Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Comet: P/2011 R2 (PANSTARRS)

Cbet nr.2811, issued on 2011, September 07, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 18.7) by Larry Denneau and Richard Wainscoat on two i-band Pan-STARRS images taken with the 1.8-m "Pan-STARRS 1" telescope at Haleakala on September 4.5, 2011. The new comet has been designated P/2011 R2 (PANSTARRS).

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object with a "GRAS Telescope" and the "Faulkes-Telescope South" on September 06, 2011.

Stacking of 14 unfiltered exposures, 120-sec each, obtained remotely on 2011, September 9.3 from the GRAS Observatory (near Mayhill, NM) through a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet:  condensed coma about 8-arcsec in diameter, elongated, toward PA 250.

Stacking of 4 R-filtered exposures, 30-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Siding Spring-Faulkes Telescope South on 2011, September 6.5, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD, shows that this object is a comet: well condensed coma nearly 5-arcsec in diameter, and a broad tailabout 8-arcsec long in PA 251.

Our confirmation images (click for a bigger version): 

M.P.E.C. 2011-R24 assignes the following preliminary orbital elements to comet P/2011 R2: T 2011 Nov. 19.50; e= 0.40; Peri. =230.12; q = 2.02 AU; Incl.= 4.77

by Giovanni Sostero, Ernesto Guido and Nick Howes 

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