Its not often that amateurs can provide an important support to professional astronomers involved in an international space mission. At a recent comet conference for the forthcoming Rosetta mission, which will orbit comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in 2014, and place a lander on the surface.
2011 FR143 was discovered by the Mt.Lemmon Sky Survey (part of the Catalina Sky Survey) on 2011 Mar. 29 and followed until Apr. 26. Its orbit was quite unusual (a=6.83 AU, e= 0.45 and a period of 17.9 yrs) and with a Tisserand parameter of 2.73 it was put in our special list of the T3 observing project.
CBET 3069 and M.P.E.C. 2012-F87, issued on 2012, March 25, announced the discovery of a periodic comet by A. R. Gibbs on Mar. 22.8, through the Mount Lemmon 1.5-m reflector. On his images, Gibbs, found a stellar coma and a long, narrow tail about 7.4 arcmin long in p.a. 292.5 deg. The new object has been designated P/2012 F5 (GIBBS) by the Minor Planet Center.
Cbet Circular No. 3065, issued on 2012, March 22, announces the recovery of comet P/2005 JY126 = P/2012 F4 (CATALINA) by our team; this comet was discovered on 2005, June 7.32 by Catalina Sky Survey and it was last observed on 2007, January 13.
The newly discovered Comet SWAN has now entered the LASCO C2 instrument field on the SOHO spacecraft. This field observes closer to the Sun than the C3 instrument.
A few days ago Vladimir Bezugly noted a new comet in images taken with the SWAN instrument on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite. The comet was located within 20 degrees of the Sun and appeared to be on a Kreutz sungrazing orbit that will take it within a few solar radii of the Sun’s surface. Unfortunately no ground-based observations were possible.
This unusual minor planet was discovered by the Spacewatch sky survey on 2011, Dec. 26. It moves along a very eccentric orbit (perihelion close to Mars, aphelion nearly 3 AU away from Saturn). Currently its about 1 AU from Earth and 2 AU from the Sun, approaching its perihelion, scheduled for the end of April 2012 (q= 1.7 AU).
Cbet nr. 3021, issued on 2012, February 16, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 21.6) by Larry Denneau and Richard Wainscoat in four exposures taken with the 1.8-m Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at Haleakala on February 15.3. The new comet has been designated P/2012 C3 (PANSTARRS).
Cbet nr. 3019, issued on 2012, February 12, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 15.3) by Manfred Bruenjes on 30-s CCD exposures taken on two nights with a 0.36-m f/2.0 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector on February 11.1 & 12.08. The new comet has been designated C/2012 C2 (BRUENJES).
Cbet nr.3016, issued on 2012, February 11, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 18.8) by R. H. McNaught on CCD images obtained on February 5.5, 2012 taken with the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring. The new comet has been designated C/2012 C1 (McNAUGHT).