The first and preliminary orbit for comet C/2010 A3 (HILL) indicates perihelion on Mar. 27, 2010, at about 1.65 AU.

This is the 3rd comet discovery of 2010 (after P/2010 A1 (HILL) and P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)) and the 21st comet discovery for Hill.

by Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero

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