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1998's Comets and Supernovae

by Larry Robinson,
Sunflower Observatory
IAUC/MPC Observatory Code 739
Olathe, KS

Supernova SN1998es - copy right Larry Robinson, Olathe, KS

Supernova SN1998es

Attached is an image of Supernova 1998es in NGC 632 in the constellation Pisces just three degrees southwest of Saturn's current position. North is up and east is left.

This supernova was discovered on November 14 by tthe supernova search group at Lick Observatory in California and is a relatively bright one. The latest observations show it has brightened somewhat since discovery and is currently at about mag 14.3. Initial spectral measurements indicate this to be a Type Ia with unusual characteristics. It may get a little brighter than normally expected with this type of supernova at this distance. 

The parent galaxy, NGC 632 is a 12.3 mag SO? type galaxy. It is located at RA 01 37.3 DEC +05 53 and is very stellar in appearance being only 1.6 x 1.2 min. in size. The supernova is very close to the galaxy only 11" due north of the galaxy nucleus.

Supernova 1998eg - CCD image copyright by Larry Robinson, Olathe, KS 1/17/98

Supernova SN1998eg

Attached is an image of SN1998eg I took Oct. 27, 1998. Data on the image: 300 guided exposure no filter using ST7 at full resolution pixel size 1.78 arcsec 25cm SCT at F4.07 Image dark subtracted, flat fielded, stretched and smoothed. No clouds medium seeing. Exposure started at 10.27.052 UT. No magnitude estimate attempted. Looks brighter to me than the discovery image at http://www.supernovae.org/isn.htm

Would be glad to email the original raw .st7 format image to anyone who wants it to do magnitude estimates.

The would be a good one to look at over the next month or so.

Comet C1998U2 - CCD image cokpyright by Larry Robinson, Olather, KS 1/27/98

COMET 1998 U2

 J. Mueller reports her discovery of another comet on plates taken by herself (with K. Rykoski on Oct. 22) with the 1.2-m Oschin Schmidt Telescope in the course of the Palomar Outer Solar System Ecliptic Survey. The comet has strong condensation and a short, faint tail to the southeast. The following positions were reduced by G. V. Williams, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, from x,y measures provided by Mueller:     

1998 UT          R.A. (2000)   Decl.        m1
Oct. 21.34028    1 24 56.57   +12 27 57.2   18
     21.36111    1 24 56.12   +12 27 55.1
     22.20417    1 24 30.07   +12 26 17.8
     22.22500    1 24 29.65   +12 26 15.2

My Observations from Sunflower Observatory with my ST7 and LX200 10" at F4.07:

These are nuclear magnitudes not full coma
Oct 27.20070  1 22 02.71  +12 16 33.4   18.1 
Oct 27.22215  1 22 01.65  +12 16 24.4   18.8 

Barely able to see it on 300 sec. exposures. I actually had three images but one was so cruddy I could not get good astrometrics off of it.

I reported to MPC and NASA and sent image in to NASA for their comet page. No one else has posted an image of this one yet, so in a week or two we may see another one of my lousy images posted there.

Anyway, attached is a 3x300sec. image composite. How in the world Jean knew this was a comet I cannot tell you. It could be anything. I guess she matched the orbital elements according to the writeup on the IAUC circular: http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iauc/07000/07035.html

Apparently Ferris and Koehn at LONEOS (Lowell) picked it up back in September and reported it as an asteroid. Boy, I bet they are pissed! I am looking forward to ribbing them in April. hehe

The following precise CCD observations have been reported:

     1998 UT          R.A. (2000)  Decl.          m1    Observer
     Sept.14.41154    1 37 47.29   +12 32 24.3   17.2   Ferris
          14.43634    1 37 47.26   +12 32 27.8            "
          14.47083    1 37 47.23   +12 32 33.0            "
     Oct. 22.84000    1 24 10.61   +12 25 02.1   16     Pravec
          22.88941    1 24 09.00   +12 24 56.6   16.0   Kornos
          22.89471    1 24 08.82   +12 24 55.8          Pravec
          22.89615    1 24 08.79   +12 24 55.7          Kornos
          22.89756    1 24 08.73   +12 24 55.6          Pravec
          22.90795    1 24 08.37   +12 24 54.0          Kornos
          22.90847    1 24 08.33   +12 24 54.9          Ticha
          22.90995    1 24 08.31   +12 24 54.5            "
          22.91245    1 24 08.22   +12 24 54.4            "
          22.94032    1 24 07.30   +12 24 51.2            "
          22.94255    1 24 07.32   +12 24 50.2   16       "

W. D. Ferris and B. W. Koehn (LONEOS, Lowell Observatory). Prediscovery images, apparently asteroidal. P. Pravec (Ondrejov). 0.65-m reflector. Broad tail 0'.4 long in <------------- A TAIL?

p.a. 140 deg.

L. Kornos and P. Koleny (Modra). 0.6-m f/5.5 reflector.
M. Tichy and Z. Moravec (Klet). 0.57-m f/5.2 reflector.

Originally I could not see a tail in my images but apparently that elongation is more than just drift in the image. I thought it was RA drift due to my crappy mount. The PA would be about right, 140Degrees. I guess 0'.4 is not much so it could be a tail. What do you think?

By the way, thanks for the fan. I hope to go get some tubing today and work on getting this rigged up so I can further cool my camera and maybe this stuff will look better on these really faint magnitudes. I cannot believe I can get down to mag 18 with this cheap setup in my light polluted backyard. I hope it gets really bone chilling cold after this mess moves out! Imagine what could be done with a real scope and a supercooled backlit CCD in a dark site? Well, maybe we can get the money from Uncle Sam in April at Lowell. Meanwhile, I am working hard to make sure I can get on THE LIST. I wish you did not have to work so hard so you could come over more and help me stay awake! hehe

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