Friday, 21 October 2011

Faulkes team images Trojan Jupiter Comet .... our team scores a massive success

This is a WORLD FIRST!!!

COMET P/2010 TO20 (LINEAR-GRAUER) Observations obtained by I. Melville, A. Kasprzyk, N. Howes,E.Guido and G Sostero with the 2.0-m f/10 Ritchey-Chretien "Faulkes Telescope South"
at Siding Spring shows a cometary appearance; six stacked 60-s R-band
exposures taken in good seeing conditions on Oct. 19.6 UT show a sharp central
condensation, a compact coma about 5" in diameter, and a wide, fan-shaped tail
at least 45" long toward p.a. 250 deg.  Five stacked 60-s R-band follow-up
images taken by Sostero, Howes, and Guido with the 2.0-m "Faulkes Telescope
North" at Haleakala on Oct. 20.4 again show a sharp central condensation, a
compact coma about 6" in diameter, and a tail at least 30" long toward p.a.
247 deg.


  1. Is this confirmed as a Jupiter trojan (through long integrations) ? If a Jupiter trojan, there is the obvious question as to why it is outgassing now, after 4+ billion years in the same orbit. Are there signs of a recent orbit perturbation ? For example, does it pass within the orbit of Hilda (I don't think that is a stable orbit for a Jupiter trojan.)

  2. It's been linked back to a Jupiter Trojan by the IAU dating back over a year... so the answer to part 1 is yes...but... the orbit I agree we will have to monitor, and what caused it to start outgassing is also an interesting area

  3. I can't post the full CBET but here's the snippet of interest

    After two nights of observations of Grauer's comet had been received at
    the Minor Planet Center, T. Spahr realized that this object was identical
    with an object discovered a year ago by the LINEAR project (discovery
    observation tabulated below; cf. MPS 351583) that appeared to be a Jupiter
    Trojan minor planet.