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IAUC 7661: C/2001 N2; 2001db

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                                                  Circular No. 7661
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Mailstop 18, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
IAUSUBS@CFA.HARVARD.EDU or FAX 617-495-7231 (subscriptions)
URL http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/cbat.html  ISSN 0081-0304
Phone 617-495-7440/7244/7444 (for emergency use only)

     An apparently asteroidal object reported by LINEAR (discovery
observation below), which was posted on the NEO Confirmation Page,
has been found to have a diffuse coma and a faint 5" tail in p.a.
about 90 deg in a 3 min r-band CCD exposure taken with the 0.6-m
reflector at Table Mountain by M. Hicks, D. Esqueda, and T. Ha.

     2001 UT             R.A. (2000) Decl.        m2
     July 11.38017   23 03 09.94   +39 05 57.8   18.1

     Additional astrometry and the following preliminary parabolic
orbital elements from 18 observations, July 11-13, appear on MPEC

     T = 2002 Aug. 29.527 TT          Peri. = 138.456
                                      Node  =  48.346   2000.0
     q = 3.17991 AU                   Incl. = 136.969

SUPERNOVA 2001db IN NGC 3256
     R. Maiolino and M. Della Valle, Osservatorio Astrofisico di
Arcetri, Florence; L. Vanzi, European Southern Observatory (ESO);
and F. Mannucci, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerce, Florence,
report the discovery of a supernova during a campaign of near-
infrared monitoring of luminous infrared galaxies:  "SN 2001db was
discovered at mag 16.27 in a K_s-band image obtained on 2001 Jan.
9.3 UT with the ESO New Technology Telescope (+ SOFI), when
compared with a previous archival K_s image from Nov. 1999.  To our
knowledge, this is the first supernova ever discovered in the
infrared.  SN 2001db is located at R.A. = 10h27m50s.4, Decl. =
-43o54'21" (equinox 2000.0), which is 6" west and 6" south of the
K_s nucleus of NGC 3256 (uncertainty on relative position about
0".4).  Two additional K_s-band images taken on Feb. 9.25 and Mar.
8.1 show that SN 2001db faded to K_s = 17.11 and 17.55,
respectively.  Infrared and optical spectra obtained at the ESO
Very Large Telescope on Apr. 21.1 (with the Infrared Spectrometer
And Array Camera) and May 17.0 (with the Focal Reducer/low-
dispersion Spectrograph) show a broad component (about 5000 km/s
FWHM) of the Pa-beta and of H-alpha flanked by faint P-Cyg
absorptions, thereby suggesting this to be a type-II event caught
about 5 months after maximum.  This implies that our first
detection of the supernova (on Jan. 9) was about 1 month after
maximum light."

                      (C) Copyright 2001 CBAT
2001 July 13                   (7661)            Daniel W. E. Green

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