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179P/Jedicke

Past, Present, and Future Orbits by Kazuo Kinoshita

Discovery

Discovered by Robert Jedicke (SPACEWATCH, Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA) with the 0.9-m reflector on 1995 January 8.4. The comet was described as magnitude 19.0, with a nucleus of magnitude 20.9. The comet exhibited a coma 17" across and a tail extending 2.91 arc minutes towards PA 262 degrees.

Historical Highlights

  • The first orbit was published by Brian G. Marsden (Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams) on 1995 January 13. Using 8 positions obtained from 1995 January 8 to 10, he calculated a parabolic orbit with a perihelion date of 1994 April 13.91. Marsden published a revised orbit on January 24, which showed the comet was moving in an elliptical orbit of short period. He used 14 positions obtained during the period of January 8 to 24 and determined a perihelion date of 1993 March 20.16 and a period of 14.38 years. A revised orbit was later computed using 76 positions obtained during the period of 1995 January 8 to May 27. It revealed a perihelion date of 1993 August 17.4 and a period of 14.33 years. This proved an excellent representation as, following the comet's recovery in 2006, a new orbit for the 1993 apparition revealed a perihelion date of August 17.28 and a period of 14.33 years.
  • Longer exposure photographs typically gave magnitudes of 18.3 to 18.6 around mid-January 1995, which marked the greatest brightness for the apparition. The comet slowly faded and was last detected on 1996 January 21 by astronomers at Kitt Peak National Observatory (Arizona, USA). The magnitude was then given as 22.6.
  • The comet was recovered by J. V. Scotti (Spacewatch, Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA) on 2006 October 22.19, using the Spacewatch II telescope. He described the comet as nearly stellar and magnitude 20.7.
  • cometography.com