Friday, March 14, 2014

New Comet: C/2014 E2 (JACQUES)

Cbet nr. 3828, issued on 2014, March 14, announces the discovery of a comet (~ magnitude 14.7) on CCD images taken by  C. Jacques, E. Pimentel and J. Barros using a 0.45-m f/2.9 reflector at the SONEAR Observatory near Oliveira, Brazil. The new comet has been designated C/2014 E2 (JACQUES).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 19 unfiltered exposures, 30-sec each, obtained remotely from MPC code Q62 (iTelescope, Siding Spring) on 2014, March 13.6 through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet: very bright coma nearly 2 arcmin in diameter elongated in PA 10.

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version).

M.P.E.C. 2014-E84 assigns the following very preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2014 E2: T 2014 June 29.52; e= 1.0; Peri. = 349.10; q = 0.60;  Incl.= 157.19

Big Congrats to our friend Cristovao Jacques and all the SONEAR team for the discovery of their second comet! Click here to find more info about their first comet.

UPDATE - March 16, 2014

According to the very preliminary orbit, comet C/2014 E2 will have a close approach with planet Venus on 2014, July 13 at 0.088 AU.

 Discovery images of C/2014 E2

Credit: SONEAR

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 - October 02, 2014

Our follow-up image of comet C/2014 E2 (JACQUES) obtained on August 25, 2014 through the 2-meter Liverpool Telescope (MPC code J13). Click on it for a bigger version.

by Ernesto Guido, Nick Howes & Martino Nicolini

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Close Approach of Asteroid 2014 DX110

The asteroid 2014 DX110 was discovered (at magnitude ~20) on 2014, February 28 by F51 Pan-STARRS 1 , Haleakala survey.

2014 DX110 has an estimated size of 19 m - 43 m (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=25.7) and it will have a close approach with Earth at about 0.9 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0023 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 2100 UT on 2014, March 05. This asteroid will reach the peak magnitude ~14.8 on March 05, 2014.

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object on 2014, March 05.6, remotely from the Q62 iTelescope network (Siding Spring) through a 0.32-m f/9.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD + f/6.1 focal reducer.

Below you can see our image taken with the asteroid at magnitude ~15.2 and moving at ~145.84 "/min. At the moment of its close approach in the next few hours, 2014 DX110 will move at ~509"/min. Click on the image below to see a bigger version. North is up, East is to the left (the asteroid is trailed in the image due to its fast speed).

According to a preliminary light-curve published on MPML mailing list by B. Warner, this asteroid is a fast rotator with a period of 0.1204 h (7.2 min) and amplitude 0.36 mag.  Click on the image below to see a bigger version.

Credit: Brian Warner

by Ernesto Guido, Nick Howes & Martino Nicolini