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IAUC 8692: C/2006 F2; 73P

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                                                  Circular No. 8692
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)

    E. J. Christensen reports the discovery of a comet on
unfiltered CCD images taken with the 1.5-m reflector in the course
of the Mt. Lemmon Survey (discovery observation tabulated below).
The Mar. 23 images show a diffuse, round 8" coma and no tail in
four co-added 30-s images.  Four co-added 60-s images in average
seeing taken on Mar. 24.3 UT show a 10" moderately condensed coma,
slightly elongated toward p.a. 320 deg.

     2006 UT             R.A. (2000) Decl.       Mag.
     Mar. 23.32673   12 36 46.72   - 3 57 46.6   19.7

The available astrometry (including prediscovery Spacewatch
observations from Feb. 27), the following preliminary orbital
elements, and an ephemeris appear on MPEC 2006-F29.

     T = 2006 Mar. 17.736 TT          Peri. = 179.204
     e = 0.65377                      Node  =   8.258   2000.0
     q = 4.28917 AU                   Incl. =  20.413
       a = 12.38814 AU     n = 0.022604     P =  43.6 years

     The components 'H', 'J', and L (mentioned on IAUC 8685 on Mar.
8) were observed by P. Birtwhistle (Great Shefford, Berkshire,
England) on Mar. 23.1 UT and by E. J. Christensen at Mt. Lemmon on
Mar. 23.5.  Birtwhistle gave the magnitudes as 18.9, 19.9, and 21.0,
adding that component 'H' had a coma of diameter 9" and a tail 40"
long in p.a. 255 deg, that component 'J' had a coma of diameter 9"
and a tail 20" long in p.a. 230 deg, and that component 'L' had a
very diffuse coma of diameter 5" and a possible tail 15" long in
p.a. 245 deg.  Neither observer recorded component 'K', but both
observers independently reported two new components, designated 'M'
and 'N', estimated by Birtwhistle at mag 20.8 and 21.4,
respectively, the former having a diameter of no more than 4" and
no tail, and the latter having a stellar head and a faint tail 70"
(possibly up to 90") long in p.a. 255 deg.  The astrometric
observations are provided on MPEC 2006-F22.  The new components 'M'
and 'N' are in the vicinity of component 'H' and, using the earlier
orbit (MPEC 2006-B27) for component 'B' with perihelion time
adjusted as before, they correspond to T = 2006 June 8.28 and 8.30
TT, respectively, although component 'N' lies perhaps 40" north of
the line of variation.

                      (C) Copyright 2006 CBAT
2006 March 24                  (8692)            Daniel W. E. Green

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