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AMROM: Aero astronomer Joost Yan has discovered the new comet P/2023 C1

AMROM: Aero astronomer Joost Yan has discovered the new comet P/2023 C1

Sciences p / 2023 c 1

A hobby astronomer on Amrum has discovered a new comet

Comets are leftovers from the formation of our solar system (archive photo)

Comets are leftovers from the formation of our solar system (archive photo)

Source: pa / dpa / Sven Hoppe

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Using a remote-controlled telescope, physician and amateur astronomer Jost Jahn made a rare discovery: Comet P/2023 C1 (Jahn), named after him, orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. It is the first comet discovery by a German since 2002.

HAn amateur astronomer on Amrum discovered a new comet. Island dentist Jost Jan has tracked the orb on recordings of the so-called Rotat telescope in southern France, the Society of Friends of the Stars (VdS) and the Astronomy House reported Monday in Heidelberg. The comet orbits the sun in an inclined orbit between the planets Mars and Jupiter. It is the first comet discovery by a German since 2002.

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The comet, now officially named P/2023 C1 and named after its discoverer, has an orbital period around the sun of only seven years and five months, and is therefore considered a so-called short-period comet. Comets are remnants of the formation of our solar system some 4.6 billion years ago. It is made of ice, dust and rock.

Rotat is a 60 cm telescope online in the south of France maintained by the House of Astronomy. It is freely available to students and teachers, and the remaining observation time is given to amateur astronomers.

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Explanation - Caption: An artist's illustration of an interstellar comet

So Jost Jahn from Amrum, a member of the Society of Friends of the Stars, has specialized in observing near-Earth asteroids and in a targeted search for small, unknown bodies in the solar system. He has already discovered a number of asteroids.

Guilty without a tail

On March 20, Jan accidentally found what appeared to be an asteroid-like object on Rotat’s images from the night of February 14 and 15, and after closer analysis, it turned out to be a comet surrounded by a cloud formed from outgassing. The comet’s existence and orbit can be determined on the basis of archival recordings from previous years and current recordings from various observatories.

Like many asteroids, it orbits between the planets Mars and Jupiter. However, because the comet never comes close to the sun and is not particularly large, experts say it will never evolve into a stunning skyscraper with a luminous tail.

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mpia-closest bh_el-badry_2022_overview_d

Usually dozens of comets are discovered each year, but these days they are mostly automated in the systematic search of the sky with the largest professional telescopes. Recently, a German astrophysics student tracked a new comet from more than 20 years ago.

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