Sunday, January 31, 2016

Comets & Asteroids - Summary for January 2016

This post introduces a new monthly column that will serve as a summary of the most important news about comets & asteroids and an overview of the comets  discovered (and recovered) throughout the month just ended. During the month of January 2016,  8 new comets were discovered, there were 2 recoveries and cometary activity has been reported for 2 previously discovered objects (earlier designated as asteroids). Moreover, observations of a secondary companion for comet P/2015 Y2 = P/2010 V1 (IKEYA-MURAKAMI) and the discovery of the binary nature of asteroid (2242) BALATON have been reported. "Current comet magnitudes" & "Daily updated asteroid flybys" pages are available at the top of this blog (or just click on the underline text here).

The dates below refer to the date of issuance of CBET (Central Bureau Electronic Telegram)  which reported the official news & designations. 

- Comet Discoveries

Jan 07  Discovery of C/2016 A1 (PANSTARRS)
Jan 07  Discovery of P/2016 A2 (CHRISTENSEN)
Jan 07  Discovery of C/2016 A3 (PANSTARRS)  
Jan 16  Discovery of C/2016 A5 (PANSTARRS)  
Jan 20  Discovery of C/2016 A6 (PANSTARRS)  
Jan 23  Discovery of P/2016 A7 (PANSTARRS)
Jan 23  Discovery of C/2016 B1 (NEOWISE)
Jan 29  Discovery of C/2016 A8 (LINEAR)

Comet C/2016 B1 (NEOWISE) - J. Masiero / Gemini Observatory / AURA

- Comet Recoveries 

Jan 03  Recovery of P/2010 V1 (IKEYA-MURAKAMI) as P/2015 Y2 + secondary component
Jan 11  Recovery of P/2001 F1 (NEAT) as P/2016 A4

- Cometary activity detected

Jan 10  Cometary activity detected in 2007 VA85 = P/2007 VA_85 (LINEAR)
Jan 29  Discovery of 2015 VL62 = 2015 YY6 = C/2015 VL62 (LEMMON-YEUNG-PANSTARRS)

Comet P/2015 Y2 (IKEYA-MURAKAMI) - Credit: LCOGT/Man-To Hui

- Asteroid news

Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) discovered in January 2016:  155

Jan 23  CBET 4243 reports that minor planet (2242) BALATON is a binary system with an orbital period of 12.96 +/- 0.01 hr.  

Dictionary of Minor Planet Names by Lutz D. Schmadel

by Ernesto Guido

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