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IAUC 8663: HD 109962; C/2006 A2; 73P

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IAUC number

                                                  Circular No. 8663
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
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HD 109962
     F. Walter, Stony Brook University; H. E. Bond, Space Telescope
Science Institute; and A. Pasten, Cerro Tololo Interamerican
Observatory, report that a spectrum of HD 109962 (= NSV 19448),
obtained with the SMARTS 1.5-m telescope on Jan. 16.2 UT, shows He
II 468.6-nm emission (equivalent width -0.29 nm) and possible weak
emission at the 464.0-nm C III/N III feature (equivalent width
-0.12 nm) superposed on the star's F2 V spectrum.  In a second
spectrogram obtained on Jan. 19.3, however, the high-excitation
emission is absent.  As described by S. Otero
(http://ar.geocities.com/varsao/NSV_19448.htm), HD 109962 is an
eclipsing binary with a period of 0.89 days that additionally shows
outbursts of about 0.8 mag and duration about 40 days occurring
about once a year, according to ASAS-3 data, with the latest
outburst having begun in late December 2005.  The variable He II
emission suggests a close compact companion undergoing a transient
accretion episode, or one that was eclipsed during the second
spectrogram.  Observations at all wavelengths, including x-ray and
ultraviolet, are encouraged.

     E. Christensen, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, writes that
the discovery and follow-up images from the Catalina Schmidt
telescope do not look cometary, though the object's images obtained
by E. C. Beshore from the Mt. Lemmon 1.5-m reflector on Jan. 24
display a round 8" coma in four 60-s stacked images, with no
visible tail.
     This comet's designation was inadvertently assigned to the
wrong half-month (IAUC 8662), but the designation will remain as

     CCD observations of the secondary component to comet 73P (cf.
IAUC 8659, 8660) obtained by R. Hill with the Catalina 0.68-m
Schmidt telescope (60-s exposures) on Jan. 23.5 UT show a tail
about 40" long in p.a. 290 deg.  The available astrometry of this
component, together with orbital elements (computed assuming
identity with component B observed in 1995 and 1996, after Sekanina
2005, ICQ 27, 229) and an ephemeris, were published on MPEC

                      (C) Copyright 2006 CBAT
2006 January 24                (8663)            Daniel W. E. Green

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