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Comet 2010/H2 (Vales)

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davegrennan
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« on: April 20, 2010, 02:30:56 pm »

Chaps a very strange comet discovered by an amateur.

http://www.minorplanetcenter.org/mpec/K10/K10H12.html

One of the longest mpec's in history.  A couple of strange things about this comet.  Although if was discovered at just below mag +13, Richard Kowalski of the Catalina Sky Survey reports that there was nothing on CSS plates taken of that area just a few days beforehand with a limiting magnitude of +19.0.  So This looks like a significant event happened in the intervening period to cause this flare.

Secondly there is very little evidence of coma.  In fact there was a lot of initial doubt before the discovery was announced if this even was a comet.  There was no evidence of coma on my follow up images.  However minor planets don't just jump from below mag +19 to brighter than +13 in a few days so it has to be a comet.  Who knows maybe it will flare again?  Its currently in Virgo and definitely worth a look for those with bigger scopes.

Dave.
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Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
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J41 - Raheny Observatory.
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rjgjr
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 03:45:59 pm »

Thanks for the information Dave, all we can do is hope that it flares again into something truely magnificent!!
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martinastro
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2010, 05:28:09 pm »

Thanks very much for the heads up Dave, I have been following the discussion on cometsml/mpml, definitely one to keep an eye on.

Also, RI McNaught could reach mag +3 or even +2 this June.
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markt
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2010, 06:58:59 pm »

Something to keep our eyes on...

McNaught sounds exciting.  We must be due a nice comet...  Roll Eyes
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