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IAUC 8543: P/2005 L4; C/2005 K2

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IAUC number

                                                  Circular No. 8543
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)

     Eric J. Christensen, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, reports
his discovery of a comet in the course of the Mt. Lemmon Survey on
images taken with the 1.5-m reflector (discovery observation given
below); the object displays a nearly stellar head with a faint tail
approximately 15" long in p.a. 250 deg (as seen on four co-added
90-s images).  Following posting on the 'NEO Confirmation Page', J.
E. McGaha (Tucson, AZ, 0.62-m f/5.1 reflector) reports that his CCD
images taken on June 14.3 UT show a compact coma of diameter about
3" with a faint split tail 11" long in p.a. 260 deg and 290 deg.

     2005 UT             R.A. (2000) Decl.       Mag.
     June 13.35110   20 11 32.96   -19 11 20.5   19.1

The available astrometry (including Spacewatch prediscovery
observations back to June 3), the following elliptical orbital
elements, and an ephemeris appear on MPEC 2005-L65.

     T = 2005 Aug. 24.808 TT          Peri. =  24.789
     e = 0.42406                      Node  = 284.070   2000.0
     q = 2.36550 AU                   Incl. =  17.034
       a =  4.10720 AU     n = 0.118409     P =   8.32 years

     Following news of this comet's apparent outburst in brightness
(cf. IAUC 8540), several observers have detected what appears to be
a splitting of the comet's nucleus.  M. Kidger, Instituto de
Astrofisica de Canarias, writes that CCD images obtained by J. A.
Reyes and S. Pastor (Murcia, Spain) show a secondary tailward
condensation on June 12.88 (when it was 29" east and 25" north of
the primary condensation, and 1.4 mag fainter) and 13.89 UT (29"
east, 26" north; main condensation appears elongated).  M. Meyer,
Kelkheim, Germany, reports that images taken by M. Jaeger and G.
Rhemann (near Vienna, Austria) on June 12 show an apparent
secondary condensation in the direction of the short tail; they add
that this condensation shows more clearly on CCD images taken by D.
Strange (Dorset, U.K., 0.50-m f/4 telescope) on June 13.98.  G.
Sostero and E. Guido report that remote CCD imaging using a 0.25-m
f/3.4 reflector (near Mayhill, NM) reveals the following offsets
from the primary and approximate magnitudes for the secondary:
June 13.156, Delta(R.A.) = +1s.91, Delta(Decl.) = +22".2, R about
17.1; June 14.152, Delta(R.A.) = +2s.74, Delta(Decl.) = +29".8, R
about 16.9.

                      (C) Copyright 2005 CBAT
2005 June 14                   (8543)            Daniel W. E. Green

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