Astronomy Cast

Astronomy Cast takes a fact based journey through the cosmos as it offers listeners weekly discussions on astronomical topics ranging from planets to cosmology.

Comet P/2010 H2 developing

A few days after its discovery Comet P/2010 H2 (Vales) is further developing its appearance to a "real" comet. The former asteroidal NEOCP object 04F0011 now shows a nice 2' size coma.

P2010H2_10-04-1922_thumbThe left image was taken on April 19 and the right on April 22. Both shots were made with the 14 inch telescope and the SBIG ST8-XME camera in 2x2 binning mode. Exposure time was 40 x 30 seconds with no filter. Still there is no real tail but the false nucleus is slightly off center and the coma expands more to the northeast.
Comet Vales has a Hilda like orbit and circles the sun in a distance of 3.06 AU every 7.5 years. Hilda type asteroids have a stable orbit in a 2:3 resonance to Jupiter, which means that they orbit the sun 3 times for every 2 times that Jupiter does. So they stay away from the giant gas planet avoiding dangerous close approaches. But it is very likely that Comet Vales will be kicked out of orbit by Jupiter someday.