Saturday, May 17, 2014

New Comet: C/2014 J1 (CATALINA)

Cbet nr. 3868, issued on 2014, May 16, announces the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (~ magnitude 18.2) on CCD images taken on 2014, May 09.3 by R. J. Sanders with the Catalina Sky Survey's 0.68-m Schmidt telescope. This object has been found to show cometary appearance by observers elsewhere. The new comet has been designated C/2014 J1 (CATALINA).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 50 unfiltered exposures, 15-sec each, obtained remotely on 2014, May 16.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network, Siding Spring) through a 0.70-m f/6.6 CDK astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is slightly diffused. The FWHM of this object was measured about 20% wider than that of nearby field stars of similar brightness (at the moment of our imaging session the Moon - 0.98 phase - was just about 40 degree away from the comet).

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

M.P.E.C. 2014-K04 assigns the following parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2014 J1: T 2014 June 13.44; e= 1.0; Peri. = 191.98; q = 1.74;  Incl.= 160.18

by Ernesto Guido, Nick Howes & Martino Nicolini

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