Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Recovery of comet P/2003 S2 (NEAT) = P/2010 P5

IAUC circular No. 9162, issued on August 17, 2010 announces our recovery of comet P/2003 S2 (NEAT) = P/2010 P5.

We found the comet on our first attempt to locate it on August 15, 2010. It was moving roughly 6 arc-minutes away from the nominal position at magnitude 19 (roughly 1 magnitude dimmer than predicted). We imaged it remotely, through the GRAS network, using a scope located in Mayhill (NM): 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD.

We performed the second night of follow-up on August 17, 2010. Co-adding of 24 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, showed the presence of a faint 15" tail in p.a. 356 deg.

Our recovery image of P/2003 S2 (NEAT)

According to the IAUC, the indicated correction to the prediction by B. G. Marsden on MPC62880 is Delta(T) = -0.33 day. The linked orbital elements by G. V. Williams and an ephemeris appear on MPEC 2010-Q08.

P/2003 S2 was last observed (before our recovery) on February 18, 2004.

By Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero

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