Discovered in 2010 October by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey, P/2010 TO20 LINEAR-Grauer (P/LG) was initially classified as an inert Jupiter Trojan. Subsequent observations obtained in 2011 October revealed P/LG to be a Jupiter-family comet (JFC). P/LG has one of the largest perihelia (q = 5.1 au) and lowest eccentricities (e = 0.09) of the known JFCs. We report on observations of P/LG taken on 2011 October 29 and numerical simulations of its orbital evolution. Analysis of our data reveals that P/LG has a small nucleus (<3 km in radius) with broad-band colours (B - R = 0.99 ± 0.06 mag, V - R =0.47 ± 0.06 mag) typical of JFCs. We find a model-dependent mass-loss rate close to 100 kg s-1, most likely powered bywater-ice sublimation. Our numerical simulation indicates that the orbit of P/LG is unstable on very short (10-100 yr) time-scales and suggest that this object has recently evolved into its current location from a more distant, Centaur-type orbit. The orbit, dynamics and activity ofP/LG share similarities with the well-known case of comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.
- methods: data analysis
- techniques: photometric
- comets: individual: P/2010 TO20 LINEAR-Grauer
- minor planets
- asteroids: general