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Astron. Astrophys. 333, 746-752 (1998)

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5. Conclusions

We have recovered the periodic comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle using the Keck 10-m telescope on 07 March 1997 when the comet was at a distance of r = 4.43 AU; the observation was confirmed 3 nights later by means of observations with the ESO NTT. At the time of recovery, the comet was not active. From a new orbital solution, based on previous apparitions and on the recovery image, we were able to identify pre-recovery images of the comet at r = 6.74 AU, and upper limits to the brightness on 2 additional dates. By the time of our last observation, at 3.48 AU, the comet was still inactive. From the average m(1,1,0) found from the data ([FORMULA]), we have determined that the rotationally averaged nucleus radius to be [FORMULA] = 1.8 [FORMULA] 0.2 km, with a minimum ellipticity [FORMULA] = 1.5.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: April 20, 1998
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