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IAUC 8975: P/2008 R6

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                                                  Circular No. 8975
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 P/2008 R6 (GIACOBINI)
     S. Nakano, Sumoto, Japan, reports the discovery of a comet by
Koichi Itagaki (Teppo-cho, Yamagata) and Hiroshi Kaneda (Minami-ku,
Sapporo) on unfiltered CCD patrol frames taken on Sept. 10.56 UT
using a 0.21-m f/3 reflector; the position tabulated below was
measured from a confirming unfiltered CCD image taken subsequently
with a 0.60-m f/5.7 reflector at Yamagata, noting that the comet is
diffuse with strong condensation, with a coma diameter of about 25"
and a 2' tail toward the east-southeast.

     2008 UT             R.A. (2000) Decl.       Mag.
     Sept.10.56854   20 39 18.70   - 1 17 39.9   13.5

Following posting on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage,
numerous other CCD astrometrists have noted the cometary
appearance of this object (some of the reports being sent by Nakano),
with the coma diameter generally given as 20"-50" and the tail
length given as 20"-66" in p.a. about 106-124 deg (such reports
have been received from Y. Ikari, Moriyama, Shiga-ken, Japan; K.
Kadota, Ageo, Saitama-ken, Japan; V. Gonano and E. Guido,
Remanzacco, Italy; R. Ligustri, Talmassons, Udine, Italy; J. J.
Gomez, Gandia, Spain; J. A. Henriquez, Tenerife, Spain; P.
Camilleri and G. Sostero, remotely using a 0.30-m reflector at
Catania, Italy; and F. Castellani, Monte Baldo, Italy).
     M. Meyer, Limburg, Germany, suggests that this comet is
identical to comet D/1896 R2 (Giacobini), which has not been seen
since Jan. 1897 and for which a prediction by Nakano (2005, Nakano
Note 1211, based on an orbit by Belyaev et al. 1974, QJRAS 15, 450)
gives T = 2008 Sept. 9.89 TT.  The identity has been confirmed by
Nakano, who notes that the comet has made 17 revolutions and passed
only 0.51 AU from the earth on 1962 Sept. 9 and 0.81 AU from
Jupiter on 1992 Jan. 14.  The following linked orbital elements by
B. G. Marsden are from 93 observations, 1896-2008 (including newly
reduced astrometry by G. V. Williams from 1896-1897); these
elements, together with the 1896 elements and an ephemeris, appear
on MPEC 2008-R60.

                    Epoch = 2008 Sept.11.0 TT
     T = 2008 Sept.10.2063 TT         Peri. = 154.3051
     e = 0.568403                     Node  = 179.6275  2000.0
     q = 1.527870 AU                  Incl. =  15.3177
       a =  3.540037 AU    n = 0.1479764    P =   6.66 years

                      (C) Copyright 2008 CBAT
2008 September 10              (8975)            Daniel W. E. Green

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