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IAUC 8775: C/2006 W1; P/2006 U5

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IAUC number

                                                  Circular No. 8775
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)

     A. R. Gibbs reports his discovery of a comet on Catalina Sky
Survey CCD images obtained with the 0.68-m Schmidt telescope, the
object showing a fairly distinct nuclear condensation (discovery
observation tabulated below); four combined 60-s images on the same
night in 2".2 seeing show a coma of diameter 8", a main tail 30"
long in p.a. 280 deg, and a possible secondary 22" tail in p.a. 315
deg.  S. Larson reports that images obtained on Nov. 17.5 UT at
Mount Lemmon show the comet having a 20" coma and a broad, 100"
tail in p.a. 285 deg.  Following posting on the Minor Planet
Center's 'NEOCP' webpage, other CCD observers have reported on the
object's cometary appearance, including P. Birtwhistle (Great
Shefford, Berkshire, England, 0.40-m f/6 Schmidt-Cassegrain
telescope; images on Nov. 18.19-18.25 UT show an elongated coma or
possible tail up to 15" long in p.a. 270 deg) and J. G. Ries
(McDonald Observatory, 0.76-m reflector; R-band images on Nov. 18.5
show a diffuse area around the object, apparently elongated 10"
slightly north of due west).

     2006 UT             R.A. (2000) Decl.       Mag.
     Nov. 16.40896    8 59 27.60   + 3 11 01.0   18.6

The available astrometry, the following very preliminary parabolic
orbital elements, and an ephemeris appear on MPEC 2006-W22.

     T = 2006 May  11.583 TT          Peri. = 236.258
                                      Node  = 157.133   2000.0
     q = 1.66452 AU                   Incl. =  17.855

     Additional astrometry has shown that this comet (cf. IAUC 8768)
has a short orbital period, the improved elements below coming from
MPEC 2006-W09:

     T = 2007 Jan. 23.878 TT          Peri. = 100.212
     e = 0.33759                      Node  =   4.887   2000.0
     q = 2.31757 AU                   Incl. =   3.426
       a =  3.49871 AU     n = 0.150606     P =   6.54 years

                      (C) Copyright 2006 CBAT
2006 November 18               (8775)            Daniel W. E. Green

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