246P/NEAT (0246P)

Type: Periodic Perihelion date: 22 February 2021 Perihelion distance (q): 2.9 Aphelion distance (Q) : 5.2 Period (years): 8.1 Eccentricity (e): 0.29 Inclination (i): 16.0 JPL orbit diagram COBS lightcurve 246P/NEAT = 2004 F3 = 2010 V2 On 28 March 2004 NEAT discovered a 17th magnitude comet. The observations show that it passed within 0.37 AU of Jupiter in July 2001, which reduced the perihelion distance. It reached perihelion at 2.86 AU in early January 2005. Kazuo Kinoshita calculates that this passage reduced the perihelion distance from 3.8 AU to 2.9 AU. The comet will approach Jupiter again in 2024, when the perihelion will be increased to 3.5 AU. The returns of 2005, 2013 and 2021 are the closest over the last 200 years. The comet should have been bright enough for discovery at earlier returns, which suggests that the change in perihelion distance has enhanced the activity of the comet. The comet was recovered by E. Romas (Rostov-na-Donu, Russia), A. Novichonok (Kondopoga, Russia), and Dmitry Chestnov (Saransk, Russia) on forty stacked 120-s images obtained on 2 November 2010 with the 0.5-m f/8.3 Maksutov-Cassegrain reflector at the Kislovodsk Mountain Astronomical Station of Pulkovo Observatory. Gary Hug (Scranton, KS, U.S.A.) found the comet to be slightly diffuse on images taken with a 0.56-m reflector on 3 November. Observations (VEMag = visual equivalent magnitude) Date 10x10 mag Error VEmag Coma ' 28-Mar-13 15.21 0.02 14.4 0.4 10-May-13 15.05 0.02 13.9 0.4 09-Jun-13 15.37 0.06 14.5 0.4 27-Jun-13 15.14 0.04 13.9 0.3 07-Jul-13 14.89 0.02 13.5 0.5 30-Jul-13 14.94 0.02 13.5 0.5 03-Oct-13 16.05 0.02 14.8 0.4 17-Oct-13 16.13 0.03 14.9 0.3 11-Nov-13 15.93 0.02 14.8 0.2 29-May-14 16.78 0.05 15.0 0.2 14-Jun-14 16.96 0.08 16.7 0.2 12-Jul-14 16.84 0.09 16.3 0.2 26-Jul-14 16.68 0.06 15.6 0.2 05-Aug-14 16.59 0.04 15.6 0.2 20-Aug-14 16.50 0.03 15.4 0.3 06-Sep-14 16.36 0.03 15.5 0.2 17-Sep-14 16.39 0.01 15.3 0.4 26-Sep-14 16.37 0.04 15.5 0.3 11-Oct-14 15.96 0.05 12.8 0.2 20-Oct-14 16.55 0.07 15.5 0.3 27-Oct-14 16.61 0.04 15.4 0.3 08-Nov-14 16.71 0.07 15.3 0.2 17-Nov-14 16.76 0.03 15.3 0.2 24-Nov-14 16.86 0.04 15.9 0.3 04-Dec-14 16.86 0.09 16.0 0.2 11-Dec-14 17.04 0.02 16.0 0.3 18-Dec-14 17.10 0.02 15.8 0.3 30-Dec-14 17.24 0.18 14.5 0.2 10-Dec-19 17.37 0.04 17.0 0.3 28-Dec-19 17.17 0.01 16.9 0.3 04-Jan-20 17.06 0.04 16.5 0.3 22-Jan-20 16.70 0.02 16.3 0.3 01-Feb-20 16.52 0.01 16.1 0.3 19-Feb-20 16.32 0.02 15.5 0.4 21-Feb-20 16.29 0.02 15.7 0.6 04-Mar-20 16.07 0.01 15.5 0.4 18-Mar-20 15.77 0.02 14.7 0.6 28-Mar-20 15.64 0.01 15.0 0.7 22-May-20 15.63 0.01 14.7 0.5 19-Mar-21 13.7 0.6 10-Apr-21 14.4 0.6 18-Apr-21 14.9 0.4 07-May-21 15.1 0.4 14-May-21 15.32 0.04 13.3 0.8