Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Comet: C/2013 R1 (LOVEJOY)

Cbet nr. 3649, issued on 2013, September 09, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude ~14.4) by Terry Lovejoy on CCD images obtained with a 20-cm f/2.1 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector on two nights. The new comet has been designated C/2013 R1 (LOVEJOY).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp.  Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely from MPC code Q62 (iTelescope Observatory, Siding Spring) on 2013, September 08.7, through a 0.32-m f/9.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD, shows that this object is a comet: sharp central condensation surrounded by a coma about 25" in diameter and a tail about 40" in PA 245.

Below our confirmation image. Click on it for a bigger version.

M.P.E.C. 2013-R72 assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2013 R1: T 2013 Dec. 25.78; e= 1.0; Peri. = 63.26; q = 0.87;  Incl.= 61.94

Below you can see a graph generated using the software Orbitas and showing the predicted magnitude (in red) versus the elongation. Click on the image for a bigger version. (A word of caution: as always with comets, the future magnitudes reported here are only indicative).

UPDATE - September 11, 2013

You can read here the discovery story written by Terry Lovejoy.

by Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes

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