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IAUC 3286: 1978o; 1978n; 1978 P 1

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                                                  Circular No. 3286
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Postal Address: Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
TWX 710-320-6842 ASTROGRAM CAM     Telephone 617-864-5758

     William A. Bradfield, Dernancourt, near Adelaide, reports the
discovery of another comet.  Available observations are:

     1978 UT          R. A. (1950) Decl.     m1     Observer
     Oct. 10.785     11 01.5     -19 09      9      Bradfield
          11.77083   11 02.8     -20 37      8      Tregaskis

W. A. Bradfield (Dernancourt, near Adelaide).  Object diffuse with
   condensation, nothing reported about a tail.
T. B. Tregaskis (Mount Eliza, near Melbourne).  Similar appearance.

     The following precise position has been measured by M. L.
Kantz from an exposure by H. L. Giclas at the Lowell Observatory.
The comet is diffuse, with condensation.

     1978 UT             R. A. (1950) Decl.        m1
     Oct. 10.50556    10 22 54.53   + 6 04 40.1    9

1978 P 1
     L. E. Andersson, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, writes that
attempts to determine an orbit for the supposed satellite of Pluto
(cf. IAUC 3241) indicate that, although the ambiguity of the orientation
of the orbit is not resolved, a solution with Node = 170o fits
the observations better than one with Node = 350o.  If Node = 170o, the
sun can be expected to pass through the plane of the satellite's
orbit in 1980 +/- 4, and eclipse phenomena would occur during five or
six oppositions around the time of passage through the plane.  Thus
there is perhaps a 50-percent chance that eclipses will occur during
the 1979 opposition.  A very approximate ephemeris for primary
events (satellite in front of Pluto) is: 1979 Jan. 5.0 (+/- 0.3) +
6.387n (UT).  If eclipses are central, the duration of each event
will be 6 +/- 1 hr and the maximum light loss at least 0.2 magnitude.

     T. Kunkle and D. Kasle, University of Hawaii, inform us that
direct visual observations (seeing 0".5-1".0) with the Mauna Kea 224-cm
reflector on July 18.25 UT showed Pluto to be distinctly elongated,
but the satellite was not resolved from the primary.

1978 October 12                (3286)              Brian G. Marsden

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