Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Comets & Asteroids - Summary for August 2018

During the month of August 2018, 4 new comets were discovered, cometary activity was detected for 1 previously discovered object (earlier designated as asteroids) and there  were 2 comet recoveries. "Current comet magnitudes" & "Daily updated asteroid flybys" pages are available at the top of this blog (or just click on the underline text here). See below for the "Other news" section.

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

- Comet Discoveries

Aug 17 Discovery of C/2018 O1 (ATLAS)     (CBET 4543)
Aug 19 Discovery of P/2018 P3 (PANSTARRS) (CBET 4548)
Aug 19 Discovery of P/2018 P4 (PANSTARRS) (CBET 4549)
Aug 19 Discovery of C/2018 P5 (PANSTARRS) (CBET 4550)

- Cometary activity detected

Aug 14 Cometary activity detected in 2018 KJ3 = C/2018 KJ3 (LEMMON)

- Comet Recoveries

Aug 13  Recovery of P/2010 A1 (HILL) as P/2018 P1 (CBET 4538)
Aug 13  Recovery of P/2001 T3 (NEAT) as P/2018 P2 (CBET 4539)

- Other news

Aug 07  Asteroid (162173) Ryugu imaged on August 07, 2018 from a distance of about 1 km by @haya2e_jaxa - For more info see  #astronomy #asteroids

Credit: JAXA

Aug 10 S. S. Sheppard, Carnegie Institution for Science, reports the discovery of a satellite to the trans-Neptunian object 2013 FY27.  The satellite was detected about 0".17 at a position angle of 135 degrees from the primary in four 545-s images taken with the WFPC3/UVIS instrument with the Hubble Space Telescope during 2018 Jan. 15.058-15.104 UT.  The satellite is about 3 magnitudes fainter than the primary in the F350LP filter.  The projected separation of the satellite is about 9800 km from the primary (CBET 4537)

Aug 17 M. S. P. Kelley and D. Bodewits, University of Maryland; and Q.-Z. Ye, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, on behalf of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Solar System Working Group, report an outburst of comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels in ZTF images taken with the Oschin 1.2-m Schmidt telescope at Palomar. The post-outburst brightness (7"-radius aperture) is r' = 13.88 +/- 0.02, indicating an outburst strength of at least 2.7 mag (CBET 4544)

Aug 20 A Better Look At Asteroid 216 Kleopatra (based on the findings described in the article entitled A revised shape model of asteroid (216) Kleopatra, recently published in the journal Icarus).

Credit: Shepard et al.

Aug 22 Has Anyone Found a Lost Comet?! (based on the papaer "Finding Long Lost Lexell's Comet: The Fate of the First Discovered Near-Earth Object")

Aug 28 NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has made its first detection of its next flyby target, the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 nicknamed Ultima Thule, more than four months ahead of its New Year's 2019 close encounter.  


by Ernesto Guido