IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams

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Astronomical Headlines

Astronomical Headlines

This page contains brief information on recent astronomical discoveries as reported in the International Astronomical Union Circulars (IAUCs) (published by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams) and the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (MPECs) (published by the Minor Planet Center), as well as links to ephemerides and orbital elements for comets and minor planets. The objects below are listed in chronological order of announcement, by category of object, the most recent first.


Note

You are strongly advised not to make direct links to pages beneath this page, other than links to `index.html' pages, as they may be temporary or be moved or renamed as circumstances dictate.

Some Press Information Sheets are available.


Comets

Links to other comet-related websites, previously listed here, have been moved to the International Comet Quarterly webpages.

  • Ephemerides and orbital elements for (potentially) observable comets.
  • Recent comet discoveries and recoveries:
    • Note that near-sun comets observed only from space are generally excluded from this listing.
    • P/2011 R3 (Novichonok-Gerke). Discovered by Artyom Novichonok on images taken by Vladimir Gerke in Russia. IAUC 9232, 2011 Sept. 12.
    • P/2011 R2 (PANSTARRS). Discovered via the Pan-STARRS program at Haleakala, Hawaii. IAUC 9231, 2011 Sept. 12.
    • C/2011 R1 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9230, 2011 Sept. 12.
    • C/2011 Q4 (SWAN). Found and suspected as being possibly cometary on low-resolution ultraviolet images taken with the SWAN camera on the SOHO satellite, confirmed as cometary by Rob McNaught at Siding Spring and by M. Mattiazzo in Australia. IAUC 9230, 2011 Sept. 12.
    • P/2011 Q3 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9229, 2011 Sept. 12.
    • C/2011 Q2 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9229, 2011 Sept. 12.
    • C/2011 Q1 (PANSTARRS). Discovered via the Pan-STARRS program at Haleakala, Hawaii. IAUC 9226, 2011 Sept. 11.
    • C/2011 P2 (PANSTARRS). Discovered via the Pan-STARRS program at Haleakala, Hawaii. IAUC 9225, 2011 Sept. 11.
    • P/2011 JC81 (WISE). Discovered as asteroidal by the WISE satellite, found to show cometary appearance on ground-based images later. IAUC 9224, 2011 Sept. 11.
    • P/2011 P1 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9223, 2011 Sept. 11.
    • C/2011 O1 (LINEAR). Discovered as asteroidal by the LINEAR survey, found to be cometary elsewhere. IAUC 9222, 2011 Sept. 10.
    • P/2011 NO1 (Elenin). Discovered by Leonid Elenin remotely on images acquired with a telescope in New Mexico by I. Molotov and himself. IAUC 9227, 2011 Sept. 12.
    • C/2011 N2 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9220, 2011 July 7.
    • P/2011 N1 (ASH). Discovered by I. de la Cueva et al. with the ASH2 telescope at San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. IAUC 9219, 2011 July 7.
    • C/2011 M1 (LINEAR). Discovered as asteroidal by the LINEAR survey, found to be cometary elsewhere. IAUC 9218, 2011 June 25.
    • C/2011 L6 (Boattini). Discovered in the course of the Mt. Lemmon Survey. IAUC 9217, 2011 June 20.
    • 252P/2011 L5 (LINEAR). Recovery by J. V. Scotti of P/2000 G1. IAUC 9217, 2011 June 20.
    • C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS). Discovered via the Pan-STARRS program at Haleakala, Hawaii. IAUC 9215, 2011 June 8.
    • C/2011 L3 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9214, 2011 June 6.
    • C/2011 L2 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9213, 2011 June 6.
    • C/2011 L1 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9212, 2011 June 6.
    • C/2011 K1 (Schwartz-Holvorcem). Discovered by Paulo Holvorcem and Michael Schwartz. IAUC 9211, 2011 May 31.
    • P/2011 JB15 (Spacewatch-Boattini). Discovered as asteroidal by the Spacewatch survey, assigned a minor-planet designation based on only two nights, and then rediscovered as cometary by A. Boattini via the Mt. Lemmon Survey. IAUC 9210, 2011 May 31.
    • C/2011 J3 (LINEAR). Discovered as asteroidal by the LINEAR survey, found to be cometary elsewhere. IAUC 9209, 2011 May 20.
    • C/2011 J2 (LINEAR). Discovered as asteroidal by the LINEAR survey, found to be cometary elsewhere. IAUC 9208, 2011 May 20.
    • 251P/2011 J1 (LINEAR). Recovery by J. V. Scotti of P/2004 HC18. IAUC 9207, 2011 May 5.
    • C/2011 H1 (LINEAR). Re-discovered by Alex R. Gibbs via the Mt. Lemmon Survey, though proper identification with C/2002 VQ94 was somehow missed. (The name "Lemmon" and designation C/2011 H1 assigned here were abandoned after identification with C/2002 VQ94; cf. IAUC 9209) IAUC 9206, 2011 May 5.
    • C/2011 G1 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9204, 2011 Apr. 6.
    • C/2011 F1 (LINEAR). Discovered as asteroidal by the LINEAR survey, found to be cometary elsewhere. IAUC 9202, 2011 Mar. 21.
    • P/2011 E1 (SOHO). Found by R. Kracht on SOHO website images; linked orbits by G. V. Williams suggest identity with C/2000 O3 and C/2005 W4 (P = 5.3 yr). IAUC 9201, 2011 Mar. 21.
    • P/2011 C3 (Gibbs). Discovered by A. R. Gibbs via the Mount Lemmon Survey. IAUC 9200, 2011 Feb. 15.
    • P/2011 C2 (Gibbs). Discovered by A. R. Gibbs via the Mount Lemmon Survey. IAUC 9199, 2011 Feb. 15.
    • C/2011 C1 (McNaught). Discovered by Rob McNaught via the Siding Spring Survey. IAUC 9198, 2011 Feb. 12.
    • P/2010 WK (LINEAR). Discovered as asteroidal by the LINEAR survey, found to be cometary elsewhere. CBET 2607, 2010 Dec. 27; IAUC 9195, 2011 Jan. 30.
    • 249P/2011 A4 (LINEAR). Recovery by L. Elenin of comet P/2006 U1. IAUC 9194, 2011 Jan. 17.
    • C/2011 A3 (Gibbs). Discovered by A. R. Gibbs in the course of the Catalina Sky Survey. IAUC 9193, 2011 Jan. 17.
    • P/2011 A2 (Scotti). Discovered by J. V. Scotti via Spacewatch images at Kitt Peak. IAUC 9192, 2011 Jan. 14.
    • 250P/2011 A1 (Larson). Discovered by S. M. Larson in the course of the Catalina Sky Survey. IAUC 9191, 2011 Jan. 11.
    • For comets announced prior to 2011, go to the older Headlines webpage.

Recent magnitude estimates for observable comets (as reported to the CBAT and the International Comet Quarterly).


Minor Planets, Dwarf Planets

  • 2011 MD. Minor planet (size perhaps 5-15 meters) made fifth-closest observed approach on record to earth on June 27.71 TT (0.000125 AU). IAUC 9218, 2011 June 25. Click here for a diagram depicting the close approach to the earth by Syuichi Nakano.
  • 2011 CQ1. Minor planet (size perhaps 1-2 meters) made second-closest observed approach on record to earth on Feb. 4.82 UT (0.000079 AU). IAUC 9198, 2011 Feb. 12. Click here for a diagram depicting the close approach to the earth by Syuichi Nakano.
  • (596) Scheila. Main-belt minor planet exhibiting major comet-like outburst. IAUC 9158, 2010 Aug. 6.
  • 2010 NV1 and 2010 OR1. Asteroidal objects in retrograde orbits. IAUC 9158, 2010 Aug. 6.
  • 2010 GW64. Asteroidal object in a retrograde orbit. IAUC 9148, 2010 May 14.
  • 2010 EB46. Asteroidal object in a retrograde orbit. IAUC 9128, 2010 Mar. 18.
  • 2009 QY6 and 2010 CG55. Asteroidal objects in retrograde orbits. IAUC 9123, 2010 Mar. 10.
  • 2009 YS6. An asteroidal object in a retrograde orbit. IAUC 9102, 2009 Dec. 31.
  • The name "Weywot" has been assigned to the transneptunian minor planet (50000) Quaoar I. IAUC 9094, 2009 Nov. 11.
  • 2009 UG89. An asteroidal object in a retrograde orbit. IAUC 9091, 2009 Nov. 2.
  • 2009 HC82. An asteroidal object in a retrograde orbit. IAUC 9042, 2009 May 8.
  • 2009 DD45. An asteroidal object perhaps 19 meters in size that passed only 0.000482 AU from the earth on Mar. 2.57 UT. IAUC 9024, 2009 March 4.
  • 2008 TC3. An asteroidal object perhaps 2-3 meters in size, which was discovered at Mt. Lemmon on Oct. 6.28 UT, will hit the earth's atmosphere on Oct. 7.115 over Sudan, moving west to east (contrary to the wording on IAUC 8990) at a velocity of 12.9 km/s. 2008 Oct. 6. A computer-generated image (created by Syuichi Nakano, Sumoto, Japan) of the collision of 2008 TC3 with the earth is available here. Most (if not all) of the object was expected to burn up upon entry through the earth's atmosphere, though it is likely that some (perhaps many) smallpieces (a few cm or a few mm in size) survived to hit the ground as meteorites. A Meteosat 8 satellite image of the entry of 2008 TC3 into the earth's atmosphere over northern Sudan is available here (kindly supplied by Jiri Borovicka).
  • The name "Haumea" has been assigned to the transneptunian dwarf planet (or plutoid) whose designation is (136108) 2003 EL61. IAUC 8976, 2008 Sept. 17.
  • The name "Makemake" has been assigned to the transneptunian dwarf planet (or plutoid) whose designation is (136472) 2005 FY5. IAUC 8960, 2008 July 18.
  • 2008 KV42 is an apparently asteroidal object (discovered by B. Gladman et al. at Mauna Kea) with a retrograde orbit (i = 103 deg) and a Neptune-crossing orbit (q around 20 AU, Q around 72 AU). IAUC 8960, 2008 July 18.
  • 2007 VA85 is an apparently asteroidal object (discovered by the LINEAR project) with the shortest known orbital period (7.6 yr) for a sun-orbiting natural object with a retrograde orbit (i = 132.6 deg). IAUC 8894, 2007 Nov. 10.
  • Names have been assigned to (136199) 2003 UB313 and its satellite (IAUC 8747 [PDF]). [added 2006 Sept. 13]
  • (136199) Eris = 2003 UB313. Discovery of a transneptunian object of similar absolute brightness to Pluto (along with two other TNOs that are also relatively bright -- near 17th magnitude). IAUC 8577 and MPEC 2005-O41 (2005 July 29). Naming announced on IAUC 8747 (2006 Sept. 13).
  • For objects announced prior to 2006, go to the older Headlines webpage.
  • For recent discoveries/recoveries of Near-Earth Asteroids and other unusual minor planets you are referred to the list of recent MPECs:
  • For recent discoveries/recoveries of distant minor planets (Centaurs, TNOs, and SDOs) you are referred to the list of recent MPECs:
  • Ephemerides and orbital elements for critical-list numbered minor planets.


Recently Discovered Natural Satellites and Rings of Major and Minor Planets; News regarding Major Planets

  • S/2010 J 1 and S/2010 J2: new satellites of Jupiter. CBET 2734, 2011 June 1; IAUC 9222, 2011 Sept. 10.
  • S/2011 (134340) 1: new satellite of (134340) Pluto. CBET 2769, 2011 July 20; IAUC 9221, 2011 Sept. 10.
  • Saturn XXVIII renamed from Erriapo to Erriapus. IAUC 9191, 2011 Jan. 1.
  • Designation and name assigned to S/2003 J 17 (the 50th satellite of Jupiter to be so designated and named): Jupiter L (Herse). IAUC 9094, 2009 Nov. 11.
  • S/2009 S 1, a new satellite of Saturn. IAUC 9091, 2009 Nov. 2.
  • Discovery of CO in Neptune I (Triton). IAUC 9071, 2009 Sept. 10.
  • Impact of a possible comet onto Jupiter. IAUC 9060, 2009 July 31.
  • New name/designation of satellite of Saturn (LIII), S/2008 S 1. IAUC 9041, 2009 May 5.
  • Transneptunian minor planet 2002 VF130 found to be binary. IAUC 9040, 2009 May 5.
  • S/2008 S 1, a new satellite of Saturn. IAUC 9023, 2009 March 3.
  • Two satellites of the main-belt minor planet (216) Kleopatra, S/2008 (216) 1 and S/2008 (216) 2. IAUC 8980, 2008 Sept. 24.
  • A satellite of the Apollo-type minor planet (35107) 1991 VH. IAUC 8977, 2008 Sept. 19.
  • Two companions to minor planet (153591) 2001 SN263. IAUC 8921, 2008 Feb. 13.
  • New names of satellites of Saturn (XLIX-LII).
  • List of satellites and companions of minor planets that have been announced on CBAT publications.
  • For objects announced prior to 2008, go to the older Headlines webpage.


Novae and other interesting or unusual variable objects

  • PR Lup = Nova Lup 2011. Discovery by Nicholas J. Brown of Australia. IAUC 9228, 2011 Sept. 12.
  • V1312 Sco = Nova Sco 2011. Discovery by John Seach of Australia. IAUC 9216, 2011 June 8.
  • Outburst of T Pyx (first in 45 yr). Discovery by M. Linnolt of Hawaii. IAUC 9205, 2011 Apr. 18.
  • V5588 Sgr = Nova Sgr 2011 No. 2. Discovery by K. Nishiyama and F. Kabashima of Japan. IAUC 9203, 2011 Mar. 30.
  • V5587 Sgr = Nova Sgr 2011. Discovery by H. Nishimura of Japan. IAUC 9196, 2011 Feb. 5.
  • Outburst of apparent flare star in M45. Discovery by R. Castellano of Italy. IAUC 9181, 2010 Nov. 4.
  • V1723 Aql = Nova Aql 2010. Discovery by K. Nishiyama and F. Kabashima of Japan. IAUC 9167, 2010 Sept. 11.
  • V1311 Sco = Nova Sco 2010 No. 2. Discoveries by numerous observers in Japan. IAUC 9142, 2010 May 4.
  • V5586 Sgr = Nova Sgr 2010 No. 2. Discovery by K. Nishiyama and F. Kabashima of Japan. IAUC 9140, 2010 Apr. 26.
  • V407 Cyg in nova-like outburst. IAUC 9130, 2010 Mar. 20.
  • GK Per in outburst. IAUC 9122, 2010 Mar. 9.
  • V1310 Sco = Nova Sco 2010. Discovery by K. Nishiyama of Japan. IAUC 9120, 2010 Mar. 1.
  • V2674 Oph = Nova Oph 2010 No. 2. Discovery by H. Nishimura of Japan. IAUC 9119, 2010 Mar. 1.
  • V5585 Sgr = Nova Sgr 2010. Discovery by J. Seach of Australia. IAUC 9112, 2010 Jan. 28.
  • U Sco. First outburst (at mag 8) since 1999. IAUC 9111, 2010 Jan. 28.
  • V2673 Oph = Nova Oph 2010. Discovery by H. Nishimura of Japan. IAUC 9111, 2010 Jan. 28.
  • For objects announced prior to 2010, go to the older Headlines webpage.
  • The CBAT's working list of novae in the Milky Way can be found here.
  • A list of (apparent) novae in M31 reported to the CBAT beginning in 2004 can be found here.
  • A list of (apparent) novae in M33 reported to the CBAT can be found here (webpage begun in early 2009).
  • A list of (apparent) novae in M81 reported to the CBAT can be found here (webpage begun in early 2009).


Supernovae

A list of recent supernovae is available, as is our on-line form for checking possible supernova candidates. A list of possible supernovae (with PSN designations assigned by the Central Bureau) is maintained here, as well. David Bishop maintains a website showing images of recent supernovae.


The best guide for ephemerides for forthcoming periodic comet returns is the annual ICQ Comet Handbook. Predicted elements for returns up to three years into the future are published in the Minor Planet Circulars. Ephemerides for all currently-observable comets may be generated in the CBAT/MPC Computer Service.


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