New Comet C/2021 N3 (PANSTARRS)

July 27, 2021

CBET 5003 & MPEC 2021-O39, issued on 2021, July 22, announce the discovery of a new comet (magnitude ~20.5) on CCD images taken on July 13.5 UT with the Pan-STARRS1 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien reflector at Haleakala (numerous pre-discovery observations going back an additional month were later identified). The new comet has been designated C/2021 N3 (PANSTARRS).

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

Stacking of 16 unfiltered exposures, 180 seconds each, obtained remotely on 2021, July 14.3 from X02 (Telescope Live, Chile) through a 0.61-m f/6.5 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet with a compact coma about 9" arcsecond in diameter elongated toward PA 230 (Observers E. Guido, M. Rocchetto, E. Bryssinck, M. Fulle, G. Milani, C. Nassef, G. Savini, A. Valvasori).

MPEC 2021-O39, assigns the following preliminary orbital elements to comet C/2021 N3 (PANSTARRS): T 2020 Aug. 13.96; e= 0.96; Peri. =  303.99; q = 5.69 ;  Incl.= 26.67

by Ernesto Guido