New Comet C/2021 C4 (ATLAS)

March 02, 2021
CBET 4937 & MPEC 2021-D113, issued on 2021, February 26, announce the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (magnitude ~19) on CCD images taken on Feb. 12.6 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. This object has been found to show cometary appearance by CCD astrometrists elsewhere after the object was posted on the Minor Planet Center's PCCP webpage due to its orbit. The new comet has been designated C/2021 C4 (ATLAS).

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

Stacking of 5 unfiltered exposures, 90 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2021, February 22.2 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.6-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 8" arcsecond in diameter. (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini, A. Valvasori).

Our confirmation image on top (click on it for a bigger version; made with TYCHO software by D. Parrott).

M.P.E.C. 2021-D113, assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2021 C4 (ATLAS): T 2021 Jan. 21.04; e= 1.00; Peri. =  320.80; q = 4.50;  Incl.= 132.85

by Ernesto Guido