ISON-NM / L. Elenin

May 26th a long-time dream of my good friend Michael Schwartz came true. After long searches he finally discovered a comet, receiving the designation C/2011 K1 (Schwartz-Holvorcem).  Likewise, Michael’s long-time collaborator Paulo R. Holvorcem was directly involved in the discovery of the comet, working with the observatory software, as well as handling personnel.

The comet was discovered in the course of a planned survey, near the antisolar point, although in the Milky Way, which, of course, made the discovery more difficult. This explains the fact that C/2011 K1 had already passed perihelion in April 2011 at a distance of ~3.3 a.u. and is now already moving away from the Earth. Most likely the new comet is a long-period comet, although its period is not yet precisely known. It is also interesting that the inclination of the comet’s orbit is on the order of 120 degrees, i.e. its movement is retrograde. It’s location in the Milky Way also made determining its cometary nature more difficult. C/2010 K1 always was found between stars or in their vicinity.

Still, several observatories, including ours, were able to confirm that the new object, is nothing other than a new comet. Once again, I congratulate it’s discoverers!

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