Richard, Excellent GAML. I watched it on BAA Website on the night of your lecture after Nick uplaoded it. What fantastic service this is.
Part of yor talk mentioned the numerous occasions when serendipitous discoveries of comets have been made by VS observers when comets have appeared in the filed of view of the VS they are observing. This has happened on very numerous occasions throughout history. We had an instance of this earlier this year, as you will see form the following emails from John Toone and Nick James:
From: J TOONE [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 02 April 2017 05:33
To: Guy Hurst
Subject: Comet Object Query
At 03:38GMT this morning (2nd April 2017) whilst observing AG Peg, I noted a comet object at the following position:
RA 21h 49.9m, Dec +12d 52m (2000) [0.4 degrees NP AG Peg]
It was perfectly round, well condensed and estimated to be mag 8.7 (equal to K on the AG Peg sequence).
I observed the object again at 03:50GMT and noted no change in position, the sky clouded over 10 minutes later.
Would appreciate you confirming the object’s designation.
Subject: Re: Fw: Comet Object Query
To: J TOONE
From: Nick James
It’s C/2017 E4 (Lovejoy). See my pic from this morning attached.