|Past, Present, and Future Orbits by Kazuo Kinoshita|
The story of this comet officially began in September of 1986. K. S. Russell (Siding Spring Observatory, Australia) was examining a 90-min exposure taken by F. G. Watson on September 3.64 with the U.K. Schmidt Telescope. The comet appeared as a diffuse trail, since it moved during the exposure, and the magnitude was estimated as 17. M. Hartley obtained a 30-minute exposure with the same telescope on September 25.63, but independent examination by Russell and, later, R. H. McNaught revealed no trace of the comet. No formal announcement was ever made by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams.
The story continued in 1993, when C. S. Shoemaker (Palomar Observatory, California, USA) discovered a minor planet on plates exposed with the 46-cm Palomar Schmidt telescope and gave positions for November 19.40, November 19.44, and November 20.44. It received the designation "1993 WU", but it was not followed further.
The object was found a third time in 2000. The LINEAR survey obtained five images of a minor planet during the period of August 31.42 to August 31.47. It received the designation 2000 QD181. LINEAR obtained three more positions during the period of September 5.44 to September 5.46. Another minor planet was found by LINEAR on November 6.41, which was designated 2000 XV43. Three additional images were obtained on November 6, and additional images were obtained on December 5 and 7.
T. B. Spahr announced on 2001 January 20 (MPEC 2001-B13) that minor planet 2000 QD181 was identical to minor planet 2000 XV43 and, also, minor planet 1993 WU.