Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Comet: C/2011 U2 (BRESSI)

Cbet nr.2875, issued on 2011, October 26, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 19.4) by Terry H. Bressi on CCD images obtained on September 24, 2011 with the Spacewatch 0.9-m f/3 reflector at Kitt Peak. The new comet has been designated C/2011 U2 (BRESSI).

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Three stacked 60-s R-band exposures taken remotely on Oct. 25.5 with the 2.0-m f/10 "Faulkes Telescope North" at Haleakala show that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 4" x 3" in size, elongated toward p.a. 250 deg, with a sharp central condensation and a tail about 20" long in p.a. 250 deg.

Our confirmation image (click for a bigger version):

M.P.E.C. 2011-U85 assignes the following preliminary orbital elements to comet C/2011 U2: T 2012 Oct.  9.20; e= 1.0; Peri. = 222.89; q = 2.49 AU; Incl.= 9.81

by Ernesto Guido, Giovanni Sostero, Nick Howes & Daniel Cirelli

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