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