57P/du Toit–Neujmin–Delporte

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57P/du Toit–Neujmin–Delporte
Discovered byDaniel du Toit,
Grigory N. Neujmin,
Eugène Joseph Delporte
Discovery dateJuly 18, 1941
1983 IX; 1983g;
1989 XIV; 1989l;
57P/1941 OE;
1941 VII; 1941e;
57P/1941 O1;
1941 VII; 1941e;
57P/1970 N2;
1970 XIII; 1970i;
57P/1983 RD6;
1983 IX; 1983g
Orbital characteristics
EpochJuly 25, 2002
(JD 2452480.5)
Aphelion5.176218 AU
Perihelion1.729511 AU
Semi-major axis3.452865 AU
Orbital period6.42 yr
Last perihelionOctober 17, 2021[1][2][3]
May 22, 2015
Next perihelion2028-Mar-03[4]

57P/du ToitNeujminDelporte is the designation of a periodic comet. It is a member of the Jupiter family of comets whose orbits and evolution are strongly influenced by the giant planet.[5] In 2002 it was discovered to have broken up into at least 20 fragments.[6] At the time of their discovery, these shed fragments were spread out along the orbital path subtending an angle of 27 arcminutes from the comet's surviving head.[7]


The comet has many co-discoverers and a complicated discovery history due to unreliable communications during World War II. Daniel du Toit discovered the comet (retrospectively designated as P/1941 O1) on July 18, 1941, working at Boyden Station, South Africa. His cabled message about the comet did not reach his employer, Harvard College Observatory, until July 27. During a routine asteroid search, Grigory N. Neujmin (Simeis Observatory, Soviet Union) found the comet on a photographic plate exposed July 25. He confirmed his own observation on July 29, but the radiogram from Moscow took 20 days to reach Harvard. The official announcement of the new comet finally happened on August 20, 1941. A few days later, it became known that Eugène Joseph Delporte at the Royal Observatory, Belgium, also had found the comet on August 19, so he was added to the list of discoverers.

A few weeks later, news from Paul Ahnert at Sonneberg, Thuringia, Germany, reached Harvard that he also observed the new comet on July 22, but it was too late to recognize his contribution.

Fragment A was last observed in 2002.[8]


  1. ^ Seiichi Yoshida (2010-03-24). "57P/du Toit-Neujmin-Delporte". Seiichi Yoshida's Comet Catalog. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  2. ^ Patrick Rocher (2009-11-24). "Note number : 0040 P/Du Toit-Neujmin-Delporte : 57P". Institut de mécanique céleste et de calcul des éphémérides [fr]. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  3. ^ 57P past, present and future orbital elements (Kazuo Kinoshita)
  4. ^ "Horizons Batch for 57P/duToit-Neujmin-Delporte (90000632) on 2028-Mar-03" (Perihelion occurs when rdot flips from negative to positive). JPL Horizons. Archived from the original on 2022-06-18. Retrieved 2023-02-11. (JPL#K213/30 Soln.date: 2023-Apr-28)
  5. ^ Fernández, J. A.; et al. (December 1999). "The population, magnitudes, and sizes of Jupiter family comets". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 352: 327–340. Bibcode:1999A&A...352..327F.
  6. ^ "Spectacular Comet Breakup". Newsletter from the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii (No.5 - Summer 2002). 2002. Archived from the original on 2014-10-30. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
  7. ^ Fernández, Yanga R. (August 2009). "That's the way the comet crumbles: Splitting Jupiter-family comets". Planetary and Space Science. 57 (10): 1218–1227. arXiv:0907.4806. Bibcode:2009P&SS...57.1218F. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2009.01.003. S2CID 15153026.
  8. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 57P/duToit-Neujmin-Delporte-A" (last observation: 2002-12-06). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2020-07-04.

External links[edit]

Numbered comets
57P/du Toit–Neujmin–Delporte Next