Melbourne 11/5/2010 11:53:27 AM
News / Nature

A bright new Comet Near Saturn

New comet confirmed by GRAS users Ernesto Guido and Giovanni Sostero.

C/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami)

Congratulations to Kaoru Ikeya and Shigeki Murakami, two Japanese amateurs who have discovered a new comet by visual (telescopic) observation.

The comet, C/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami), is in Virgo. It’s currently bright, between magnitude 8 and 9. MEPC’s have been just been published, and at the moment is appears to be around 2 degrees from Saturn.

The comet has been confirmed by GRAS usesrs Ernesto Guido and Giovanni Sostero with one of the Mayhill scopes.

Unfortunately for northern observers, at the moment the comet is currently only 20 degrees above the horizon at nautical twilight, below the lower limit of the telescopes (but obviously Ernesto and Giovanni got around this). It doesn’t really get to this limit until around November 25, when it is predicted to be roughly magnitude 13. This will be a bit of a challenge to image.

Between the 25th and the 30th the comet is between Venus and Spica. Not an imaging possibility, but interesting nonetheless.  You can get the latest ephemeris in formats suitable for mapping programs at the MPEC.  The orbital solutions for this comet will be refined over the next week or so as more observations come in. If you want to put them in by hand, here is the latest.

GRAS Press