Comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus) in STEREO-A HI-1 Images

Comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus)
2020-Nov-28 08:49:01 UT
STEREO A HI-1 FOVImage processed by
Karl Battams @SungrazerComets
  • Link: https://twitter.com/SungrazerComets/status/1334562581856608256?s=20
    Karl Battams posted a Twitter video of comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus) in the STEREO-A HI-1 camera field of view, 2020-Nov 25 thru 29. The images are specially processed to bring out the tail. One can see a long tail as the comet passes through the field. The tail has some wavy motion caused by interaction with the solar wind. The comet appears quite healthy. On 2020-Nov-29 the comet was 0.538 au from the sun. Comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus) passes perihelion on 2020-Dec-12 at 0.398 au. The latest orbit and astrometry are posted in MPEC 2020-W26.

    Comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus) has been tracking through SOHO SWAN comet tracker maps along with comet 88P/Howell.

  • Spacecraft observations:
  • STEREO HI-1 Nov 13 to Dec 07
  • COR2 Dec 07 to Dec 14
  • SOHO/LASCO C3 in late December
  • PSP/WISPR in mid-January 2021.

    From the ground, the comet’s solar elongation has decreased below 25 degrees making it a difficult object to image. Recent images show a long tail several degrees in length.

    Astronomers at TRAPPIST have been measuring comet dust (Afrho) and molecular production rates Q(OH), Q(NH), Q(CN), Q(C2), and Q(C3). see Atel 14101 and 14179.

    Comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus) is named for its discoverer, Nicolas Erasmus, an SAAO Astronomer, who found it in images as a diffuse, symmetrical object with a coma of size 8″ (full-width-at-half-maximum) in four 30-s CCD images taken in 5″ seeing on 2020-Sep-17.6 UT with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, in the course of the Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System” (ATLAS) search program.

References:

MPEC 2020-S119: COMET C/2020 S3 (Erasmus) (2020 September 20)
https://minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K20/K20SB9.html

MPEC 2020-W26 : OBSERVATIONS AND ORBITS OF COMETS AND A/ OBJECTS (2020 November 17) https://www.minorplanetcenter.org/mpec/K20/K20W26.html

CBET 4855: COMET C/2020 S3 (ERASMUS) (2020 September 20)
http://www.cbat.eps.harvard.edu/cbet/RecentCBETs.html

Jehin, E.; Moulane, Y.; Manfroid, J.; Pozuelos, F.; Hutsemekers,D.; ATel #14101, TRAPPIST comet production rates: 88/Howell, C/2020 M3 (ATLAS), C/2020 S3 (Erasmus), 156P/Russell-LINEAR (Oct 2020) http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=14101

Jehin, E.; Moulane, Y.; Manfroid, J.; Pozuelos, F.; Hutsemekers,D.; ATel #14174,TRAPPIST comet production rates: 88/Howell, C/2020 M3 (ATLAS), C/2020 S3 (Erasmus), 156P/Russell-LINEAR (Nov 2020) http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=14174

SAAO Astronomer discovers new comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus)
https://www.saao.ac.za/2020/09/23/saao-astronomer-discovers-new-comet-c-2020-s3-erasmus/

JPL Small Body database: https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=C%2F2020%20S3

Minor Planet Center (MPC) database: https://minorplanetcenter.net/db_search/show_object?utf8=%E2%9C%93&object_id=C%2F2020+S3

Published by Charles Bell

The observer at MPC Observatory H47 near Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA

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