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IAUC 8915: C/2008 C1

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                                                  Circular No. 8915
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION
Mailstop 18, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
IAUSUBS@CFA.HARVARD.EDU or FAX 617-495-7231 (subscriptions)
CBAT@CFA.HARVARD.EDU (science)
URL http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/cbat.html  ISSN 0081-0304
Phone 617-495-7440/7244/7444 (for emergency use only)


COMET C/2008 C1 (CHEN-GAO)
     J. Beize, Beijing Technology and Business University, reports
the discovery of a comet by Tao Chen (Suzhou City, Jiangsu province,
China) on a CCD image taken on Feb. 1 by Xing Gao (Urumqi, Xinjiang
province) with a wide-field 7-cm, 200-mm-f.l., f/2.8 camera lens (+
Canon 350D camera) at Gao's Xingming Observatory, Mt. Nanshan, in
the course of a nova survey; subsequent images of the comet were
identified on earlier exposures that had been taken by Gao on Jan.
30 (when the comet appeared at mag 14.0) and Jan. 31 (mag 13.5),
and Gao obtained confirming images on Feb. 2 (showing that its
brightness increase had continued to mag 12.0).  The astrometry
tabulated below are only approximate measures of the positions from
the poor-scale Xingming images (computer problems has prevented use
of an astrometry program to derive better positions, which should
follow later).  Following posting on the Minor Planet Center's
'NEOCP' webpage, numerous CCD astrometrists have commented on the
comet's appearance, including J. Lacruz, Madrid, Spain (0.40-m
Ritchey-Chretien reflector, Feb. 2.8 UT; condensed inner coma of
diameter 20"; outer coma of diameter 50", slightly elongated in p.a.
35 deg); L. Buzzi and F. Luppi, Varese, Italy (0.60-m f/4.64
reflector, Feb. 2.9; coma at least 2'.5 wide, elongated in p.a.
about 30 deg); T. Kryachko, Moscow, Russia (0.30-m f/7.7 Ritchey-
Chretien 'Astrotel-Caucasus' telescope in Karachay-Cherkessia,
Russia, operated remotely, Feb. 2.89; 1'.2 round coma with central
condensation, possibly elongated in p.a. 50 deg or 320 deg;
communicated by D. Denisenko); M. Pietschnig, Vienna, Austria
(0.35-m f/7 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector, Feb. 2.95; coma diameter
about 2'); and P. C. Sherrod, Conway, AR, U.S.A. (0.51-m f/4
Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector, Feb. 3.04-3.06, with high clouds
present; coma diameter about 22", quite uniform in both intensity
and in symmetry, with a very distinct stellar condensation of mag
16.4 and some indications of a tail in p.a. about 40 deg).

     2008 UT            R.A. (2000) Decl.       Mag.     Observer
     Jan. 30.91573    22 50 58     +62 15.2     14.0     Gao
          31.92406    22 57 08     +62 13.9     13.5      "
     Feb.  1.66713    23 03 48     +62 12.4     13.0      "
           2.64737    23 09 34     +62 11.6     12.0      "

The available observations, very preliminary parabolic orbital
elements (T = 2008 Apr. 17.216 TT, q = 1.26927 AU, Peri. = 180.781
deg, Node. = 307.451 deg, i = 61.943 deg, equinox 2000.0), and an
ephemeris appear on MPEC 2008-C16.

                      (C) Copyright 2008 CBAT
2008 February 3                (8915)            Daniel W. E. Green

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