Comets - 32P/Comas - 0032P
Type Periodic Perihelion Date 16 October 2014 Perihelion Distance (q) 2.0 Aphelion Distance (Q) 7.0 Period (Years)   9.5 Eccentricity (e)   0.56 Inclination (i)   10.0 Click for NASA orbit diagram
Hills Observatory: 1 January 2013 to 15 September 2019
COMETS COMETS
DEEP SKY DEEP SKY
Josep Comas Solá (Fabra Observatory, Barcelona) discovered this comet on 5 November 1926 in Cetus. This observer was then conducting routine photographic work with a 6-inch telescope as part of his work on asteroids. Comas Solá estimated the magnitude as 12 and noted a slow northwestward movement. Eventually astronomers realized this comet was found several months prior to its perihelion passage, which occurred on 22 March 1927. The comet held very close to 12th-magnitude through the remainder of November and throughout December, before a slow fading set in. The reason for this early sustained brightness was a result of the comet's closest approach to Earth on 27 November (1.15 AU) and its approaching perihelion. The comet faded to 12.5 by late January, and reached 13 during March. The comet's past orbital evolution became a point of interest as several astronomers suggested early on that the comet might be a return of the then lost periodic comet Spitaler. This question remained unanswered until the 1935 return. After additional positions had been obtained, P. Ramensky investigated the orbital motion back to 1911 and applied the gravitational effects of Jupiter and Saturn. He noted the comet passed very close to Jupiter (ultimately determined by other astronomers as 0.178 AU) during May of 1912 and that, prior to this approach, the comet had a perihelion distance of 2.15 AU and an orbital period of 9.43 years. The identity with comet Spitaler was disproven. The comet has been recovered at every return since its discovery. Because of the 8.5-year period the returns through 1969 always fell in the spring or autumn months which guaranteed its approaching Earth at distances of between 1.1 and 1.4 AU. This continually brought maximum magnitudes of 12 or 13. A moderately close approach to Jupiter in 1971 (0.73 AU) initially nudged the orbital period up to 8.94 years. This brought another very favorable return in 1978 (maximum magnitude of 13). The orbital period dropped back to 8.8 years for the 1987 and 1996 returns. The comet only brightened to about magnitude 14 during the latter year. Close approaches to planets: 0.31 AU from Jupiter on 5 April 2007: increased perihelion distance from 1.83 AU to 2.00 AU and         orbital period from 8.77 to 9.58 years 1.43 AU from Jupiter on 26 September 2021: will increase perihelion distance from 2.00 AU to         2.02 AU and orbital period from 9.58 to 9.71 years Date 10x10 mag Error Kphot mag Coma ' 22 Nov 14 15.38 0.03 14.1 0.3 30 Nov 14 15.28 0.02 13.8 0.3 9 Dec 14 15.29 0.03 13.6 0.3 16 Dec 14 15.08 0.05 13.9 0.3 25 Dec 14 15.41 0.01 13.8 0.4 1 Jan 15 15.42 0.02 13.7 0.3 15 Jan 15 15.33 0.02 13.8 0.5 23 Jan 15 15.36 0.02 13.7 0.4 31 Jan 15 15.28 0.02 13.5 0.6 10 Feb 15 15.32 0.04 13.4 0.4 17 Feb 15 15.31 0.03 13.6 0.6 25 Feb 15 15.21 0.03 13.4 0.3 11 Mar 15 15.33 0.05 13.3 0.5 18 Mar 15 15.52 0.03 13.0 0.5 19-Apr-15 16.45 0.07 14.3 0.3 10-May-15 16.98 0.08 14.8 0.2 22-May-15 16.75 0.11 14.9 0.2
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