Monday 19 December 2011

Confirming the recovery of Comet P/2006 T1 (Levy)

Comet P/2006 T1 (Levy), due back to the Sun's neighbourhood in mid-January 2012, its first return to the Sun following its discovery in 2006 was eventually recovered by Richard Kowalski from the Mt. Lemon Survey early on 17 Dec 2011 during a search of the object's entire uncertainty region.

It was over 2° from the predicted position at the time and magnitude +19, about 9 magnitudes fainter than predicted, based on its brightness during the 2006 apparition, though it is thought that the comet underwent a brightness outburst just before being discovered.

The recovery was confirmed by further positional measurements from observatories Farra d'Isonzo (595) and Great Shefford (J95), both observatories noting the object as diffuse and with an elongated coma or tail pointing to the North-East (upper left in the image below).

Images taken from Great Shefford Observatory of the comet at its 2006 discovery apparition can be found here.

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