SWAN COMET DISCOVERIES

 

7) C/2015 P3 SWAN

On 2015 Aug 9 at 03UT, I downloaded the latest SWAN comet tracker maps from their website at:
http://swan.projet.latmos.ipsl.fr/
SWAN is a low resolution camera on board the SOHO satellite that can detect the UV emission of comets.
There was a suspicious object located on the Leo-Coma Berenices border on images dated Aug 3 and 4.
I measured very approximate positions on these dates as well as a possible earlier detection on July 28:
                             RA           Dec
2015 July 28     11 31     + 31 30
2015 Aug 3      11 56     + 22 15
2015 Aug 4      12 05     + 20 00

That evening, I confirmed the comet photographically on 2015 August 9 at 09:11UT using a Canon 60Da + Sigma 200mm F/2.8 lens.



The comet appeared slightly condensed, of photometric magnitude 11.8, with a coma diameter of 2 arcminutes.
CBET 4136 announced the discovery on August 11 as C/2015 P3 SWAN.
The revised orbit indicated perihelion occurred on 2015 July 27 at 0.71AU.
The comet was not expected to become brighter than magnitude 11.



I visually estimated it at magnitude 11.5 at the time this image was taken.
This was my 7th SWAN comet discovery credit and second ground based confirmation (see also C/2006 M4)

 

6) C/2015 C2 SWAN
Independently discovered by Rob Matson. myself and Vladimir Bezugly using the SWAN comet tracker maps.

Ground based Confirmation image. Taken at 10:30UT on Feb 25.
Terry Lovejoy in Queensland confirmed the comet earlier that same evening.

2015 Feb 26.
Visual estimate of magnitude 11.5 through a 20 cm reflector at 130x.

2015 March 3.
Comet was situated at 12 degrees altitude in twilight.
It was heading northwards and only visible from the Northern Hemisphere by mid March.
 

5) C/2006 M4 SWAN


4) P/2005 T4  SWAN
 

3) C/2005 P3 SWAN
 

2) C/2004 V13 SWAN
 

1) C/2004 H6 SWAN
I detected this comet in SWAN comet tracker maps, and was the first person to observe this from the ground,
estimating it at magnitude 7.8 on the evening of 2004 May 14, through 25x100mm binoculars.
The comet was approaching conjunction, and I had to "re-discover" it in the morning sky the following week on May 21.
CCD image on 2004 May 21.85UT. 10x10 second exposures through Celestron C11 at f/3.3.
Field of view about 15' wide. Twilight interference.


 

THE SWAN COMET THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN


In no way do these discoveries compare with the likes of Bill Bradfield or Terry Lovejoy, which is why I don't have naming rites.