P alomar disco v ery and initial characterization of nak ed-ey e long-period comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

B. T. Bolin, F. J. Masci, D. A. Duev, J. W. Milburn, J. D. Neill, J. N. Purdum, C. Avdellidou, M. Saki, Y. C. Cheng, M. Delbo, C. Fremling, M. Ghosal, Z. Y. Lin, C. M. Lisse, A. Mahabal

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Long-period comets are planetesimal remnants constraining the environment and volatiles of the protoplanetary disc. We report the disco v ery of hyperbolic long-period comet C/2022 E3 Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), which has a perihelion ∼1.11 au, an eccentricity ≳1 and an inclination ∼109 °, from images taken with the Palomar 48-inch telescope during morning twilight on 2022 March 2. Additionally, we report the characterization of C/2022 E3 (ZTF) from observations taken with the Palomar 200-inch, the Palomar 60-inch, and the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility in early 2023 February to 2023 March when the comet passed within ∼0.28 au of the Earth and reached a visible magnitude of ∼5. We measure g -r = 0.70 ±0.01, r -i = 0.20 ±0.01, i -z = 0.06 ±0.01, z -J = 0.90 ±0.01, J -H = 0.38 ±0.01, and H -K = 0.15 ±0.01 colours for the comet from observations. We measure the A(0 °)f ρ(0.8 μm) in a 6500 km radius from the nucleus of 1483 ±40 cm, and CN, C 3 , and C 2 production of 5.43 ±0.11 ×10 25 , 2.01 ±0.04 ×10 24 , and 3.08 ±0.5 ×10 25 mol s -1 , similar to other long-period comets. We additionally observe the appearance of jet-like structures at a scale of ∼4000 km in wide-field g -band images, which may be caused by the presence of CN gas in the near-nucleus coma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L42-L46
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • asteroids: general
  • minor planets


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