P/2019 LD2 (ATLAS)


Type: Periodic Perihelion date: 8 April 2020 Perihelion distance (q): 4.6 Aphelion distance (Q) : 6.0 Period (years): 12.1 Eccentricity (e): 0.13 Inclination (i): 11.6 JPL orbit diagram COBS lightcurve An 18th magnitude object was discovered in images taken with the 0.5m Schmidt at Mauna Loa on 10 June 2019 by the ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) team. Alan Fitzsimmons and David Young detected a coma and this was confirmed with follow-up observations. It is in a temporary Jupiter orbit (behaving like a Trojan asteroid), having been in a near encounter to 0.092 au on 17 February 2017. It will again approach Jupiter on 13 May 2028, to 0.119 au, which will again transform the orbit. Finally a very close approach to Jupiter will occur in January 2063, with the orbit currently unknowable after that time, though possibly transitioning to a Jupiter Family Comet. Prediscovery observations made by the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on 10 August 2018, taken together with non-detections from 2017, suggest that cometary activity was then taking place. The non-detections are consistent with an upper limit of the nucleus size of around 3km. Observations (VEMag = visual equivalent magnitude) Date 10x10 mag Error VEmag Coma ' 31-Aug-21 18.8 0.4 03-Sep-21 19.2 0.4