Sunday, June 4, 2017

New Comet: C/2017 K4 (ATLAS)

CBET nr. 4397, issued on 2017, June 01, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17) by the "Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) Team on CCD exposures taken on May 26.5 with the ATLAS 0.5-m f/2.0 Schmidt telescope at Haleakala. The new comet has been designated C/2017 K4 (ATLAS)

I performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2017, May 29.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through 0.43-m f/6.8 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma nearly 10 arcsec in diameter

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

Discovery animation by ATLAS Survey

Credit: The ATLAS Project

M.P.E.C. 2017-L04 assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2017 K4 (ATLAS): T 2018 Jan. 13.3; e= 1.0; Peri. =  20.42; q = 2.54;  Incl.= 17.19

by Ernesto Guido

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