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La Cañada Observatory, is an initiative by Juan Lacruz, the observatory started astrometric operations in the summer of 2002, it is registered as station J87 in the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union.

The Observatory also participates in the studies on minor bodies promoted by the Group on Meteorites, Minor Bodies, and Planetary Sciences of the Institute of Space Sciences (CSIC-IEEC).

Saturday, January 5, 2013

C/2013 A1 Siding Spring, the first comet of the year

 January opened with very stable weather at La Cañada, the night of the 4th the average seeing was 2.8 arc seconds which allowed the confirmation followup of the first comet of the year posted on the Minor Planet Center Neo Confirmation Page.

C/2013 A1 (in red) rest of field stars in blue, signal to noise ratio against FWHM plot
Although the comet, at a first glance, doesn't display clear evidences of either coma or tail on the stacked images obtained with the 0.4 m Ritchey-Chretien telescope it definitely stands out from the rest of the sorrounding stars when plotted in a graph of the signal to noise ratio (Y-axis) against the full width at half maximum (X-axis).

Back to the picture, on a more careful inspection, it shows a hint of a tail in the north east direction, measuring the coma size its diameter is around 10 arc seconds.

References : MPEC 2013-A14, CBET 3368