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C/2006 A1 (Pojmanski)

Image of comet Pojmanski on 2006 March 4
Copyright © 2006 by Gary W. Kronk (St. Jacob, Illinois, USA)

Gary W. Kronk obtained this image of comet Pojmanski on 2006 March 4. This mosaic is composed of six 30-second exposures obtained using a 20-cm Meade LX-200 and a Mallincam Pro.


Grzegorz Pojmanski (Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory) was examining images obtained by The All Sky Automated Survey (180mm telephoto lens, a CCD camera, and a Johnsons V filter) at Las Campanas, when he noticed "an apparently cometary object" on an image from 2006 January 1.04. The magnitude was given as 12.46, while the coma was 2 arc minutes across. Additional images were obtained with the same camera system on January 4.03, January 4.04, and January 5.04, while a prediscovery observation came from an image obtained on 2005 December 29.03. During the period spanning December 29 to January 5, the magnitude increased from 13.20 to 11.92. The cometary nature of this object was confirmed by S. Roland (Montevideo, Uruguay), who obtained ten 20-second CCD exposures with a 46-cm telescope from January 5.00 to January 5.07. He noted a magnitude between 14.2 and 14.8, and gave the coma diameter as about 1'. More than seven hours after Pojmanski's announcement, an apparent independent discovery was announced by K. Cernis. Cernis had found a cometary object on images obtained by the SWAN instrument aboard the SOHO space probe on December 25, 29, and January 1.

Historical Highlights

  • The first orbit was published on IAU Circular 8653 (2006 January 5) by D. W. E. Green. It was a parabolic orbit which indicated a perihelion date of 2006 February 22.67 and a perihelion distance of 0.567 AU.
  • cometography.com