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NEW COMET C/2015 P3 SWAN

There has been a annoncement of the discovery of a new comet in the SWAN SPACECRAFT IMAGES C/2015 P3.This confirmation was made by Australian amateur and long time comet observer Michael Mattiazzo and contributor to the BAA Comet Section. It was was initially posted on the PCCP as MAT 01. Michael comments: This is only a ground confirmation of a new comet detectable in SWAN ultraviolet images (on board the SOHO spacecraft.) The comet is situated in a crowded field of galaxies in the constellation of Virgo which is why it may not have been picked up earlier. It appears quite intrinsically faint (absolute mag 14) so I suspect it is of short period and has only just switched on activity. I've posted my confirmation image at my website: http://members.westnet.com.au/mmatti/sc.htm Looks like perihelion occurred on July 30 at 0.7AU and it is currently 0.7AU from Earth, so I don't expect it to get any brighter than mag 12 Here's a rough orbit. Viewing will improve but the brightness wont change much (approx mag 12) T 2015 July 28.63470 TT Sato q 0.7154285 (2000.0) P Q Peri. 134.48484 -0.39271089 +0.39047292 Node 90.19462 -0.88042447 -0.42126461 e 1.0 Incl. 56.37261 +0.26576475 -0.81857622 From 22 observations 2015 Aug. 9-10, mean residual 0".59.

Visual observation from another Australian amateur Chris Wyatt: NEOCP - MAT01 2015 Aug 10.35 UT; m1= 11.5; Dia=2.3’; DC= 4; 25cm L, f:5 (x39) [Chris Wyatt, Walcha, NSW, Australia] Coma appears circular and pale blue in colour, diffuse semi-transparent outer coma, opaque inner coma, moderately condensed centre. Enhances in Swan Band filter. Observed over 50 minute period, motion detected and calculated to an approximate rate of 6.7”/ min travelling in PA 138°. Slight interference from Zodiacal light and twilight. I first spotted the comet at 18:24 (08:24 UT) in approximate position 12h 28m 42s; +10° 19’ 20”. Comparison stars checked using TASS-4 data in Guide 9.0; Method= M; Cat= TA

So we offer our congratulations to Michael his confirmation observations.

Denis Buczynski Secretary Comet Section BAA

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