Monday, October 3, 2011

New Comet: C/2011 S2

Cbet nr.2852, issued on 2011, October 02, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 15.7) by R. A. Kowalski on CCD images obtained on September 30, 2011 with the Catalina Sky Survey's 0.68-m Schmidt reflector. The new comet has been designated C/2011 S2.

As noted on both the discovery Cbet & Mpec:

"The orbit of this object is essentially indeterminate at the present time. It is possible that this is a short-period comet.  Among the wide range of possible short-period orbits are orbits that appear similar to P/2006 T1 (Levy).  Initial attempts to link the two apparitions have not been successful.  Further observations are encouraged."

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 30 unfiltered exposures, 30-sec each, obtained remotely on 2011, October 01.4 from the GRAS Observatory (near Mayhill, NM) through a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a condensed coma about 10-arcsec in diameter, elongated, toward PA 295.

Our confirmation image:

Animation showing the movement of the comet:

M.P.E.C. 2011-T12 assignes the following very preliminary orbital elements to comet C/2011 S2: T 2011 Oct. 23.52; e= 1.0; Peri. =188.83; q = 1.13 AU; Incl.= 17.32

by Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero & Nick Howes

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