59P/Kearns-Kwee (0059P)


Type: Periodic Perihelion date: 16 September 2018 Perihelion distance (q): 2.4 Aphelion distance (Q) : 6.6 Period (years): 9.5 Eccentricity (e): 0.48 Inclination (i): 9.3 JPL orbit diagram COBS lightcurve E. Kearns and Kiem King Kwee (Palomar Observatory, California, USA) were conducting a photographic search for the long-lost periodic comet Tempel-Swift. On a plate exposed on 17 August 1963 they found a cometary object in Taurus, near the border of Auriga and Perseus. They estimated the magnitude as 12 and described the comet as diffuse, without a central condensation. The tail was less than 1 degree long. The comet was confirmed on 24 August when Elizabeth Roemer (U. S. Naval Observatory, Flagstaff station, Arizona) obtained a pair of 30-minute exposures with a 40-inch reflector. She estimated the magnitude as 16, and said the comet was diffuse, with a sharply condensed nucleus of magnitude 17.1. Marsden and Kaare Aksnes investigated the orbit of this comet prior to its 1963 discovery. The computed two orbits and began running them backwards to examine the close encounter with Jupiter in 1961. Both orbits revealed the comet to have passed within 0.03 AU of Jupiter on 1961 November 13. The comet's previous orbit would have had an orbit with an orbital period of 50 or 51 years. These details were confirmed in 1968 by Grzegorz Sitarski (Institute of Astronomy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw). Marsden and Aksnes, as well as Sitarski, supplied predictions for the 1972 apparition of this comet. Elizabeth Roemer and L. M. Vaughn (University of Arizona, USA) recovered this comet on two 60-minute exposures obtained with the 229-cm reflector at Kitt Peak on 26 July 1971. It has been observed on every apparition since. Observations (VEMag = visual equivalent magnitude) Date 10x10 mag Error VEmag Coma ' 12-Oct-18 18.01 0.03 17.8 0.2 08-Nov-18 17.98 0.12 17.0 0.3 18-Nov-18 17.92 0.04 n/a n/a 02-Dec-18 17.85 0.04 16.2 0.3 09-Dec-18 17.77 0.03 15.7 0.3 17-Dec-18 17.84 0.03 16.9 0.3 01-Jan-19 17.64 0.02 16.4 0.3 08-Jan-19 17.47 0.06 16.3 0.4 15-Jan-19 17.43 0.02 16.5 0.3