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C/2006 M1 (LINEAR)

Comet C/2006 M1 (LINEAR) was discovered by LINEAR on 18 June 2006 in the Milky Way less than 8 degrees from Deneb in Cygnus. LINEAR then re-observed it three nights later and the Minor Planet Center then added it to the NEO Confirmation page just before 23:00 UT on 21 June 2006 as a magnitude +17.7 object.

On the first set of images taken from Great Shefford that night a thin tail was visible, extending to the southwest. Several further imaging runs were taken during that night to confirm the existence of the tail and to get positions of the comet as it drifted slowly past stars in the rich Milky Way field. The coma was noted as concentrated and 6" diameter and the tail 50" long in p.a. 235.

The next day the object was taken off the NEOCP and announced on IAUC 8724 (subscription required) as Comet C/2006 M1 (LINEAR). Jim Young from Table Mountain Observatory, Wrightwood had also observed it about 7 hours after the images above had been taken and he noted the coma as 8" diameter, with a 40" tail in p.a. 225-235.

Initial calculations indicated a perihelion distance of 4.0 AU and a perihelion time of 2006 Nov. It is not expected to to get much brighter than it was at discovery.


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