Comet McNaught-Russell

Infobox Comet
name=C/1993 Y1 (McNaught-Russell)


discoverer=nobr|Robert H. McNaught Kenneth S. Russell
discovery_date=nobr|December 17,1993 [ [http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iauc/05900/05910.html IAUC 5910] ]
designations=1994 XI
1993v
epoch=
semimajor=
perihelion=0.8676 AU
aphelion=250 AU
eccentricity=0.9932
period=1430 ± 30 a
inclination= 51.59°
last_p=March 31, 1994
next_p=3400s

Comet C/1993 Y1 (McNaught-Russell) is a long period comet that reached a maximum magnitude of 6.5 (just below naked eye level) in early 1994. It was discovered by Robert H. McNaught and Kenneth S. Russell using the U. K. Schmidt Telescope in Australia. McNaught and Russell worked together at Siding Spring Observatory and together discovered five comets betseen 1991 and 1995.

Orbit

Its orbital period was found to be very high — initially estimated at over 1400 years.

Historical records

It was noted by Francois Colas (Paris observatory) [Guinness Book of Astronomy, (1995), Guinness Publishing, London] and Ichiro Hasegawa [ [http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iauc/05900/05943.html#Item3 IAUC 5943] ] that the path of the comet coincided with a comet C/574 G1 recorded in AD 574 over a period from April 4 to May 23 by observers in China. This would give the comet a period of 1430 ± 30 years and so making it the longest period comet to be beheld on two separate returns. Since the comet was not observed to approach any planets, its orbit should remain largely unchanged on its next return. This would place its next approach to the inner solar system in 3400s.

Footnotes


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