Comet discoverers & Comet
discoveries by amateurs
2020 - now
Last update: 20. August 2021
|Discoveries from 1978 to 1999||Discoveries from 2000 to 2009
||Discoveries 2010 to 2019
This page was initially created by Juan José González - José Fernández, written in Spain and can be found at http://www.perihelio.org/descubri.htm
I used an automatic translation into English and tried to correct it into readable English. Please notice that English is not my native language. Fell free sending me corrections of any kind.
I also used information from the website of Maik Meyer. Giuseppe Pappa (giuseppe.pappa->>alice.it)
added information to the early
Sad news arrived on March 5th. Roy Tucker,
discoverer of 2 comets and many asteroids, including 99942 Apophis,
passed away at the age of 70 years.
Again, sad news for the Comet community. On August 13th. Carolyn S. Shoemaker discoverer of 32 comets and many more asteroids passed away at the age of 92 years.
SONEAR staff: Joao Ribeiro (left), Eduardo Pimentel (middle), Cristovao Jacques (right)
CBET 4972 & MPEC 2021-L11, issued on 2021, June 02, announces the discovery of a new comet (magnitude ~19.0) on CCD images taken by A. Maury and G. Attard on May 09.3 UT with the 0.28-m f/2.2 Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt astrograph at San Pedro de Atacama, Chile in the course of the MAP (W94) survey. The new comet has been designated C/2021 J1 (Maury-Attard). This is the first comet discovery for Alain Maury as amateur and the first one for Georges Attard. Alain Maury discovered 3 comets (115P/Maury, C/1988 C1 Maury-Phinney and 198P/ODAS (named after the survey name) as a professional astronomer.
Comment from the discoverer: The comet was detected during my new search program "Northern sky survey". A new star like object it was discovered on three CCD frames taken on June 08.90616 UT (Tel. D=0.65m, F/1.5, FLI ML9000, FOW 2x2 deg, exp: 300 sec) in the constellation of Cepheus. The information was sent to the MPC as a new NEO gb00279. Two days later, the stacked images show the cometary shape and the object was moved to PCCP.
On the discovery of C/2021 O1 Nishimura
Translated by Shigeki Murakami
Hideo Nishimura, age 72
Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
2. Site and date
Date and time of shooting: 2021 07 21.78306 (UT), 2021 07 22 3:47 (JST) (1), Exposure time 15 seconds
Observing site: Tea plantation: Gomyo, Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
EOS 6D, 200mm f/3.2 Telephoto lens
Equatorial mount: Takahashi EM200
4. Summary of the discovery
I have completed a nova hunting session, which is my major target of searching, and I still had an extra time. Then, I conducted a comet hunting session in the northeastern sky, and I was lucky enough to shoot a green glowing comet. I checked the position and I wondered if it was an outburst of 8P Tuttle. However, I found the position was different from that of 8P by some 2°, and reported as it a possible new comet.
5. Discovery course
I concentrated on the visual searching of comet until around 2000, and was able to meet a new comet (2). After that I have come to interest in a nova hunting, and I kept searching spending 90% of my activity for nova hunting and 10% for comet.
It was cloudy at dusk on the day before the discovery, and could not take photos for nova hunting in the Milky Way Galaxy. So, on the day I got up at 1:30a.m. local time and headed for the tea plantation where a quarter-hour of drive from my residence. Most part of the summer Milky Way was in the western sky, and I started shooting the Milky Way at 2:08a.m. up to around the constellation of Cassiopeia.
As there was enough time until the start of the twilight, I began to take photos to search for a comet from the southeastern sky, and put the northeast on the backburner where I photographed the day before at predawn.
At the low altitude the sky grew brighter when the shooting area got close to the northeastern sky, and I hurried to take photos with shorter exposure time. Eventually, I finished the hunting session at 4a.m. leaving some planned area to be searched.
I got home and tried to detect objects that are not in the past images using my PC, among which I checked if there was any new object. I noticed a non-stellar object seemingly having some apparent diameter just before the end of the checking work. I thought that I identified a known comet again, and I confirmed using MP checker but no comet was detected.
To make sure what it was I adjusted the brightness of the image using Photoshop Elements and the green star appeared that is typical for a comet.
I emailed Syuichi Nakano, an Associate of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams and the Minor Planet Center, in Sumoto, Japan, that reported the object is a new comet without doubt. I calmed down and I confirmed if there were any known comets around the position. I found that 8P Tuttle being brightening was near the possible new comet. Immediately, I told Nakano the fact and he said the predicted position of 8P was different from that of the object of interest by some 2°. I remeasured the position of the possible new comet.
Nakano reported the position to IAU and the new comet had been confirmed.
I think back to the situation with a cool head, and I found I was pretty lucky. If I had taken the photo a little bit earlier, the comet would not have been photographed due to the low altitude from the horizon, i.e., the unadjusted image looked like an overexposure photo taken in the daytime. Conversely, if I had shotten a little later, it would have been disappeared in the twilight.
Note of translator
(1) The beginning of the twilight on the day was 3:09a.m. JST (local time). That meant Nishimura took the photo 38 minutes after the start of the twilight.
(2) Nishimura discovered his first comet in 1994: C/1994 N1 Nakamura-Nishimura-Machholz.
CometWatch March 2021 Special with David Levy & Carolyn Shoemaker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEwafVtiwt4Astropedia from 2002: https://astrogeology.usgs.gov/people/carolyn-shoemaker as PDF
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT - IAU).
Draft Guidelines for Comet Discoveries (Jonathan Shanklin, BAA).
Comet Seeking (William Bradfield, in the page of the ASSA).
David Levy's Home Page (Jarnac Observatory).
Comet Hunting Techniques (Vello Tabur).
Come osservare le comete - La ricerca di comete(Mauro Vittorio Zanotta).
Catalogue of Comet Discoveries Home Page (COCD, Maik Meyer, Germany).
Comet Hunting Resources on the Web (COCD, Maik Meyer).
Award 2003/2004: V. Tabur, W. Bradfield (IAUC 8372).
Award 2004/2005: R. Tucker, D. Machholz (IAUC 8554).
Award 2005/2006: C. Juels and P. Holvorcem, J. Broughton (IAUC 8730).
Award 2006/2007: J. Broughton, D. Levy, T. Lovejoy (IAUC 8854).
Award 2007/2008: T. Chen and X. Gao (IAUC 8962).
Award 2008/2009: R. Holmes, S. Maticic, M. Ory, K. Itagaki, D. Yi (IAUC 9066).
Pan-STARRS Panoramic Survey Telescope &
Rapid Response System
The Spacewatch Project (University of Lunar Arizona's and Planetary Laboratory)
Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) (University of Arizona)
The LINEAR Program (Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid
Research - MIT, 1998 - 2005) - Not longer in operation !
Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) Home Page - (1995 - 2007) Not longer in operation !
Lowell Observatory Near-Earth-Object Search (LONEOS) - (1993 - 2008) Not longer in operation !
Siding Spring Survey (SSS) (Australian National University - University of Arizona, stopped in 2013) - Not longer in operation !
Siding Spring: Robert McNaught (left) and Gordon Garradd (right) in front of the Uppsala dome and its office (right) in 2003.