ATEL #13651 ATEL #13651
Title: Continuing Fragmentation of C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS)
Author: Quanzhi Ye (U. Maryland), Man-To Hui (U. Hawaii)
Posted: 21 Apr 2020; 22:46 UT
We report the continuing fragmentation of long-period comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS),
initially reported by ATel #13620, #13622, and #13629, with four major
fragments designated A to D in MPEC 2020-H28 using ground-based observations
up to UT 2020 April 18. Single-epoch observation with Hubble Space Telescope
on UT 2020 April 20.5 (HST/GO-16089, PI Ye) showed only two remaining major
fragments, likely A and B in the Minor Planet Center identification, each
consists of 1 to 2 brighter components and a couple more fainter components,
situated 4 arcsec from each other along their common orbit. Fragments C
and D seem to have been reduced into a handful of fainter fragments. At
the time of the observation, the comet was at a heliocentric distance of
1.10 au and a geocentric distance of 0.98 au. A preliminary composite image
can be found at <a href="https://www.astro.umd.edu/~qye/shared/2019Y4_HST_20200420.png" target="_blank">https://www.astro.umd.edu/~qye/shared/2019Y4_HST_20200420.png</a>.
This research is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space
Telescope obtained from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is
operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy,
Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated
with program HST GO 16089.
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