|Discovered by||Edward L. G. Bowell|
|Discovery date||11 February 1980|
|Orbital characteristics A|
(3 January 1982)
|Eccentricity||1.057 (hyperbolic trajectory)
1.053 (epoch 1984+)
|Orbital period||~7.1 million years (epoch 1950)
Ejection (epoch 1977+)
|Last perihelion||12 March 1982|
C/1980 E1 is a non-periodic comet discovered by Edward L. G. Bowell on 11 February 1980. C/1980 E1 is leaving the Solar System on a hyperbolic trajectory with a higher velocity than any other natural object ever observed.
Before entering the inner Solar System for a 1982 perihelion passage, C/1980 E1 had a barycentric (epoch 1950-Jan-01) orbit with an aphelion of 74,300 AU (1.17 light-years), and a period of approximately 7.1 million years.
As the comet was approaching perihelion on December 9, 1980, it passed within 0.228 AU of Jupiter, which accelerated the comet briefly giving an (epoch 1981-Jan-09) eccentricity of 1.066. The comet came to perihelion on March 12, 1982, when it had a velocity of 23.3 km/s (52,000 mph) with respect to the Sun. Since the epoch of 1977-Mar-04, C/1980 E1 has had a barycentric eccentricity greater than 1, keeping it on a hyperbolic trajectory that will eject it from the Solar System. Objects in hyperbolic orbits have negative semi major axis, giving them a positive orbital energy. The Minor Planet Center does not directly list a semi-major axis for this comet.
The production of OH (hydroxide) was observed pre-perihelion while the comet was nearly 5 AU from the Sun. CN (cyanide) was not detected until the comet was near perihelion. The comet nucleus was estimated to have a radius of several kilometers. The surface crust was probably a few meters thick.
- List of Solar System objects by greatest aphelion
- List of hyperbolic comets
- List of non-periodic comets
- List of periodic comets
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: C/1980 E1 (Bowell)" (last observation: 1986-12-30). Retrieved 2015-09-26.
- Horizons output. "Barycentric Osculating Orbital Elements for Comet C/1980 E1". Retrieved 2011-03-09. (Solution using the Solar System Barycenter and barycentric coordinates. Select Ephemeris Type:Elements and Center:@0)
- "JPL Close-Approach Data: C/1980 E1 (Bowell)" (last observation: 1986-12-30). Retrieved 2015-09-26.
- "C/1980 E1 (Bowell) Orbit at the Minor Planet Center". Retrieved 2015-09-28.
- Yeomans, Donald K.; Chamberlin, Alan B. "Horizons Ephemeris". JPL Solar System Dynamics. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- Ahearn, Michael F.; Schleicher, D. G.; Millis, R. L.; Feldman, P. D.; Thompson, D. T. (1984). "Comet Bowell 1980b". Astronomical Journal. 89: 579–591. Bibcode:1984AJ.....89..579A. doi:10.1086/113552.