This summer we can see unusual comet which was of little interest until early this year. Now, The astronomers are watching it because, initially, this comet was an asteroid!
On 23 octomber 2013 the astronomers from Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona who monitor the asteroid 2013 UQ4 trail, observed that it had turned into a comet. The experts saw that after it passed the sun, the space object formed a queue, unusual thing for an asteroid.
On 7 may the astronomers Taras Prystavky and Artyom Novichonok — of Comet ISON fame — conducted observations of 2013 UQ4 and concluded that it was indeed an active comet. The celestial body is part of the objects called damocloids. They are characterized as long-period bodies in retrograde and highly eccentric orbits.
These are thought to be inactive varieties of comet nuclei that’s why asteroids of this type may become later active comets. The same had happend with C/2001 OG 108 (LONEOS) and C/2002 VQ94 (LINEAR).
The orbit of these objects is simillary with halley’s comet the most known “visitor” in our sistem. The good news for astronomy enthusias is that 2013 Catalina becomes lighter and later this month may be seen even with a simple binocular.
Comet 2013 UQ4 Catalina reaches perihelion on July 6th only four days before its closest approach to the Earth at 47 million kilometres distant. At that point, the comet will have an apparent motion of about 7 degrees a day — that’s the span of a Full Moon once every 1 hour and 42 minutes — as it rises in the constellation Cepheus to the northeast at dusk in early July.
From there on out, the comet drops below naked eye visibility and heads back out in its 470 year orbit around the Sun. Be sure to check out comet 2013 UQ4 Catalina this summer… what will the Earth be like next time it passes by in 2484 A.D ?