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New Comet: C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS)

9 Jun 2011, 09:40 UTC
New Comet: C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS)
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IAUC nr.9215, issued on 2011, June 08, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 19.4) on four CCD images taken with the 1.8-m "Pan-STARRS 1" telescope at Haleakala, on images obtained on 2011, June 6.4. The new comet has been designated C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS).After posting on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage, this object has been found by several CCD astrometrists to show cometary appearance. We performed some follow-up measurements of this object while it was still listed in the NEOCP. Stacking of 14 unfiltered exposures, 180-sec each, obtained remotely on 2011, June 07.4 from the Tzec Maun Observatory (near Mayhill, NM) through a 0.35-m f/3.8 reflector + CCD, shows that this object is slightly diffused, with a hint of elongation toward the north-east.Our confirming image (click for a bigger version):M.P.E.C. 2011-L33 assignes the following preliminary orbital elements to comet C/2011 L4: T 2013 Apr. 17.12; e= 1.0; Peri. = 331.67; q = 0.36 AU; Incl. = 104.74According to this very preliminary orbit, this comet might become a bright object ( ~ magnitude 2) around perihelion in March-April 2013 and better placed for southern hemisphere. Next weeks will tell us something more about the future of this comet!!This ...

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