Sunday, February 3, 2008

C/2008 C1 (Chen-Gao): Chinese comet official

According to the first orbit the new comet will reach its perihelion in April at 1.2 AU from the Sun. The current brightness of Chen-Gao is about 13 mag. and could rise to 11th.

The discovery story is described in IAUC #8915 of today: The nova search "XWASS" at Xing Gao's Xingming Observatory on Mt. Nanshan in Xinjiang uses a Canon 350D with a 200 mm f/2.8 lens (7 cm aperture). Tao Chen (in a different Chinese province) found the comet on an image taken Feb. 1 by Gao and then identified it on images from Jan. 30 and 31 as well. Gao then took confirming images on Feb. 2 and Jin Beize sent out the alert. In the Chinese images it looks like the brightness rose from 14 to 12 mag. from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2

In other news a nice Holmes image from yesterday has been published; the comet is increasingly hard to see from many places.

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