C/2011 C1 is the 58th comet found by Robert H. McNaught, the most prolific comet discoverer of all time.
It was discovered on 2011, Feb. 10.71 with the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt telescope + CCD during the course of the Siding Spring Survey (E12). It was subsequently placed on the NEO Confirmation Page of the Minor Planet Center under the temporary designation SC55D11.
Despite the weather forecast for the night of February 11-12, the sky remained clear here in northern Italy so I was able to image it just before dawn of Feb. 12 with our 0.38-m f/6.8 reflector + CCD. It was quite low (altitude around 25° when the Sun was 14.5° below the horizon) in the constellation Scorpius.
Fortunately the transparency and seeing were quite good so we could confirm its cometary nature (strong central condensation and a coma 15″ wide with a faint and broad 20″ tail around PA 280°).
The discovery was announced on IAUC 9197 (subscription required) and the astrometry published on MPEC 2011-C79.
Below is our image:
“G.V.Schiaparelli” Astronomical Observatory
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