Friday, July 27, 2012

New Comet: P/2012 O3 (McNAUGHT)

Cbet nr. 3193, issued on 2012, July 26, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 18.0) by R. H. McNaught on CCD images obtained with the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring on July 23.7. The new comet has been designated P/2012 O3 (McNAUGHT).

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 14 R-filtered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Haleakala-Faulkes Telescope North on 2012, Jul. 24.47, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD under good seeing conditions, shows that this object is a comet: sharp central condensation, surrounded by a faint coma nearly 5" in diameter, elongated toward PA 25 deg.

Our confirmation image (click on the image for a bigger version):


M.P.E.C. 2012-O36 assigns the following preliminary elliptical orbital elements to comet P/2012 O3: 2012 Aug. 15.60; e= 0.65; Peri. = 343.30; q = 1.59 AU; Incl.= 16.46.

by Giovanni Sostero, Nick Howes & Ernesto Guido

No comments: