Comet Bennett

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C/1969 Y1
Discovered by John Caister Bennett
Discovery date 1969
Comet Bennett, 1969 Y1
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch 2440680.5 (April 4, 1970)
Aphelion 282 AU
Perihelion 0.538 AU
Semi-major axis 141 AU
Eccentricity 0.9962
Orbital period 1678 a
Inclination 90.0°
Last perihelion March 20, 1970
Next perihelion 3600s

Comet Bennett, formally known as C/1969 Y1 (old style 1970 II and 1969i), was one of two brilliant comets to grace the 1970s, along with Comet West. The name is also borne by an altogether different comet, C/1974 V2.

Discovered by John Caister Bennett on December 28, 1969 while still almost two AUs from the Sun, it reached perihelion on March 20, passing closest to Earth on March 26, 1970 as it receded, peaking at magnitude 0.[1] It was last observed on February 27, 1971.[1]

Comet Bennett was scheduled to be photographed by Apollo 13 on April 14, 1970 after the crew finished their television broadcast. Shortly after completing the manoeuvre to orient the spacecraft for the photo the famous malfunction of the spacecraft prevented the photo from being taken.[2][3]


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