Past, Present, and Future Orbits by Kazuo Kinoshita

M. Jager and G. Rhemann image of 267P exposed on 2006 September 23
Copyright © 2006 by M. Jager and G. Rhemann

This image was acquired on 2006 September 23. Three 5-minute exposures were obtained with an 8-inch reflector and a CCD camera.


The Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search (LONEOS) survey program (Arizona, USA) discovered this apparently asteroidal object on 2006 August 29.27; however, the object soon displayed a cometary appearance. P. Birtwhistle (Great Shefford, Berkshire, U.K., 0.40-m f/6 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector) reported that his stack of images (total exposure time 44 min) from Aug. 29.9 UT showed that the object had a 9"-diameter coma (FWHM 4".7) and a faint tail about 30" long (initially in p.a. 180 deg but then curving back after 7" in p.a. 230 deg). Other observations arrived from L.Buzzi, G.Sostero, E.Guido, J.Young, R.Miles, and C.Jacques. The magnitude was given around 18-18.5.

Historical Highlights

  • According to MPEC 2006-Q67 (issued 2006 Aug 31), the orbit was based on 48 position spanning 2006 August 29-31 and indicated a perihelion date of 2006 September 2.76 and a period of 5.85 years; so the comet was discovered during the maximum brightness.
  • V. Nevski, D. Ivanov, A. Novichonok, and I. Kondratenko (ISON-Kislovodsk Observatory) with a 0.4-m f/3 reflector sent observations of a comet to Minor Planet Center on 2012 September 11.9, as a possible recovery of P/2006 Q2. Additional images were taken by R. Holmes (Ashmore, IL, U.S.A.) with a 0.61-m f/4 astrograph. The comet reached perihelion 0.8 days late in 2012 August compared to predictions on the MPC 65939 by B.G.Marsden. Orbital elements calculated by G.V.Williams from 153 observations spanning 2006 Aug. 29-2012 Sept. 12 (mean residual 0".5) indicated a period of 5.96 years. According to Nakano predictions, the comet will return on 2018 July 22.32UT.
  • cometography.com