Cometary Science Newsletter

September 2019
Michael S. P. Kelley (

Faculty and Postdoctoral Positions in School of Earth and Planetary Sciences (SEPS), National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, India

NISER is one of India’s premier research-driven academic institutes. SEPS/NISER is a unique center in India that has been established to emerge and excel in high quality and interdisciplinary scientific research works in Planetary Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Atmospheric-Ocean Sciences. NISER provides start-up grant and academic freedom for promising candidates.

SEPS seeks faculty applications from highly motivated and promising candidates for faculty positions at various level. Interested candidates should send their application to

Current faculty members in SEPS are involved actively in Indian and large international collaborative projects and astronomy/planetary/exoplanetary missions, e.g., SKA, TMT, ALMA, NASA’s JWST, SOFIA and Dawn. Interdisciplinary works on astrochemistry & astrobiology, star & planet formation, radio/sub-mm/infrared astronomy, exoplanets, planetary minerology & morphology, small bodies & meteorites, planetary remote sensing, land-atmosphere coupling, boundary layer dynamics, current challenges in climate change, etc., have been initiated already.

Applications and positions are subject to rolling basis as per NISER/DAE norms:

NISER/SEPS also highly welcomes candidates who are interested in prestigious independent faculty/fellowship program, for example, Ramanujan Fellowship, DST INSPIRE Faculty, SERB-NPDF etc.

Conference Announcements

Announcements for cometary conferences or workshops. Limited to 2000 characters.

LSST Town Hall/Workshop at the EPSC-DPS Meeting: Getting Ready for LSST: 5+ million small bodies, 1+ billion observations

Thursday September 19, 2019 1:30–3:15pm, EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019 , Geneva, Switzerland - Open to all EPSC-DPS attendees

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST; is an 8-meter, wide-field, ground-based survey program that will survey half the sky every few nights in six optical bands from 320 to 1050 nm. The LSST telescope is currently being constructed at Cerro Pachón, Chile, with first light expected in 2020 and start of survey operations in 2022.The LSST is slated to make a significant contribution to the study of the Solar System, delivering over a billion highly precise observations of millions of Solar System objects (5mmag photometry and 10mas astrometry, per observation, at the bright end). Current estimates show yields ranging from ~100,000 new discoveries of nearby NEOs, to 5.5 million for the main belt, and ~40,000 for KBO populations. The majority of these objects will receive hundreds of observations in multiple bandpasses.This dataset presents tremendous opportunities for Solar System science. This town hall/workshop will overview the science possibilities, report on project status and expected data products, and discuss how to get involved in preparations for science with LSST.

Contact Mario Jurić ( and Ranpal Gill ( with any questions

Comet Notes

Brief observational reports or other notes related to specific comets. Limited to 1000 characters. The CSN is not intended to replace telegram services or other breaking news outlets.

Outbursts at comets 46P/Wirtanen, 64P/Swift-Gerhels, and 78P/Gehrels 2

We have been examining data from the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) for cometary outbursts. This effort includes a daily analysis of recently observed comets, and an archival search for any events that may have been missed in the prompt data products. Several outbursts have already been discovered or observed (CBET 4544, ATel 12380, ATel 12994, ATel 12871, ATel 12931). In our examination of the 2018 data archive, we have identified four new events at comets 64P/Swift-Gehrels and 78P/Gehrels 2, and present a preliminary analysis in a Research Note of the AAS (Kelley et al., in press). The Note also includes ZTF photometry of the 46P/Wirtanen outburst discovered by Farnham et al. (submitted to ApJ Letters).

Michael S. P. Kelley,
Dennis Bodewits,
Quanzhi Ye,
on behalf of the ZTF Collaboration