Comet 40P/Väisälä from the Vega Observatory.
|Discovered by||Yrjö Väisälä|
|Discovery date||08 February 1939|
|1939 IV, 1949 V, 1960 IV,
1971 VII, 1982 V, 1993 VIII
|Orbital characteristics A|
|Epoch||August 23, 2004|
|Semi-major axis||4.8925 AU|
|Orbital period||10.58 a|
|Last perihelion||22 January 2004|
|Next perihelion||15 November 2014|
40P/Väisälä is a periodic comet that was discovered on February 8, 1939. Its orbit was determined on April 26, 1939. Given its aphelion distance, the comet could be a centaur. In 1994, the diameter of its nucleus was found to be 4.2 km, similar in size to that of Comet Encke.
Comet Väisälä was discovered accidentally on photographs exposed for minor planets. Originally, it was given the asteroid designation 1939 CB. However, additional findings revealed that the object was of cometary nature. The visual magnitude of Väisälä at the time of its discovery was 15. The orbital characteristics of the new comet at the time of its discovery were "a period of about 10 years, a perihelion date of 1939 April 26.0, and a perihelion distance of 1.75 AU."
The orbit of Comet Väisälä resembles that of many centaurs, and is therefore unstable due to gravitational interactions with the gas giant Jupiter. One such close approach, 0.41 AU in December 31, 1962, increased its perihelion distance from 1.74 AU to 1.87 AU and increased its orbital period from 10.46 to 11.28 years. On September 22, 1973, an approach of Jupiter 1 AU away decreased perihelion distance from 1.87 AU to 1.80 AU decreased orbital period from 11.28 to 10.88 years. Väisälä will make one more close approach in the 21st century, but it will have a minimal effect. However, in the year 2127, the comet will make a close approach of only 0.09639 AU from Jupiter. Such a close approach could drastically alter the comet's orbit.
- Gary W. Kronk. "40P/Vaisala 1". Cometography. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- "40P/Vaisala 1 orbit diagram". JPL Small-Body Database. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. SPK-ID: 1000101.
- Yoshida, Seiichi (2006). "40P/Vaisala 1". Aerith. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- "Orbit Classification (Centaur)". JPL Solar System Dynamics. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
- Horner, J.; Evans, N.W.; Bailey, M. E. (2004). "Simulations of the Population of Centaurs I: The Bulk Statistics". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 354 (3): 798–810. arXiv:astro-ph/0407400. Bibcode:2004MNRAS.354..798H. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.08240.x.
|Periodic comets (by number)|