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IAUC 8959: C/2008 N1; C/2008 J1

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IAUC number

                                                  Circular No. 8959
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://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/cbat.html  ISSN 0081-0304
Phone 617-495-7440/7244/7444 (for emergency use only)

     An apparently asteroidal object discovered by Robert E. Holmes,
Jr., Charleston, IL, U.S.A., on CCD images taken with a 0.40-m
f/5.8 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector (discovery observation tabulated
below), and posted on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage,
has been found to show cometary appearance by other CCD
astrometrists.  P. Birtwhistle (Great Shefford, Berkshire, England,
0.40-m f/6 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector) reports that the object
appears slightly (about 10 percent) larger and more diffuse than
nearby stars of similar brightness in a 23-min exposure from July
4.08 UT, while a 400-s exposure shows the object to be "soft" with
very little central condensation and a diameter of 4", with a
possible faint elongation 5" long in p.a. 225 deg (but not
significantly different from stellar images).  L. Buzzi (Varese,
Italy, 0.60-m f/4.6 reflector) writes that two series of stacked
image totalling 30 min of exposure from July 5.03-5.07 show a
nearly stellar coma apparently elongated about 10" toward p.a.
about 190 deg; his stacked exposures from July 6.0 in very good
seeing show an image slightly larger than nearby stars of similar
brightness but with no tail or elongation.  S. Foglia reports that
analysis of Holmes' images from July 2.35, 5.4, and 6.4 show a
stellar appearance, though the size of the images appear slightly
larger than stars of similar brightness.  J. Lacruz, La Canada,
Spain, reports that his "blinking" of sets of images taken
(apparently with a 0.3-m reflector) on July 5.06 show a diffuse
coma about 12" in diameter, elongated to the southwest.

     2008 UT             R.A. (2000) Decl.       Mag.
     July  1.32643   23 44 50.01   +14 16 12.3   20.2

The available astrometry, the following preliminary parabolic
orbital elements, and an ephemeris appear on MPEC 2008-N19.

     T = 2009 Sept.24.954 TT          Peri. = 100.882
                                      Node  = 357.474   2000.0
     q = 2.77594 AU                   Incl. = 115.556

     Visual total-magnitude estimates:  May 12.11 UT, 12.3 (J. J.
Gonzalez, Leon, Spain, 20-cm reflector); June 1.92, 11.3 (M. L.
Paradowski, Dabrowa, Poland, 25-cm refl.); 14.97, 10.8 (Paradowski);
27.98, 10.3 (Gonzalez); July 2.01, 10.8 (M. Meyer, Limburg, Germany,
25-cm refl.); 4.99, 10.7 (Meyer).

                      (C) Copyright 2008 CBAT
2008 July 7                    (8959)            Daniel W. E. Green

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