Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Comet: C/2013 P4 (PANSTARRS)

Cbet nr. 3638, issued on 2013, August 26, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude ~20.8) by professional survey F51 Pan-STARRS 1 (Haleakala) on CCD images obtained with 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien on August 15, 2013. After posting on the Minor Planet Center's NEOCP webpage, other CCD astrometrists have commented on the object's cometary appearance. The new comet has been designated C/2013 P4 (PANSTARRS).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 9 R-filtered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Faulkes Telescope South (Siding Spring) on 2013, August 26.5, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD (operated by Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network), shows that this object is a comet: sharp central condensation surrounded by a coma about 15" in diameter elongated in PA 190.

Below our confirmation image. Click on it for a bigger version.


M.P.E.C. 2013-Q34 assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2013 P4: T 2015 June 23.59; e= 1.0; Peri. = 157.50; q = 4.40;  Incl.= 4.33

by Ernesto Guido, Kris Rochowicz, Nick Howes

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Possible Bright Nova in Delphinus

Following the posting on the Central Bureau's Transient Object Confirmation Page about a possible Bright Nova in Del (TOCP Designation: PNV J20233073+2046041) we performed some follow-up of this object through a 0.43-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD from MPC Code I89 (iTelescope network - Nerpio, Spain) and through a 0.25-m f/6.3 Schmidt-Cassegrain + CCD from MPC code C82 (Sorrento, Italy).

On our images taken on August 14.8, 2013 from MPC I89 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart with unfiltered CCD magnitude 6.8 at coordinates:

R.A. = 20 23 30.72, Decl.= +20 46 03.4

(equinox 2000.0; UCAC-3 catalogue reference stars).

On our images taken on August 14.8, 2013 from MPC C82 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart with unfiltered CCD magnitude 6.9 and R-Filtered magnitude 6.1 at coordinates:

R.A. = 20 23 30.68, Decl.= +20 46 03.7

(equinox 2000.0; CMC-14 catalogue reference stars).

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version): 



An animation showing a comparison between our confirmation image and the archive POSS2/UKSTU plate (R Filter - 1990). Click here or on the thumbnail for a bigger version:


Animation of Possible Nova in Del by E. Guido & N. Howes photo gif_1531x1459_2db958_zps3f68f105.gif


UPDATE - August 15, 2013
  
According to Cbet No. 3628, PNV J20233073+2046041 is now NOVA DELPHINI 2013. This nova has been discovered by Koichi Itagaki (Teppo-cho, Yamagata, Japan) on an unfiltered CCD frame taken on Aug. 14.584 UT using a 0.18-m reflector.

According to ATel #5279 an optical spectrum of NOVA DELPHINI 2013 was obtained (through patchy cloud) by the FRODOSpec instrument on the 2m robotic Liverpool Telescope on La Palma at 2013 August 14.909. The spectrum contains strong Balmer series emission exhibiting P Cygni profiles with velocities ~2000 km/s. A number of Fe II (also P Cygni profiles) and (weak) He I lines may be present. This object is likely to be a newly erupting classical nova (in the early fireball stage). A grating spectra, obtained by S. N. Shore et Al. on 2013 Aug. 14.87 with the coude spectrograph at the 2 meter Zeiss telescope of the Ondrejov Observatory, shows strong H-alpha emission with a P Cyg profile extending to a maximum radial velocities of -2300 km/s (absorption, EW approx 8.1A) and +2400 km/s (emission, EW \approx 52.9A) with no terminal edge at high negative velocity. The spectrum is typical of a classical nova -- possibly CO type -- in the early (optically thick) fireball stage but with indications of the onset of the recombination event.

UPDATE - August 17, 2013

According to the preliminary light-curve from AAVSO (see image below), NOVA DELPHINI 2013 reached a peak V magnitude ~ 4.3 on August 16.4.

Credit: AAVSO

Some interesting remarks about the nova are included in the ATel #5297 by Munari et Al.:
"Nova Del 2013 seems to have reached maximum brightness on August 16.45 UT at V=4.3 mag. It immediately entered the decline phase and it is declining pretty fast, of the order of 1 mag in a day, qualifying it as a very fast nova if the pace will be maintained on the coming days. Also the rise toward maximum has been real fast, 2 mag in about 1.5 days according to our photometry and AAVSO database. The total outburst amplitude is 12.6 mag in V, adopting V=16.9 mag for the progenitor as given by GSC 2.3.2."


Our image and animation showing the difference in brightness of NOVA DELPHINI 2013 between August 14.83 (V mag. ~6.3)  and August 15.93 (V mag. ~5.1). Images obtained with the same instrumentation and exposures. Click on the image for a bigger version.




Click here or on the thumbnail for a bigger version of the animation.

NOVA DELPHINI 2013 imaged on 14.83 (V mag. ~6.3) & 15.93 (V mag. ~5.1) August 2013 by E. Guido & N. Howes photo Nova_DEL_Animation_14_15_August_2013_zps571548c5.gif


Below you can see a spectrum of NOVA DELPHINI 2013 obtained by M. Fulle on August 16 with a f=180mm f/2.8 with Star Analyser 100, 10x10-second exposure at 6400ISO (click on it for a bigger version).

Credit: M. Fulle


While below there is a normalized spectra obtained by Fujii-san on August 15, 2013 (click on it for a bigger version).


Credit: Fujii-san

UPDATE - August 18, 2013

According to Taichi Kato on [vsnet-alert 16230], NOVA DELPHINI 2013 reached a plateau, no fading.
The most recent AAVSO data indicate that the nova stopped fading (or even slightly brightened), and currently stays slightly above mag 5.0.  This behavior is consistent with Fujii-san's spectrum, which showed features of a premaximum nova. This nova is not a very fast nova as reported in ATEL 5297 (Munari et al.).

by Ernesto Guido, Nello Ruocco and Nick Howes

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Comet: C/2013 P2 (PANSTARRS)

Cbet nr. 3621, issued on 2013, August 07, announces the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (discovery magnitude ~19.5) by professional survey F51 Pan-STARRS 1 (Haleakala) on CCD images obtained with 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien on August 04, 2013 (pre-discovery Pan-STARRS1 observations from July 26 were found later by P. Veres). 

After posting on the Minor Planet Center's NEOCP webpage, this apparently asteroidal object as been found to show cometary features by astrometric observers elsewhere (including our team). The new comet has been designated C/2013 P2 (PANSTARRS).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 30 R-filtered exposures, 40-sec each, obtained remotely from iTelescope network (MPC code H06, New Mexico) on 2013, August 06.3, through a 0.43-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet: coma about 5" in diameter elongated in PA 120.

Below you can see our image. Click on it for a bigger version.


M.P.E.C. 2013-P42 assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2013 P2: T 2014 Feb. 17.50; e= 1.0;  Peri. = 105.19; q = 2.83;  Incl.= 125.54

by Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes

Close Approach of Asteroid 2013 PJ10

M.P.E.C. 2013-P39, issued on 2013 August 06, reports the discovery of the asteroid 2013 PJ10 (discovery magnitude 14.8) by La Sagra Sky Survey (MPC code J75) on images taken on August 04.9 with a 0.45-m f/2.8 reflector + CCD.

2013 PJ10 has an estimated size of 31 m - 70 m (based on the object's absolute magnitude H=24.6) and it had a close approach with Earth at about 1 LD (Lunar Distances = ~384,000 kilometers) or 0.0025 AU (1 AU = ~150 million kilometers) at 0218 UT on 2013, August 04. This asteroid reached the peak magnitude ~13.0 on August 04.

We performed some follow-up measurements of this object on 2013, August 06.3, while it was still on the neocp, remotely from the H06 iTelescope network (New Mexico, Mayhill), through a 0.25-m f/3.4 reflector + CCD. Below you can see our image, stack of 6X15-second exposures, taken with the asteroid at magnitude ~15.3 and moving at ~ 19.0 "/min. At the moment of the close approach 2013 PJ10 was moving at ~ 218"/min. Click on the image below to see a bigger version. North is up, East is to the left


by Ernesto Guido & Nick Howes