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Comet


Comet of the Week: Bennett 1969i

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Comet of the Week: Comet Hyakutake C/1996 B2

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Comet Bennett 1969i’s Perihelion: 1970 March 20.04, q = 0.538 AU  One of the underlying foundations of “Ice and Stone 2020” is the fact that it marks the anniversary of my observations of my very first comet, Comet Tago-Sato-Kosaka 1969g – also, incidentally, the first comet ever observed from space. (I discuss this comet, including my …

Comet Hyakutake C/1996 B2’s Perihelion: 1996 May 1.40, q = 0.230 AU  Following the discovery of Comet Hale-Bopp in mid-1995, the entire world was awaiting its expected good show in 1997. But while we were waiting, another comet came by and provided another stunning show. This object was discovered on January 30, 1996 by a Japanese …

The Great Comet of 1843’s Perihelion: 1843 February 27.91, q = 0.006 AU  For the first time in “Ice and Stone 2020,” a Kreutz sungrazer is my “Comet of the Week.” Some of the members of this group of comets have been among the brightest and most spectacular comets in all of recorded history, and as …

Comet 1P/Halley 1982i’s Perihelion: 1986 February 9.46, q = 0.587 AU  Those of us space-minded people who came of age during the middle decades of the 20th Century learned of Comet Halley and its impending return in 1986, and many of us undoubtedly heard stories of its appearance during its excellent return in 1910; my paternal …

Comet West 1975n’s Perihelion: 1976 February 25.22, q = 0.197 AU  What I consider to be the best comet I have ever seen was missed by most of the general public. Part of this was due to the fact that it put on its best appearance in the sleepy hours before dawn, but a large part …

Comet Whipple-Fedtke-Tevzadze 1942g’s Perihelion: 1943 February 6.72, q = 1.354 AU  The name of Fred Whipple is legendary in cometary astronomy. He spent several decades as an astronomer and professor at Harvard University, and is best known for developing what he called the “icy conglomerate” model of a comet’s nucleus (more commonly referred to as the …