Cbet nr. 3783, issued on 2014, January 16, announces the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (discovery magnitude ~18.1) by Cristovao Jacques, Eduardo Pimentel, and Joao Ribeiro de Barros on CCD images obtained on Jan. 12.0 UT with a 0.45-m f/2.9 reflector of the Southern Observatory for Near Earth Research (SONEAR) at Oliveira, Brazil. The object has been found to show cometary appearance by CCD astrometrists elsewhere and then also by Jacques et al. The new comet has been designated C/2014 A4 (SONEAR).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp.
Stacking of 19 unfiltered exposures, 90-sec each, obtained remotely from MPC code Q62 (iTelescope, Siding Spring) on 2014, January 13.4 through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD, shows that this object is a comet: small coma nearly 5 arcsec in diameter with a hint of elongation toward North-East.

We observed the object again on January 14.5: stacking of 25 R-filtered exposures, 30-sec each, obtained remotely from MPC code E10 (Faulkes Telescope South) on 2014, January 14.5 through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD (operated by Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network), shows that this object is a comet: diffuse coma nearly 8 arcsec in diameter slightly elongated toward North-East

Comet SONEAR
© Remanzacco Observatory


Above, our confirmation image obtained with Faulkes South. Click on it for a bigger version.

M.P.E.C. 2014-B03 assigns the following preliminary parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2014 A4: T 2015 Sept. 11.11; e= 1.0; Peri. = 3.02; q = 3.82; Incl.= 121.26. Big congratulations to our friends Cristovao, Eduardo & Joao Ribeiro for this discovery!!

The discoverers dedicated this new comet to two great comet observers that are not among us anymore: Vicente Ferreira de Assis Neto & Giovanni Sostero.