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42P/Neujmin 3

Past, Present, and Future Orbits by Kazuo Kinoshita


     G. N. Neujmin (Simeis, Crimea) discovered this comet on routine minor planet survey plates exposed on 1929 August 2.9. He described it as about magnitude 13.

Historical Highlights

  • The comet was recognised as a short-period one after two weeks of observations, and the first attempt at determining the orbital period indicated a value of 11.98 years. Later calculations refined the value to 10.90 years.
  • The best orbit for the 1929 apparition was used by H. Q. Rasmusen to predict the comet's path during the next return in 1940. Numerous searches were made, but all were unsuccessful.
  • W. H. Julian provided a prediction for the next return in 1951. He used Rasmusen's calculated planetary effects and applied them to a new orbit for the 1929 return that was determined by Itaru Imai. Searches began in early 1951 and L. E. Cunningham recovered the comet on May 4, about 0.5 degree from the predicted position.
  • Photographic searches failed to find the comet in 1961, but Roemer and McCallister (Steward Observatory, Arizona, USA) located it on photographs taken on 1972 April 17. The position indicated the prediction required a correction of only -0.03 day.
  • The comet was missed at its next return in 1983, but was recovered by James V. Scotti on 1993 May 25. The magnitude was given as 21.0, which was also the magnitude given when Scotti saw the comet for the final time on August 16.
  • Close approaches to planets: This comet made no approaches to within 1 AU of a planet during the 20th century. It makes two close approaches to Earth and two close approaches to Jupiter during the 21st century.
    • 0.88 AU from Jupiter on 2060 March 26
      • decreased perihelion distance from 2.00 AU to 1.92 AU
      • decreased orbital period from 10.64 to 10.21 years
    • 0.99 AU from Earth on 2078 August 2
    • 0.67 AU from Jupiter on 2086 November 2
      • decreased perihelion distance from 1.93 AU to 1.82 AU
      • increased orbital period from 10.26 to 9.76 years
    • 0.87 AU from Earth on 2098 July 1