A new comet seen in the eye of a small telescope automatically
Publiée le 2011-11-30
Comet P/2011 W2 (Rinner) has been discovered with the robotic telescope MOSS (Moroccan Oukaimeden Sky Survey) located in the Oukaimeden ski resort in the High Atlas near Marrakech.
This observatory is the result of international cooperation between Claudine Rinner (owner of the telescope), Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech (site owner) and the Société Jurassienne d'Astronomie(Owner of the dome)
This is not the first success of this collaboration. Last November it allowed the discovery of a near-Earth asteroid, 2011 VP 12. It is generally believed that we discover a Near-Earth asteroid every 100 objects discovered and a comet every 1000 objects!
It is also important to note that the discovery was made with a "small" 50cm diameter telescope compared with the major operations such as "PAN-STARRS" or LINEAR. The last time a French discovered a comet was in 1997. This was the comet Cll997J2 (Meunier-Dupouy).
Comet P/2011 W2 (RINNER) is part of the family of Jupiter, the comet will be not very bright seen from Earth and it never approach the Sun at less than 2.3 Astronomical Unit. She is currently at a magnitude of 17.6.