New ‘Polish’ Comet

Polish Discovery

Polish Discovery

Four Polish amateur astronomers discovered a new comet on 23 March this year. Although new comets are usually named after their discoverers, in this case the astronomers decided to name it after their observatory. Therefore, the comet has been designated C/2015 F2 (Polonia) and it is the fourth comet to be discovered by Polish astronomers since WWII. Marcin Gędek (an entrepreneur), Michał Kusiak (a student of astronomy), Rafał Reszelewski (a high-school student) and Michał Żołnowski (a doctor) made the discovery in the ‘Polonia’ Observatory in the Atacama desert in Chile. After the four observed the comet, an international group of astronomers performed follow-up measurements to confirm the discovery. Three days later, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) published the results in the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT). Michał Kusiak revealed that despite initial difficulties, everything went extremely well, whereas the moment of the discovery was amazing and hard to describe. Currently, the comet is observable only in the southern hemisphere. However, it has been speculated that within a few months it will be possible to see the object with the use of amateur telescopes in Poland also.

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