|Past, Present, and Future Orbits by Kazuo Kinoshita|
Copyright © 2001 by Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT)
The Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search (LONEOS) survey program discovered this apparently asteroidal object on 2000 November 25.44. The magnitude was given as 17.2. It was designated 2000 WT2000. Several prediscovery images were found by the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program going back to 2000 September 27. At the time of the earliest prediscovery observation, the magnitude was given as 18.9. C. W. Hergenrother (Catalina) obtained CCD exposures with the 1.5-m reflector on 2001 Feb. 13.3, which revealed a highly condensed coma 9.7 arc seconds across, with a red magnitude of 16.3. There was also a tail extending 8.0 arc seconds toward PA 110°. The cometary activity was confirmed on February 16.9, by J. Ticha and M. Tichy (Klet Observatory, Czech Republic) and M. Hicks and B. Buratti (Palomar Observatory, California, USA). Ticha and Tichy obtained CCD images with the 57-cm reflector. The images revealed a faint asymmetric coma exhibiting a tail extending 9 arc seconds toward PA 155°. Hicks and Buratti obtained CCD images with the 1.5-m reflector on February 17.2. They found a faint teardrop-shaped tail extending about 15 arc seconds toward PA 60°.