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Astron. Astrophys. 363, 323-334 (2000)

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5. Evolution of the orbit

As a solution for prediction of the future orbit, the Model A with the discrete emission sources on the nucleus surface was chosen. Using this model the evolution of the comet orbit during 1924-2010 was investigated. Equations of the comet motion have been integrated including all planetary perturbations. The orbital elements for all perihelion times are listed in Table 7. The apparitions from which observations were performed are denoted by asterisks. The comet experienced two close encounters with Jupiter between the 1924 apparition and the 1951 one. After the first approach in June 1936 at the distance of 0.123 AU, the perihelion distance was reduced from 2.42 to 1.45 AU and the orbital period dropped from 7.6 to 6.2 years. The second approach in January 1948 at 0.716 AU caused opposite changes but much smaller than the first one. The comet once again will decrease the distance to the Sun at perihelion of the 2010 apparition shortening the orbital period to 6.1 years due to approach Jupiter in June 2007. The orbit evolution is plotted in Fig. 3.

[FIGURE] Fig. 3. The orbit evolution between 1925 and 2004


Table 7. The evolution of the orbital elements according to the Model A given in Table 6; perihelion distance q is in AU, period P is in years, angular parameters [FORMULA] are referred to J2000.0. The apparitions which have been observed and used for the orbit improvement are denoted by an asterisk.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: December 5, 2000