C/2012 K1

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Not to be confused with the comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) that became bright in March 2013.
C/2012 K1
NEOWISE-2012K1-pia18460.jpg
NEOWISE series of infrared images of C/2012 K1 on 20 May 2014
Discovery
Discovered by Pan-STARRS
1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien (F51)[1]
Discovery date 17 May 2012
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch 11 August 2014[2]
Perihelion 1.0545 AU (q)[2]
Eccentricity 1.00021[2]
Orbital period several million years inbound (Barycentric solution for epoch 1950)[3]
~700000 yr outbound
(Barycentric solution for epoch 2050)[3]
Inclination 142.43°[2]
Last perihelion 27 August 2014[2]

C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) is a retrograde Oort cloud comet discovered at magnitude 19.7, 8.7 AU from the Sun on 17 May 2012 using the Pan-STARRS telescope located near the summit of Haleakalā, on the island of Maui in Hawaii (U.S.).[1]

The comet started 2014 as a northern hemisphere object. By late April 2014 it had brightened to roughly apparent magnitude ~8.8[4] making it a small telescope/binoculars target for experienced observers. In June and July 2014 the comet was near the Sickle of Leo.[5] As of 3 July 2014 the comet had brightened to magnitude 7.9.[6]

From 12 July 2014 until 6 September 2014 it had an elongation less than 30 degrees from the Sun.[4] The comet came to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 27 August 2014 at a distance of 1.05 AU (157,000,000 km; 98,000,000 mi) from the Sun.[2] It crosses the celestial equator on 15 September 2014 becoming a southern hemisphere object.[4]

The comet peaked around magnitude 6.9 in mid-October 2014[7][8] when it had an elongation of around 75 degrees from the Sun.[4] It is visible in binoculars and small telescopes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "MPEC 2012-K36 : COMET C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS)". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2013-05-05.  (CK12K010)
  2. ^ a b c d e f "MPEC 2014-K54: Observations and Orbits of Comets". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2014-05-26. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  3. ^ a b Horizons output. "Barycentric Osculating Orbital Elements for Comet C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS)". Retrieved 2013-05-05.  (Solution using the Solar System Barycenter and barycentric coordinates. Select Ephemeris Type:Elements and Center:@0)
  4. ^ a b c d "Elements and Ephemeris for C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS)". IAU Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
  5. ^ Bob King (2014-06-11). "Comet PanSTARRS Keeps Getting Better". Sky & Telescope. 
  6. ^ Seiichi Yoshida (2014-07-20). "Weekly Information about Bright Comets (2014 July 5: North)". Seiichi Yoshida's Comet Catalog. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  7. ^ Yoshida, Seiichi (2014-10-20). "Weekly Information about Bright Comets (2014 Oct. 18: South)". aerith.net. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  8. ^ Seiichi Yoshida (2013-04-29). "C/2012 K1 ( PanSTARRS )". Seiichi Yoshida's Comet Catalog. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 

External links[edit]