Last updated 22 Apr 2017

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P/2003 S2 (NEAT)

2003 Sep 24 22:33-22:52 UT (15 x 30s exposures)
2003 Sep 25 02:31-02:51 UT (14 x 30s exposures)
Mag m2=+17.7 Field 5'x5'
Tail ~20" in p.a. 250 and possible tail 20" in p.a. 330
0.30m f/6.3 Schmidt-Cassegrain + CCD 15 x 30s unfiltered. N up.

This is the second of two periodic comets discovered on consecutive days by the NEAT team using the 1.2-m telescope at Haleakala Hawaii and announced in IAUC 8209.

The comet showed an 8" diameter coma and a broad tail pointing 20" in p.a. 250 and a thin 20" tail in p.a. 330 in a stack of images taken 2003 Sep 24 22:33-22:52 UT, though the thin tail was not visible in a second stack made 4 hours later in slightly better conditions.

From the initial calculations the two orbits appear broadly similar: 

P/2003 S1
MPEC 2003-S59
P/2003 S2
MPEC 2003-S65
Perihelion date 2004 Mar 25 2003 Jul 10
perihelion distance q 2.6 a.u. 2.3 a.u.
Period (y) 9.7 years 8.6 years
inclination 6 7


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