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Discovered byEllen Howell
Discovery dateAugust 29, 1981
1981 X; 1987 VI; 1993 II
Orbital characteristics A
EpochMarch 6, 2006
Aphelion4.865 AU
Perihelion1.366 AU
Semi-major axis3.116 AU
Orbital period5.5 a
Dimensions4.4 km[4]
Last perihelionApril 6, 2015[1][2]
Next perihelion2020-Sep-26[3]

88P/Howell is a periodic comet in the Solar System. It was discovered on 29 August 1981.[5] In 1975 the comet's perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) was 1.9 AU,[3] But a close approach to Jupiter in 1978[4] perturbed the perihelion distance closer to the Sun.

It last came to perihelion on 6 April 2015; the next occurrence will be in 2020.[1] In 14 September 2031 the comet will pass 0.074 AU (11,100,000 km; 6,900,000 mi) from Mars.[4]

In response to New Frontiers program call for Mission 4, a team from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) submitted a mission concept proposal called Comet Rendezvous, Sample Acquisition, Investigation, and Return (CORSAIR) that would perform a sample return from comet 88P/Howell.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b Seiichi Yoshida (2011-07-22). "88P/Howell". Seiichi Yoshida's Comet Catalog. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  2. ^ Patrick Rocher (February 6, 2011). "Note number : 0081 P/Howell : 88P". Institut de mécanique céleste et de calcul des éphémérides. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  3. ^ a b "88P/Howell Orbit". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
  4. ^ a b c "JPL Close-Approach Data: 88P/Howell" (last observation: 2014-04-08; arc: 11.18 years). Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  5. ^ Kronk, Gary W. "88P/Howell". Cometography. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
  6. ^ CORSAIR (COmet Rendezvous, Sample Acquisition, Investigation, and Return): A New Frontiers Mission Concept to Collect Samples from a Comet and Return them to Earth for Study (PDF). S. A. Sandford, N. L. Chabot, N. Dello Russo, J. C. Leary, E. L. Reynolds, H. A. Weaver, D. H. Wooden. 80th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society 2017 (LPI Contrib. No. 1987).
  7. ^ "Proposed New Frontiers Missions". Future Planetary Exploration. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-20.

External links[edit]

Numbered comets
88P/Howell Next