13 April 2015 First South African Comet Discovery in 35 Years
In the early hours of the 7th
April, an un-manned robotic telescope, MASTER-SAAO, situated near
Sutherland in the Karoo, discovered a new comet. This is the first comet
to be discovered in South Africa since 1978.The
Russian – South African run telescope has been scanning the southern
skies since it began operating in late December 2014, looking for
“transients” – new objects which appear in the sky for the first time.
Since then, over 60 newobjects
have been discovered, most of them being erupting or exploding stars.
However, the MASTER-SAAO telescope has just discovered its first comet.