C/2012 K1

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C/2012 K1
Discovered by Pan-STARRS
1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien (F51)[1]
Discovery date 19 May 2012
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch 11 August 2014[2]
Perihelion 1.0545 AU (q)[2]
Eccentricity 1.00021[2]
Orbital period ~800000 yr
(Barycentric solution for epoch 2050)[3]
Inclination 142.43°[2]
Next perihelion 27 August 2014[2]

C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS) is a comet discovered 8.7 AU from the Sun on 19 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 starts 2014 as a northern hemisphere object. By late April 2014 it is expected to have brightened to roughly apparent magnitude ~9[4] making it a small telescope/binoculars target for experienced observers.

The comet will come 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.[1] It crosses the celestial equator on 15 September 2014 becoming a southern hemisphere object.

The comet should reach its peak magnitude of ~6 in mid-October 2014[5] when it will have an elongation of around 75 degrees from the Sun. It may be visible to the naked eye, but will be much easier to detect in binoculars.


  1. ^ a b c "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 "MPEC 2014-E86: Observations and Orbits of Comets". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  3. ^ 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. ^ "Elements and Ephemeris for C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS)". IAU Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 
  5. ^ Seiichi Yoshida (2013-04-29). "C/2012 K1 ( PanSTARRS )". Seiichi Yoshida's Comet Catalog. Retrieved 2013-05-05. 

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