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IAUC 8966: C/2008 Q1

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IAUC number

                                                  Circular No. 8966
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)

     A moving object of stellar appearance discovered by Stanislav
Maticic on four 40-s R-band CCD images taken with the 60-cm f/3.3
Cichocki robotic telescope in strong moonlight in the course of
the Comet and Asteroid Search Program at Crni Vrh Observatory
(discovery observation tabulated below) has been found by other
observers to show cometary appearance.  H. Mikuz adds that a
series of 1-min unfiltered exposures obtained with the same
telescope around Aug. 19.816 UT under darker sky conditions show
that the object has a somewhat-diffuse appearance (coma diameter
about 10") with strong condensation.  Following posting on the
Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage, other CCD observers have
also noted the object's cometary appearance.  R. Ligustri
(Talmassons, Udine, Italy, 0.35-m f/5 reflector, Aug. 19.9)
reports that twenty 120-s co-added images show a short tail
elongation about 18" long.  R. Holmes and H. Devore (Charleston,
IL, U.S.A., 0.81-m f/4.0 astrograph, Aug. 20.07-20.08) report that
the object appears diffuse with a wide tail extending 37".3 in p.a.
87.9 deg.  K. Sarneczky (0.60-m Schmidt telescope at Konkoly
Observatory, Aug. 20.8, 360-s co-added image) writes that the comet
shows a 8" coma and a tail 10" long in p.a. 120 deg.  J. M. Aymami
(Tiana, Spain, 0.25-m f/4.3 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector, Aug.
20.8) notes that co-added images show a distinctly nebulous object
with slight oval shape (about 9" long along its major axis).  V.
Gonano, E. Guido, and G. Sostero (Remanzacco, Italy, 0.45-m f/4.4
reflector, Aug. 20.8) write that sixteen 60-s co-added unfiltered
exposures show a coma diameter of about 10" and a broad tail 15"
long toward p.a. 122 deg.  S. Foglia (Novara Veveri, Italy, 0.40-m
f/4 reflector, Aug. 20.8) reports that images obtained by P.
Concari, D. Crespi, G. Galli, O. Lesca, S. Minuto, and himself show
the comet to be diffuse with a 10" coma.

     2008 UT             R.A. (2000) Decl.       Mag.
     Aug. 18.81364   19 02 50.20   +50 51 19.5   17.8

The available astrometry, the following preliminary parabolic
orbital elements, and an ephemeris appear on MPEC 2008-Q12.

     T = 2009 Jan.  2.546 TT          Peri. = 105.645
                                      Node  =   9.460   2000.0
     q = 2.94139 AU                   Incl. = 118.672

                      (C) Copyright 2008 CBAT
2008 August 20                 (8966)            Daniel W. E. Green

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