Comet Borisov: long-awaited opening

Comet Borisov: long-awaited opening

On Saturday, July 13, 2013 Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has sent an electronic circular No. 3584, which reported on the discovery of a new comet has about 16m shine and visible in the constellation Auriga. It is unlikely that it would attract the attention of anyone outside the narrow circle of specialists, if not for one little «but»: the first time in the modern history of Ukraine comet was discovered by astronomer Ukrainian and Ukrainian territory. So soon we reprinted the news all the news agencies of the country.

The news excited amateur astronomers for another reason: «tailed star» was opened not one of the robotic telescopes, which in the last decade show the lion’s share of all comets and asteroids, and the implementation of amateur observing program. Nowadays, every year the share of amateur astronomers is only a few such discoveries (usually from 1 to 6) of about fifty. The previous «amateur» in the post-comet discovered in 2011. Artem Novichonok and Vladimir Gerke, where she became the first bank on the citizens of the Russian Federation and the first to open on the territory of the Russian Federation since 1989

Author of this opening Gennady Borisov, although it is listed in the state of the Crimean Laboratory (previously — Crimean observation station), Moscow State University on a researcher, but by the nature of the work he is studying objects in the solar system is not engaged and their search program performs as an independent amateur astronomer, using a telescope of his own design and manufacture. One of them — 20-centimeter (1: 1.5) astrograph called «Guenon» — before dawn on July 9 Gennady conducted another series of exploratory surveys. In the afternoon, looking at the images obtained one of the sites (each of them photographed three times at 10-15 minute intervals), he noticed a little misty object moving from west to east. No doubt remained — it was a comet!

Operational tests made on special astronomical sites, showed that there is no already-known objects in the solar system in this part of the sky should not be. The next night, the same area was shot again. New comet was found just in the place where she was supposed to be taking into account the shift. Gennady announced the opening of a special body IAU and continued observation. It took three days to ensure that employees of other observatories have confirmed the existence and movement of newly discovered object, after which he, according to tradition, were given the official designation of the name — the name of the discoverer: C / 2013 N4 (Borisov). This event was a worthy outcome of persistent 15-year search that Crimean astronomer devoted a substantial part of his life.

The orbit of a comet is determined that not enough reliable. According to preliminary data, its eccentricity is close to one — most likely C / 2013 N4 moves hyperbole, never to return to the Sun (so before the year of the opening of the designation is the letter «C»), but perhaps after analyzing a large number of positional observations made over a long period of time, it turns out that it is periodic.

…While at large observatories observations were made, and are ready to confirm the discovery, but here, in the Crimea, just a few hundred meters from the «Guenon,» which observed Gennady Borisov, his comet had photographed and studied the participants of the International gathering of amateur astronomers «Southern Nights» In those days held at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. On several telescopes it was possible to shoot, and then — to measure the speed of its movement and the brightness of the coma (by the way, proved to be quite large — about 13T). These results were also sent to the IAU.

It is expected that the new comet will round the Sun on the opposite side of the Earth, passing perihelion on August 20 and then go to the southern hemisphere of the sky and will be available for observations from the territory of Ukraine and Russia.

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