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Past, Present, and Future Orbits by Kazuo Kinoshita

A. Nakamura photo of 148P exposed on 2000 December 22.47
Copyright © 2000 by Akimasa Nakamura (Kuma Kogen Astronomical Observatory, Japan)

The CCD image was taken on 2000 December 22.47, using a 0.60-m f/6 Ritchey-Chretien telescope.


     Early in 1967, Jean H. Anderson (Department of Astronomy, University of Minnesota, USA) was examining plates obtained with the Schmidt telescope at Palomar Observatory. On plates obtained by W. J. Luyten on 1963 November 22.53, 23.49, 24.50, and 25.50, she found images of a 16th-magnitude comet. The comet exhibited a tail about 3 arc minutes long.
     K. Aksnes and Brian G. Marsden (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) calculated a parabolic orbit with a perihelion date of 1963 October 9.29. Marsden added, "It is not improbable that the comet is a short period one," as he noted an assumed elliptical orbit with a period of 5.5 years fit the four available positions better than did the parabolic orbit. The assumed elliptical orbit had a perihelion date of 1963 November 7.87. The 5.5-year period was chosen by Marsden "as a reasonable lower bound." The period was too uncertain for searches at later returns.
     In the course of a routine search for near-Earth objects, LINEAR discovered an apparently asteroidal object on 2000 September 24.35. The magnitude was given as 19.8. A 300-second CCD exposure made by C. W. Hergenrother and A. E. Gleason (Steward Observatory) with the 1.54-m reflector on November 24.3 revealed a highly condensed coma 5 arc seconds across and a tail extending 15 arc seconds toward PA 45°. The object was officially announced as a comet on November 25, with a perihelion date of 2001 May 2.1 and an orbital period of 7.04 years. On December 23, the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams announced that S. Nakano had linked this comet with that announced by Anderson in 1967.

Historical Highlights

  • Nakano said the 1963 orbit had a perihelion date of 1963 October 28.5 and an orbital period of 7.89 years. He noted the comet had passed close to Jupiter in 1961 August (0.10 AU) and 1985 April (0.40 AU).
  • cometography.com