Shortly after mid-December of 2000, the LINEAR team announced the discovery of an asteroidal object on images obtained on December 16.07. The magnitude was given as 17.8. The available positions allowed the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (the clearinghouse for observations of comets and asteroids) to determine a rough orbit, which, in turn, allowed them to link these observations to another LINEAR object detected on November 16 and 18. Interestingly, T. B. Spahr (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Mt. Hopkins) observed the object on December 20.15 and detected a coma 10 arcsec across and a broad, faint tail extending 10-20 arcsec toward PA 45. Thus, the object was really a comet.
False color combined image of 2000 WM1 from 16 x 30sec. images taken about 0UT on December 9, 2001. North is down and East is right.
Comet 2000 WM1 on November 10, 2001
Comet 2000 WM1 on Oct 14, 2001 30 sec. exposure