Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Discovery of a Nova in M31 - AT2020xyv

A new M31 nova candidate was independently discovered on 2020 Oct. 21.741 (by K. Hornoch and H. Kucakova), on 2020 Oct. 21.92 UT (by A. Catapano, L. Izzo, E. Guido, A. Noschese, F. Coccia, L. D'Avino) and 2020 Oct. 22.550 UT (by M. Zhang and X. Gao) and designated as PNV J00423733+4120519 = AT2020xyv = M31N 2020-10e (ATel #14114). This possible nova was first reported on 2020 Oct. 22.56 by Zhang and Gao as a new source of G ~ 16.9 mag on CBAT "Transient Object Followup Reports" (TOCP PNV J00423733+4120519).

Spectroscopic observations of AT2020xyv (PNVJ00423733+4120519) were obtained with the 3.58m TNG telescope equipped with LRS at Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in La Palma (Spain) by L. Izzo et al. (ATel #14116). Observations started on October 24 at 01:12:54 UT and they consisted of three exposures of 600s each: "The combined spectrum (covering the range 3,500-8,000 AA, resolving power R = 585) shows bright emission lines of H-alpha and H-beta, the presence of O I 7773 and Fe II lines (multiplet 42 and blended multiplets 37 and 38). From the H-alpha profile, we measure an FWHM of ~4,000 km/s. H-alpha and H-beta lines show P-Cygni profiles (although not prominent) with a minimum at ~ -2,800 km/s. The spectrum is then consistent with a broad-line Fe IIb Classical Nova in M31".

On 2020 Oct. 22.6, we reported on the TOCP our independent discovery of this nova in M31 on a 180-s R-band CCD frame taken on 2020 Oct. 21.92 UT with the 0.5 m f/8 Ritchey Chretien + CCD FLI PL4240 at MPC Code L07 (Osservatorio Salvatore di Giacomo, Agerola, ITALY) at the following coordinates:

R.A. = 00 42 37.33, Decl.= +41 20 52.1 (equinox 2000.0; Gaia DR2).

Our discovery image (click on it for a bigger version):


We have obtained daily BVR photometric observations of this nova with the 0.5m telescope at the Osservatorio Salvatore di Giacomo, Agerola (Italy). We have first detected the nova in BVR images obtained on October 21.92 as a new object in M31 with a magnitude V = 17.70 +- 0.05 mag. The most recent observations of this nova were obtained by us on October 23.85, and we report the following magnitudes: B = 19.39 +- 0.32 mag, V = 18.11 +- 0.12 mag, R = 19.06 +- 0.15 mag.  
 

Nothing is visible at this position on our archival images taken on 2020, October 20.83 (limiting B-mag 21). Zhang and Gao reported an upper limits (G > 20.5 mag) in images obtained on October 21.55. Kucacova et al. reported in ATel #14114 the first detection of this nova in images obtained on October 21.74 as an object with R = 18.1 +- 0.2. 

On ATel #14117, Hornoch et al. reported the identification of AT2020xyv as a likely recurrence of M31N 1998-10b, and thus a recurrent nova in M31. Using the updated online catalogue of all historical optical novae and nova candidates in M31 (Pietsch et al. 2007), they found that the measured position of nova AT2020xyv = PNV J00423733+4120519 = M31N 2020-10e "is very close (1.2") to that reported for a nova, M31N 1998-10b, previously discovered as part of the Research-Based Science Education (RBSE) project (Rector et al. 1999). Based on the position of the nova, which is located at an isophotal radius of 8.2' from the center of M31, we compute the probability of a chance positional coincidence between these two novae to be less than 0.01%"


by A. Catapano, L. Izzo, E. Guido, A. Noschese, F. Coccia, L. D'Avino (OASDG; AstroCampania)

Monday, September 21, 2020

New Comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus)

CBET 4885 & MPEC 2020-S119, issued on 2020, September 20, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18.5) by Nicolas Erasmus (South African Astronomical Observatory), in four 30-s CCD images taken in 5" seeing on Sept. 17.6 UT with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program. The new comet has been designated C/2020 S3 (Erasmus).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 151 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, September 19.1 from L07 (Osservatorio Salvatore di Giacomo, Agerola) through a 0.5 m f/8 Ritchey Chretien + CCD FLI PL4240, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 20" in diameter.

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


MPEC 2020-S119, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus): T 2020 Dec. 13.24; e= 1.0; Peri. =  349.09; q = 0.4;  Incl.= 19.79

While the orbit is still very preliminary, there is a chance that this comet will pass through the SOHO C3 fov starting from about December 16, 2020 (the visibility on C3 will depend also on the magnitude this comet will reach around perihelion; a vmag at least +8 is required to be visible in C3). Below you can see a graph showing part of the possible C3 passage (from Dec. 16 to Dec. 21, 2020; click on it for a bigger version). At the following link is available the animation, just press the play button to see it.

 

Made with Orbitsimulator


by Ernesto Guido

Monday, August 3, 2020

New Comet C/2020 O2 (Amaral)

CBET 4822 & MPEC 2020-P10, issued on 2020, August 02, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18) by Leonardo S. Amaral (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) on three 60-s CCD exposures taken on July 23 with a 0.3-m f/4 reflector. The new comet has been designated C/2020 O2 (Amaral).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 16 unfiltered exposures, 90 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, July 27.05 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 8" in diameter (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini, A. Valvasori).

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



Discovery image

Credit: L. S. Amaral (OCA)


MPEC 2020-P10, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2020 O2 (Amaral): T 2021 Aug. 23.84; e= 1.0; Peri. =  9.39; q = 4.90;  Incl.= 71.89

Congrats to Leonardo Scanferla Amaral (Observatório Campo dos Amarais, OCA) for this discovery! This is the fourth amateur comet discovery of 2020.

by Ernesto Guido

Friday, July 17, 2020

BRIGHT NOVA RETICULI 2020

Following the posting on the CBET 4811 & 4812 about the NOVA RETICULI 2020 we performed some follow-up of this object through a TEL 0.1-m f/3.6 astrograph + CCD located in the Heaven's Mirror Observatory, Australia (MPC code Q56) and operated by Telescope Live network.

On images taken on July 16.82, 2020 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart (with R-filtered magnitude about +4.5; B-filtered magn. +5.6; V-filtered magn. +5.6) at coordinates:

R.A. = 03 58 29.61, Decl.= -54 46 39.8

(equinox 2000.0; Gaia DR2 catalogue reference stars for the astrometry).

This transient was discovered by Robert H. McNaught (Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia) as an apparent 5th-magnitude nova on CCD images obtained on July 15.590 UT with a Canon 6D camera and an 8-mm-f.l. f/2.8 lens (at ISO 800). The position is very close to an object listed as "MGAB-V207" in the AAVSO's VSX online database (which gives position R.A. = 3h58m29s.55, Decl. = -54d46'41".2, equinox J2000.0, which calls it a novalike "VY Scl"-type variable with V magnitude range 15.8-18.0).

Spectroscopy by E. Aydi et al. (ATel #13867) using the High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS) mounted on the 11m Southern African Large Telescope as part of the SALT Large Science Program on Transients shows a spectrum that resembles that of a classical nova, likely after optical peak. Also, R. Kaufman (Bright, VIC, Australia) reports a low-resolution spectrum obtained by him on 2020 Jul. 16.62 UT (with a Canon 800D camera + 200-mm-f.l. f/3.5 lens) indicates the object to be a "Fe II-type" classical nova.

According to ATel #13868 "the positional coincidence of the optical/gamma-ray transient with the previously known VY Scl-type cataclysmic variable (d = 2.7 kpc from Gaia DR2; Bailer-Jones et al. 2018) suggests that the transient is a Galactic nova, which was confirmed with SALT spectroscopy (ATel #13867). It is only the third time that a classical nova eruption is observed in a previously known white dwarf hosting binary after V407 Cyg (ATel #2487) and V392 Per (ATel #11590), which were also detected by Fermi-LAT."

According to Cbet 4812 "the following pre-discovery V magnitudes from all-sky video images taken by M. A. Phillips at the Edward Pigot Seismic Observatory, Coonabarabran, using a ZWO ASI178MC-COOL color CMOS camera and a 1.4-mm-f.l. f/1.8 fish-eye lens: July 6.81, [6.0; 7.79, [5.5; 8.78, 5.4; 11.76, 3.7; 12.8, 3.8; 13.83, 4.0; 14.8, 4.4; 15.8, 4.7.  No variability was seen on single nights.  Further CCD magnitudes reported by McNaught from his images:  June 30.727, [9.8; July 1.763, [9.9; 2.826, [8.8; 15.747, 5.1; 15.785, 5.1; 15.804, 5.1. 

P. Schmeer, Bischmisheim, Germany, reports the following g magnitudes for the nova from the ASAS-SN Sky Patrol:  July 2.183, 16.6; 2.186, 16.3; 4.189, 15.5; 8.173, 6.8.  Schmeer adds that no previous outbursts or eruptions were recorded in ASAS-SN patrol images since 2014 June 18."


Below our confirmation image. Click on the image for a bigger version: 



An animation showing a comparison between my image and the archive POSS2/UKSTU Red plate (1993-12-17). 



by  Ernesto Guido, Marco Rocchetto & Adriano Valvasori

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

New Comet C/2020 K8 (CATALINA-ATLAS)

CBET 4796 & MPEC 2020-L46, issued on 2020, June 12, announce the independent discovery of a comet (magnitude ~19) of an apparently asteroidal object made on CCD images taken with the 0.68-m Schmidt telescope of the Catalina Sky Survey (on May 25, 28, and 29) and the 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program (on June 7). Then on June 8, R. Weryk reported the linkage of all of these tracklets, suggesting it might possibly be a comet based upon the astrometry. The object has been found to show cometary appearance subsequently by numerous CCD astrometrists at other observing sites after the object was posted on the Minor Planet Center's PCCP webpage. The new comet has been designated C/2020 K8 (CATALINA-ATLAS).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 29 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, June 09.4 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse irregular coma about 10" in diameter (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini).

Stacking of 24 unfiltered exposures, 57 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, June 10.4 from U69 (iTelescope, Auberry California) through a 0.61-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 15" in diameter slightly elongated toward PA 358 (Observers A. Valvasori, E. Guido).


Our confirmation images (click here for a bigger version)






MPEC 2020-L46, assigns the following preliminary parabolic elements to comet C/2020 K8 (CATALINA-ATLAS): T 2020 Sept. 14.49; e= 1.0; Peri. =  260.11; q = 0.47;  Incl.= 31.42

by Ernesto Guido

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

New Comet C/2020 K7 (PANSTARRS)

CBET 4790 & MPEC 2020-L09, issued on 2020, June 02, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~20) in four 45-s w-band CCD images obtained with the Pan-STARRS1 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien reflector at Haleakala. The new comet has been designated C/2020 K7 (PANSTARRS).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 8 unfiltered exposures, 180 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, June 02.2 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 6" in diameter and a tail 3" long in PA 306 (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini).

Our confirmation image (click here for a bigger version)



MPEC 2020-L09, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2020 K7 (PANSTARRS): T 2021 Oct. 5.30; e= 1.0; Peri. =  60.84; q = 5.64;  Incl.= 34.55


by Ernesto Guido

Monday, May 25, 2020

New Comet C/2020 K3 (Leonard)

CBET 4782 & MPEC 2020-K159, issued on 2020, May 25, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18) by G. J. Leonard on images taken on May 22 UT with the Catalina Sky Survey's 0.68-m Schmidt reflector. The new comet has been designated C/2020 K3 (Leonard).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 20 unfiltered exposures, 55 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, May 23.4 from H06 (iTelescope network)  through a 0.50-m f/6.8 reflector + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse irregular coma about 15" in diameter.

Our confirmation image (click here for a bigger version)



MPEC 2020-K159, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2020 K3 (Leonard): T 2020 June 01.00; e= 1.0; Peri. =  64.49; q = 1.58;  Incl.= 129.01

By Ernesto Guido & Adriano Valvasori

Friday, May 15, 2020

New Comet P/2019 LM4 (Palomar)

CBET 4775 & MPEC 2020-J68, issued on 2020, May 14, announce that an apparently asteroidal object discovered on images taken at Palomar on 2019 June 4 and 7 with the 1.2-m f/2.4 Schmidt telescope (and given the minor-planet designation 2019 LM_4 when published on MPS 1001527, along with observations made elsewhere on June 8) has been re-discovered showing cometary appearance at two other observatories. The new comet has been designated P/2019 LM4 (Palomar).

According to the CBET 4775: B. Li reported the discovery by G. Zhaori of an extended object on images taken by L. F. Hu with the 1.04-m f/1.8 Schmidt telescope at the XuYi Station of Purple Mountain Observatory on May 11 UT in the course of the "Chinese Near Earth Object Survey" (discovery observations tabulated below).  Before the object was posted on the Minor Planet Center's NEOCP webpage, it wasdiscovered independently in images obtained with the Pan-STARRS1 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien reflector at Haleakala on May 12, with Y. Ramanjooloo (University of Hawaii) reporting that the full-width-at-half-maximum size was 3".6 compared to 1".2 for nearby stars.  Observations were subsequently identified at the Minor Planet of yet another apparent independent discovery of the comet from 2020 May 9.5 at mag 16.4-17.0 with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial- Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program, though it appears that the ATLAS team did not report it as a comet.

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 14 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, May 13.2 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact round coma about 15" in diameter (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini).

Stacking of 16 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, May 13.4 from H06 (iTelescope, New Mexico) through a 0.50-m f/4.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 12" in diameter (Observers A. Valvasori & E. Guido).

Our confirmation images (click here for a bigger version)






MPEC 2020-J68, assigns the following elliptical elements to comet P/2019 LM4 (Palomar): T 2019 June 18.24; e= 0.58; Peri. =  68.37; q = 2.37;  Incl.= 36.39

by Ernesto Guido

Thursday, May 7, 2020

New Comet C/2020 J1 (SONEAR)

CBET 4769 & MPEC 2020-J37, issued on 2020, May 04, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17) on images taken with a 0.28-m f/2.2 astrograph of the "Southern Observatory for Near Earth Research" (SONEAR) at Oliveira, Brazil, on May 1 . The new comet has been designated C/2020 J1 (SONEAR).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 8 unfiltered exposures, 90 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, May 04.3 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 5" in diameter.

Our confirmation image (click here for a bigger version)



MPEC 2020-J37, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2020 J1 (SONEAR): T 2021 Apr. 15.73; e= 1.0; Peri. =  344.44; q = 3.25;  Incl.= 142.16

By Ernesto Guido & Adriano Valvasori

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

New Comet C/2020 H6 (ATLAS)

CBET 4768 & MPEC 2020-J23, issued on 2020, May 03, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18.5) on individual images from taken on Apr. 22 UT with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program. The new comet has been designated C/2020 H6 (ATLAS).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 28.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 10" in diameter slightly elongated toward PA 330.

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

 


MPEC 2020-J23, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2020 H6 (ATLAS): T 2021 Oct. 1.29; e= 1.0; Peri. =  20.53; q = 4.68;  Incl.= 79.83


by Ernesto Guido & Adriano Valvasori

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

New Comet C/2020 H2 (Pruyne)

CBET 4761 & MPEC 2020-H220, issued on 2020, April 28, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~16.5) by Theodore A. Pruyne on four 30-s CCD exposures taken with the Catalina Sky Survey's 0.68-m Schmidt telescope. The new comet has been designated C/2020 H2 (PRUYNE).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 55 unfiltered exposures, 10 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 27.4 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 1' arcmin in diameter.

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




MPEC 2020-H220, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2020 H2: T 2020 Apr. 27.62; e= 1.0; Peri. =  26.76; q = 0.83;  Incl.= 125.04


by Ernesto Guido, Marco Rocchetto & Adriano Valvasori

Friday, April 17, 2020

New Comet P/2020 G1 (Pimentel)

CBET 4754 & MPEC 2020-H06, issued on 2020, April 17, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~15) by Eduardo Pimentel on CCD images taken by Jacques, Pimentel, and J. Barros with a 0.28-m f/2.2 astrograph of the "Southern Observatory for Near Earth Research" (SONEAR) at Oliveira, Brazil. The new comet has been designated P/2020 G1 (Pimentel).
 
We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 7 unfiltered exposures, 24 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 15.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 15" in diameter and a tail 20" long in PA 90.

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



MPEC 2020-H06, assigns the following very preliminary elliptical elements to comet  P/2020 G1: T 2020 March 17.82; e= 0.87; Peri. =  208.93; q = 0.51;  Incl.= 18.67


by Ernesto Guido & Adriano Valvasori

Monday, April 13, 2020

New Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN)

CBET 4750 & 4752 & MPEC 2020-G94, issued on 2020, April 13, announce the discovery of a comet (total magnitude ~8.5) by M. Mattiazzo in the low-resolution public website hydrogen Lyman-alpha images obtained with the Solar Wind Anisotropies (SWAN) camera on the Solar and Heliospheric Observer (SOHO) spacecraft.  The new comet has been designated C/2020 F8 (SWAN).
 
We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage through the Telescope Live network.

Stacking of 3 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 11.4 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 5' in diameter and a tail 6' long in PA 220. Total magnitude 8.4.

Stacking of 3 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 11.7 from Q56 (Telescope Live, Australia) through a 0.1-m f/3.6 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 8' in diameter and a tail 25' long in PA 220.


Our confirmation images (click on it for a bigger version):





MPEC 2020-G94, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet  C/2020 F8: T 2020 May 27.59; e= 0.99; Peri. =  68.33; q = 0.42;  Incl.= 110.69

Below you can see a graph generated using the software Orbitas and showing the C/2020 F8 (SWAN) predicted magnitude (in red) versus the maximum height (for Northern Hemisphere). Click on the image for a bigger version. Preliminar orbit has the comet 0.4 AU from Sun with a peak magnitude at about 3 mag. at the end of May 2020! (as always with comets, the future magnitudes reported here are only indicative).  Elongation will start to decrease at the beginning of May 2020 and it will be about 20 degrees at the peak magnitude. Maximum height will be very bad for Northern Hemisphere at peak that is around 3 degrees from the horizon. Then the comet will appears in the morning sky at 11.5 mag in August and it will be observable in good condition after that while fading.  




by Ernesto Guido, Marco Rocchetto & Adriano Valvasori

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

New Comet C/2020 F5 (MASTER)

CBET 4746 & MPEC 2020-G73, issued on 2020, April 08, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~15.8) in images taken with the "Mobile Astronomical System of the Telescope-Robots" (MASTER) auto-detection system (0.40-m f/2.5 reflector) near San Juan, Argentina. Additional pre-discovery observations from Mar. 17.0 UT (mag 15.8-15.9), Mar. 22.0 (mag 15.8), and Mar. 23.0 (mag 15.7-15.8) were found on images taken with the MASTER 0.40-m reflector at the South African Astronomical Observatory (Sutherland). The new comet has been designated C/2020 F5 (MASTER).
 
We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 22 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 05.7 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.43-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 10" in diameter and a tail 30" long in PA 290.

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




MPEC 2020-G73, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2020 F5: T 2021 Mar 22.93; e= 1.0; Peri. =  310.76; q = 4.33;  Incl.= 51.70


by Ernesto Guido & Adriano Valvasori

Friday, April 3, 2020

New Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)


CBET 4740 & MPEC 2020-G05, issued on 2020, April 01, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17) in infrared images obtained with the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (or NEOWISE; formerly the WISE earth-orbitingsatellite; cf. CBET 4225). The new comet has been designated C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE).  

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 14 unfiltered exposures, 60 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, March 31.5 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet with a diffuse coma about 1 arcmin in diameter and a tail 20" long in PA 115.

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



MPEC 2020-G05, assigns the following preliminary orbital elements to comet  C/2020 F3: T 2020 July 3.54; e= 0.99; Peri. =  37.60; q = 0.29;  Incl.= 128.95

There is a possibility that this comet will be visible in the field of the SOHO C3 instrument towards the end of June 2020 (although it may be too weak or very close to the limit magnitude of this instrument which is about +8). When the orbit will be more defined it will be possible to confirm or exclude this hypothesis. 

by Ernesto Guido & Adriano Valvasori

Thursday, April 2, 2020

New Comet C/2020 F2 (ATLAS)

CBET 4739 & MPEC 2020-G04, issued on 2020, April 01, announce the discovery of a comet by R. Wainscoat on CCD images obtained on Mar. 22.6 UT with the Pan-STARRS1 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien reflector at Haleakala, which he then noticed (via posting at the Minor Planet Center's NEOCP webpage) was apparently identical with an apparently asteroidal object (magnitude ~19) discovered on CCD images taken the previous night with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program. The new comet has been designated C/2020 F2 (ATLAS).

I performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 15 unfiltered exposures, 120-sec each, obtained remotely, from Telescope Live (El Sauce, Chile) on 2020, March 25.3, through 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object appears slightly diffuse compared to the nearby field stars of similar brightness.

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



The following orbital elements by S. Nakano, Sumoto, Japan, are from 119 observations spanning 2019 May 27-2020 Apr. 1 (mean residual 0".30); prediscovery images were found by R. Weryk (F51); the corresponding original and future values of 1/a are +0.000016 and -0.000016 AU**-1, respectively.  The comet passed 2.89 AU from Saturn on 2018 Mar. 12 UT.

     Epoch = 2022 June 30.0 TT
     T = 2022 July 15.84933 TT        Peri. =  48.37394
     e = 1.0054516                    Node  = 250.27242 2000.0
     q = 8.8153702 AU                 Incl. = 163.58534


by Ernesto Guido

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Comets & Asteroids - Summary for Jan & Feb 2020

During the 2-month period January through February 2020, 9 new comets were discovered and cometary activity was detected for 1 previously discovered object (earlier designated with the prefix A/, see MPEC 2018-H54). "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.

(This post has been written during the covid-19 lockdown in Italy. I hope everyone is staying safe out there)

- Comet Discoveries

Jan 06 Discovery of C/2019 Y1 (ATLAS)              (CBET 4708)
Jan 08 Discovery of P/2019 Y2 (FULS)                 (CBET 4709)
Jan 09 Discovery of P/2019 Y3 (CATALINA)        (CBET 4711)
Jan 11 Discovery of C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS)               (CBET 4712)
Jan 13 Discovery of P/2019 X2 (PANSTARRS)      (CBET 4713)
Jan 15 Discovery of C/2020 A2 (IWAMOTO)         (CBET 4715)
Jan 21 Discovery of C/2020 A3 (ATLAS)                (CBET 4716)
Feb 06 Discovery of C/2020 B2 (LEMMON)          (CBET 4723)
Feb 07 Discovery of C/2020 B3 (RANKIN)            (CBET 4724)



- Cometary activity detected

Feb 05 Cometary activity detected in A/2019 C1 =  C/2019 C1 (ATLAS)  (CBET 4721)*

*The object was given the designation "A/2019 C1" when announced on MPEC 2019-D42, due evidently to its comet-like orbit.


- Other news

Jan 01 On the first evening of 2020, at 18h 26min UT, a -10 fireball was observed and recorded by PRISMA video network over Northern Italy. After careful trajectory analysis and having make the public aware of potential meteorite fall in the region of Cavezzo (Province of Modena), two pieces (55 g) of the fresh meteorite fall were recovered on January 4th.


Credit : PRISMA/FRIPON
Credit : PRISMA

Jan 09 NASA’s Lucy mission team is seeing double after discovering that Eurybates, the asteroid the spacecraft has targeted for flyby in 2027, has a small satellite. This “bonus” science exploration opportunity for the project was discovered using images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 in September 2018, December 2019, and January 2020.

Credit: Lucy/HST

Jan 17 At 2130UTC of 2020-01-17, a #fireball was detected just north of Puerto Rico (5:31pm local time). Satellite image available here #puertorico #meteor #fireball #meteoro #astronomy

Credit: @LouisVtweeter

Jan 23 CBET 4717 & CBET 4722 (Feb 05) report that the following minor planets are binaries systems: (9474) CASSADRURY & (2883) BARABASHOV.

Feb 07 CBET 4725 reports that Arecibo S-band (2380-MHz, 12.6-cm) range-Doppler radar images obtained on 2020 Feb. 4.8417-4.9215 and Feb. 5.8029-5.8611 UT reveal that the potentially hazardous, near-earth minor planet 2020 BX_12 (cf. MPEC 2020-B281) is a binary system. Preliminary measurements of visible range extents in radar images with 7.5 m/pixel resolution suggest a round primary at least 165 m in diameter and a secondary at least 70 m in diameter. 

Credit: Arecibo/NASA/NSF

Feb 12 #IAUnews What will be the impact of the planned mega-constellations of communication satellites on astronomical observations and on the pristine appearance of the night sky? Some preliminary findings. See also this paper by J. C. McDowell (published online on March 16, 2020).

Feb 13 The farthest, most primitive object in the #SolarSystem ever to be visited by a spacecraft—a #KuiperBelt Object known as Arrokoth (2014 #MU69) is described in detail in three new Science reports: https://fcld.ly/r10fbzb  & https://fcld.ly/3gz4pq2 & https://fcld.ly/varrccj  

Feb 15 2020 CD3 is a tiny near-Earth asteroid and temporary satellite of Earth. It was discovered at the Mount Lemmon Observatory by astronomers Theodore Pruyne and Kacper Wierzchoś on 15 February 2020, as part of the Mount Lemmon Survey or Catalina Sky Survey. The asteroid's discovery was announced by the Minor Planet Center on 25 February 2020, after subsequent observations have confirmed that it is orbiting around Earth. It is the second temporary satellite of Earth discovered in situ, after 2006 RH120, which was discovered in 2006. Based on its nominal trajectory, 2020 CD3 was captured by Earth between 2015–2016, and is expected to remain in a geocentric orbit around Earth until May 2020.

Credit: Gemini Observatory


Feb 28 A bright daylight bolide spotted at around 10:30am of February 28, 2020 over north-east of Italy, Croatia and Slovenia.  A piece of this fall was recovered on March 04, 2020 by G. Kos

Credit:  Tomislav Čar

by Ernesto Guido

Thursday, February 6, 2020

New Comet C/2020 B3 (Rankin)

MPEC 2020-C111, issued on 2020, February 06, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~20) by D. Rankin in the course of the Mt. Lemmon Survey (G96), in images taken on 2020, Jan 29 with a 1.5-m reflector + 10K CCD. The new comet has been designated C/2020 B3 (Rankin).  

I performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 16 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, February 03.2 from X02 Telescope Live (El Sauce, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet   with a compact coma about 5" in diameter slightly elongated toward PA 250.

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


MPEC 2020-C111, assigns the following preliminary orbital elements to comet  C/2020 B3: T 2019 Oct. 22.8; e= 0.98; Peri. =  325.92; q = 3.35;  Incl.= 20.75

Below you can see the discovery animation:

Credits: D. Rankin; Catalina Sky Survey

Congrats to David Rankin for this discovery!!

by Ernesto Guido

Monday, January 6, 2020

New Comet C/2019 Y1 (ATLAS)

CBET 4708 & MPEC 2020-A72, issued on 2020, January 05,  announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18) in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program, in images taken on 2019, Dec 16 with a 0.5-m reflector + CCD. The new comet has been designated C/2019 Y1 (ATLAS).  

I performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage. Stacking of 28 unfiltered exposures, 30 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2019, December 20.15 from X02 Telescope Live network (El Sauce, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a sharp central condensation and a diffuse irregular coma about 15 arcsec in diameter elongated in PA 90.

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



M.P.E.C. 2020-A72, assigns the following preliminary orbital elements to comet  C/2019 Y1: T 2020 Mar. 15.54; e= 1.0; Peri. =  57.20; q = 0.84;  Incl.= 73.40

Neither the MPEC nor the CBET mention the relationship that has been pointed out by R. J. Bouma in comets-ml mailing list about this comet and the "LILLER" group (comets C/1988 A1 Liller, C/1996 Q1 Tabur, C/2015 F3 SWAN).


by Ernesto Guido