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IAUC 9190: P/2010 V3 = 2002 VP_94

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                                                  Circular No. 9190
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION
New postal address:  Hoffman Lab 209; Harvard University;
 20 Oxford St.; Cambridge, MA  02138; U.S.A.
CBATIAU@EPS.HARVARD.EDU           ISSN 0081-0304
URL http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/index.html
Prepared using the Tamkin Foundation Computer Network


COMET P/2010 V3 = 2002 VP_94 (LINEAR)
     An apparently asteroidal object with a comet-like orbit was
discovered in 2002 by the LINEAR project (discovery observation
tabulated below), designated 2002 VP_94 (cf. MPEC 2002-V70), and
observed then for well over two months.  The object was again found
by the LINEAR project on 2010 Nov. 15 (recovery observation also
tabulated below).  R. Behrend, Geneva Observatory and "T3 Project";
J. Strajnic, Academie d'Aix-Marseille; and T. Kmieckowiak and
twelve students involved with the "Le Ciel comme Labo" Project in
France report that 2002 VP_94 was observed on 2010 Dec. 10.2 UT
with the 0.8-m reflector at Haute-Provence Observatory, noting that
a stack of 93 CCD frames representing 8400 s total exposure time
shows that this object presents a faint 25"-long tail in p.a. 240
deg with a 5"-diameter coma; in the R-band, the object varies by
around 0.1 mag (the period being at least 0.4 day).  Following
communication from Behrend, H. Sato (Tokyo, Japan) writes that he
obtained CCD images remotely using a 0.50-m f/6.8 reflector at the
RAS Observatory (near Mayhill, NM, U.S.A.) on Dec. 26.1, showing a
condensed coma of size 10" (red mag 16.3) and a 30" tail toward p.a.
230 deg.  Sato, in turn, requested that K. Kadota (Ageo, Japan,
0.25-m f/5 reflector) also take CCD images, which Kadota did on Dec.
26.6, showing a coma of diameter 0'.4 (total magnitude 16.6) and a
hint of tail toward the southwest.  Also apparently in response to
an alert from Behrend, L. Buzzi (Varese, Italy, 0.38-m f/6.8
reflector) obtained stacks of CCD images taken under moderate
seeing on Dec. 26.7 that show a broad-but-faint tail at least 20"
long in p.a. around 220 deg; a central condensation is stellar in
appearance (same FWHM as nearby stars stars), and there is no
visible coma around it.

     2002 UT             R.A. (2000) Decl.       Mag.   Observer
     Nov.  5.30894    5 13 12.66   +23 56 39.8   18.8   LINEAR

     2010 UT             R.A. (2000) Decl.       Mag.   Observer
     Nov. 15.38777    6 02 18.04   +31 10 33.0   18.3   LINEAR

New astrometry, the following elliptical orbital elements by G. V.
Williams, and an ephemeris appear on MPEC 2010-Y29.

                    Epoch = 2010 Dec. 30.0 TT
     T = 2011 Jan.  4.1417 TT         Peri. =  47.3280
     e = 0.625468                     Node  =  54.1259  2000.0
     q = 1.484387 AU                  Incl. =  13.6819
       a =  3.963311 AU    n = 0.1249156    P =   7.89 years

                      (C) Copyright 2010 CBAT
2010 December 28               (9190)            Daniel W. E. Green

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