Comets - 116P/Wild - 0116P
Type Periodic Perihelion Date 11 January 2016 Perihelion Distance (q) 2.2 Aphelion Distance (Q) 4.8 Period (Years)   6.5 Eccentricity (e)   0.37 Inclination (i)   3.6 Click for NASA orbit diagram
Hills Observatory: 1 January 2013 to 10 July 2018
COMETS COMETS
DEEP SKY DEEP SKY
The comet was discovered by Paul Wild (Astronomical Institute, Berne University, Switzerland) on 1990, January 21. He described the comet as strongly condensed, with a total magnitude of 13.5-14.0. There was a fan-shaped tail extending about 1 arc minute toward the northwest. 116P/Wild, also known as Wild 4, fits the definition of an Encke-type comet with (TJupiter > 3; a < aJupiter).  Revised orbit calculations by Wild indicated the comet passed close to Jupiter during 1987 July, with the result that the semimajor axis changed from 4.6 to 3.4 and the eccentricity from 0.17 to 0.41. The comet's maximum magnitude was consistently estimated as about 12. Because of the large perihelion distance, this value remained virtually unchanged from about late February until late April 1990. The comet's second appearance began on 1994 November 9, when it was recovered by J. V. Scotti (Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Arizona, USA). The comet's image was then indistinguishable from that of a star and Scotti estimated the magnitude as 20.4-20.7. The position indicated the predicted orbit needed a correction of -0.3 day. The comet steadily brightened as it approached its 1996 August 31 perihelion date. By the beginning of 1996 it was already brighter than magnitude 13. By summer it had reached a maximum brightness of 12, and then began a slow fading thereafter. The comet reached a minimum solar elongation of only 40' on October 30. The comet next passed perihelion on 2003 January 21 and came within 1.29 AU of Earth during the first days of May of 2003. The comet was brightest during the period of April into early June, when the total magnitude was typically estimated within the range of 11.5 to 12. The coma was then 1-1.5 arc minute across. On 4 November 2042 it will pass about 0.029 AU (4,300,000 km) from Ceres. Date 10x10 mag Error Kphot mag Coma ' 18 Dec 14 17.98 0.16 15.2 0.2 29 Dec 14 17.84 0.16 17.6 0.2 17 Feb 15 17.13 0.07 17.0 0.2 11 Mar 15 18.16 0.03 18.0 0.2 25-Oct-15 15.65 0.08 13.5 0.2 01-Nov-15 15.46 0.10 12.1 0.3 17-Nov-15 15.38 0.05 13.6 0.4 10-Dec-15 15.41 0.23 13.6 0.3 18-Dec-15 15.40 0.03 13.9 0.3 07-Feb-16   15.27 0.02 13.5 0.5 21-Feb-16 15.16 0.02 13.2 0.5 04-Mar-16 15.18 0.02 13.5 0.5 13-Apr-16 14.83 0.01 12.8 0.7 01-May-16 14.46 0.04 11.9 0.9 12-May-16 14.45 0.01 12.3 1.0 28-May-16 14.17 0.02 12.3 1.1 08-Jun-16 14.71 0.01 12.0 1.1 12-Jun-16 14.79 0.01 12.0 1.0 26-Jun-16 15.32 0.02 11.9 0.7 24-Aug-16 16.87 0.01 13.6 0.2 02-Sep-16 17.09 0.01 15.0 0.2 19-Sep-16 17.29 0.19 14.2 0.2
This image comprises 4 x Clear (120 seconds each), stacked on the comet, taken with the 0.5m f/2.9 ASA Astrograph with FLI ML3200 camera, at 00:29 UTC on 28 May 2016 while at an altitude of 38 degrees. The field of view is 24’ x 14’, North is up and East to the left.
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