SETI bioastro: Fw: AstroAlert: New Comet in Hercules

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From: LARRY KLAES (ljk4@msn.com)
Date: Sun Dec 15 2002 - 11:05:27 PST


----- Original Message -----
From: Roger W. Sinnott
Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2002 1:45 PM
To: comet@SkyandTelescope.com
Subject: AstroAlert: New Comet in Hercules

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This Is SKY & TELESCOPE's AstroAlert for Comets
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               NEW COMET IN HERCULES

Using giant 20 x 120 binoculars, Japanese amateur Tetuo Kudo
has discovered a comet of 9th (or perhaps) 8th magnitude,
moving east-southeast through Hercules. He made the find
early on the morning of December 14th (local time).
According to the announcement on IAU Circular 8032,
confirming CCD images by Ken-ichi Kadota (Saitama, Japan)
revealed a short tail about 1/3 degree in length, pointing
away from the Sun.

A preliminary orbit calculated by Brian G. Marsden of the
Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, indicates
that this comet is headed for perihelion in late January,
when it will pass well inside the orbit of Mercury and may
brighten considerably. Unfortunately, it will then be
almost directly *behind* the Sun as seen from Earth, hence
virtually impossible to observe. Before that time, Northern
Hemisphere observers should be able to follow the comet
with binoculars in the morning sky through mid-January.
Skywatchers in the Southern Hemisphere are in a position
to see it emerging from the Sun's glare in late February,
in the evening sky.

Congratulations, Tetuo Kudo!

The ephemeris below, calculated from Marsden's preliminary
orbital elements on Minor Planet Electronic Circular
2002-X84, gives the comet's right ascension and declination
(equinox 2000.0) at 0 hours Universal Time on selected
dates. Also listed are the comet's distance from the Earth
(delta) and Sun (r) in astronomical units (where 1 a.u. is
about 149,600,000 kilometers), its elongation angle from
the Sun in degrees, predicted magnitude, and the
constellation though which it is passing. (If the numbers
in the columns don't line up properly, reset your e-mail
program to a fixed-width type font like Courier.)

Visit http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/cbat.html for
information on subscribing to the IAU Circulars. Or go to
http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html for similar
information relating to the Minor Planet Center's
many services.

Roger W. Sinnott

Senior Editor
Sky & Telescope

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                 Comet C/2002 X5
                                                           
Date R.A. Dec. Delta r Elong. Mag. Const.
(0h UT) h m o ' a.u. a.u. o
                                                           
Dec 15 15 54.3 +44 48 1.085 1.210 71.4 7.5 Her
Dec 16 16 02.6 +44 13 1.069 1.189 70.6 7.4 Her
Dec 17 16 11.0 +43 35 1.054 1.167 69.8 7.3 Her
Dec 18 16 19.5 +42 54 1.039 1.146 68.9 7.2 Her
Dec 19 16 27.9 +42 09 1.025 1.124 68.0 7.1 Her
Dec 20 16 36.4 +41 22 1.012 1.102 67.0 6.9 Her
Dec 21 16 44.9 +40 31 0.999 1.080 66.0 6.8 Her
Dec 22 16 53.4 +39 36 0.987 1.058 64.9 6.7 Her
Dec 23 17 01.8 +38 38 0.976 1.035 63.8 6.6 Her
Dec 24 17 10.2 +37 37 0.966 1.012 62.6 6.5 Her
Dec 25 17 18.5 +36 32 0.957 0.989 61.3 6.4 Her
Dec 26 17 26.7 +35 24 0.948 0.966 60.0 6.2 Her
Dec 27 17 34.9 +34 13 0.941 0.943 58.6 6.1 Her
Dec 28 17 42.9 +32 59 0.934 0.919 57.2 6.0 Her
Dec 29 17 50.8 +31 41 0.928 0.895 55.7 5.9 Her
Dec 30 17 58.6 +30 20 0.923 0.871 54.2 5.7 Her
Dec 31 18 06.2 +28 57 0.919 0.846 52.7 5.6 Her

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