New comet discovered in the dust trail of Comet 213P Van Ness

New comet discovered in the dust trail of Comet 213P Van Ness

Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory took a photograph of the new comet that originates from Comet 213P Van Ness, at 2:29am on July 30 (photograph provided by Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory).


August 3, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

On August 2, Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory announced that it has discovered a new comet in the dust trail of Comet 213P Van Ness, and that it has succeeded in taking a photograph of it in which the new comet resembles a child following along behind its parent.

Two staff of the observatory, research scholar Hidekazu Hanayama, and research engineer, Hideo Fukushima, photographed the new comet at 2:29am on July 30 and reported its presence to the International Astronomical Union the next day, July 31.

The new comet is considered to be small and to be made up of ice debris from Comet 213P Van Ness.

The current brightness of Comet 213P Van Ness is of the 13th magnitude and that of the new comet is of the 20th magnitude. Neither of the comets can be observed with the naked eye.
The observatory is now trying to calculate when the new comet was born and how fast it moved away from Comet 213P Van Ness.

Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory began to observe Comet 213P Van Ness in the middle of July because Comet 213P Van Ness that orbits around Mars on an ellipsoidal trail reaches the opposite side of the Sun at the beginning of September, from which time it will become easier to observe.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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