Comets - 124P/Mrkos - 0124P
Type Periodic Perihelion Date 26 April 2020 Perihelion Distance (q) 1.6 Aphelion Distance (Q) 5.0 Period (Years) 6.0 Eccentricity (e) 0.50 Inclination (i) 31.5 Click for NASA orbit diagram
Hills Observatory: 1 January 2013 to 30 March 2020
Antonin Mrkos (Klet Observatory) reported the discovery of a fast-moving object to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams on 17 March 1991. The object had appeared on photographic plates exposed on 16 and 17 March, but it was not certain whether this was a minor planet or a comet. He estimated the magnitude as 15. Following the announcement, Mrkos confirmed his find on 17 and 18 March, but noted the object was diffuse, with a central condensation, thus, establishing the cometary nature. The magnitude was again estimated as 15. Before Mrkos' confirmation had arrived, astronomers at Palomar Observatory in California independently confirmed the object with the 0.46-m Schmidt telescope. They also also noted it was somewhat diffuse, and gave the total magnitude as 14.0. Prediscovery images were announced by Y. Kushida and O. Muramatsu (Yatsugatake South Base Observatory). They found images of the comet on plates exposed on 16 and 17 March, and estimated the magnitude as 14. The comet's recovery was announced during October 1995. C. W. Hergenrother (Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Arizona, USA) found the comet on CCD images obtained by S. Larson on 20 September. The nuclear magnitude (red light) was then between 21.7 and 22.3. Meanwhile, W. Offutt (Cloudcroft, New Mexico, USA) had independently obtained very poor CCD images of the comet on 28 September. It wasn't until 21 October that Offutt could confirm the recovery. The total magnitude was then determined as between 19.1 and 20.6. Date 10x10 mag Error Kphot mag Coma ' 24-Dec-19 18.85 0.06 18.5 0.3 31-Dec-19 18.70 0.03 18.2 0.2 31-Jan-20 17.53 0.04 17.4 0.3 16-Feb-20 17.07 0.02 15.9 0.3 02-Mar-20 17.07 0.14 16.3 0.3 15-Mar-20 16.98 0.08 16.7 0.3 19-Mar-20 17.06 0.04 16.3 0.4 28-Mar-20 17.11 0.05 16.7 0.3