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Saturday, February 08, 2014

 

New Comet C/2014 C2 STEREO (congratulations Comet Al)

Comet C/2014 C2 in the STEREO H1 A instrument on 2/2/14,  arrowed. The vertical lines are instrument artefacts. Click to embiggenanimation of 24 images from 2/2/14 to3/2/14 showing the rapid motion of the comet, click to embiggen.
Congratulations Comet Al! His keen eyes spotted a rapidly moving (and rapidly fading) comet in the STEREO H1A images, Man To Hui and Comet Al derived an orbit and it is up on the Minor Planet Centre already.

 Chart of Comet C/2014 C2 as seen from Mayhill New Mexico. Southern Hemisphere observers will not see it until is is much too faint. (click to embiggen)

Unfortunately, the comet will now only be visible from the northern hemisphere, and will be very low above the horizon at astronomical twilight from around February 14. It will probably be very faint, around magnitude 13 or less. This makes it a very difficult target.

The comet was visible in the southern hemisphere in the evening, but was low on the horizon around astronomical twilight from January 1, and may have been too faint to observe. But Australian observers should check their images from this time.

MPEC one line Ephermeris
    CK14C020  2014 02 18.6577  0.508074  1.000000   57.5181  283.3470  135.3097            18.5  8.0      C/2014 C2 (STEREO)

Orbital elements:
    C/2014 C2 (STEREO)
T 2014 Feb. 18.65769 TT                                 MPC
q   0.5080744            (2000.0)            P               Q
                   Peri.   57.51809     -0.45953242     -0.56620958
                   Node   283.34701     -0.84240966     +0.52195234
e   1.0            Incl.  135.30975     +0.28138215     +0.63794394
From 77 observations 2014 Feb. 1-4.



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