New Comet C/2020 H6 (ATLAS)

May 08, 2020
CBET 4768 & MPEC 2020-J23, issued on 2020, May 03, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18.5) on individual images from taken on Apr. 22 UT with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program. The new comet has been designated C/2020 H6 (ATLAS).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object while it was still on the PCCP webpage.

Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 120 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2020, April 28.4 from Q62 (iTelescope network) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 10" in diameter slightly elongated toward PA 330.

MPEC 2020-J23, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2020 H6 (ATLAS): T 2021 Oct. 1.29; e= 1.0; Peri. =  20.53; q = 4.68;  Incl.= 79.83

by Ernesto Guido & Adriano Valvasori