Monday, March 21, 2011

New Comet: C/2011 F1 (LINEAR)

IAUC nr.9202, issued on 2011, Mar. 21, announced the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 18.3) by the LINEAR survey through their 1.0-m f/2.15 reflector + CCD, on images obtained on 2011, Mar. 17.3. The new comet has been designated C/2011 F1 (LINEAR).

After posting on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage, this object has been found by several CCD astrometrists to show cometary appearance. We performed some follow-up measurements of this object while it was still listed in the NEO-CP, on 2011 Mar. 18.45, remotely both from the GRAS Observatory (near Mayhill, NM) & from the Tzec Maun Observatory (near Mayhill, NM).

Twelve stacked 120-s images taken remotely on Mar. 18.46-18.47 UT with a GRAS 0.51-m f/6.9 reflector show a sharp coma nearly 8" in diameter, elongated toward the southwest. While twenty unfiltered 180-s images obtained remotely on Mar. 18.43-18.49 with a 0.18-m f/7.3 refractor at the Tzec Maun Observatory (Cloudcroft, NM, U.S.A.) to find an extremely sharp and condensed coma nearly 10" in diameter

Our confirming images (click for a bigger version):

MPEC 2011-F15 assignes the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2011 F1: T = 2013 Jan. 21.66; Peri. = 197.23; q = 1.62 AU; Incl. = 56.85

This comet may reach at least 9th magnitude at perihelion.

According to COCD webpage, this is the 202th comet discovery for LINEAR Survey.

by Ernesto Guido & Giovanni Sostero

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