C/2018 V1 (Machholz–Fujikawa–Iwamoto)

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C/2018 V1 (Machholz–Fujikawa–Iwamoto)
Path of comet across sky, with 7-day motion shown
Discovered byDonald Machholz
Discovery date7 November 2018
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 16 November 2018
Observation arc37 days
Perihelion0.386954 AU
(barycentric epoch 2050)
Earth MOID0.115002 AU
Physical characteristics

Comet C/2018 V1 (Machholz–Fujikawa–Iwamoto) is a minor body that follows a slightly hyperbolic orbit (eccentricity > 1, 16.4-sigma). It was visually discovered on 7 November 2018 by Donald Machholz using an 18.5-inch reflecting telescope[2] and it reached perihelion on 3 December 2018.


It was estimated to be between 8 and 10th magnitude from mid-November to mid-December 2018, visible in a small telescope. The value of its total (absolute magnitude of comet and coma) magnitude is 14.6 mag. It was discovered by three amateur astronomers: by an observer in Colfax, California, USA and by two observers in Japan.[3][2] The observations by three astronomers result in the name for the comet, Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto.[2][4] The current orbit determination of this comet is based on 750 observations with a 37-day observation arc.[1]

Comet C/2018 V1 has a significant probability (72.6%) of having an extrasolar provenance although an origin in the Oort Cloud cannot be excluded.[5] As the present-day value of its barycentric orbital eccentricity is greater than 1, this comet is currently escaping from the Solar System, aiming for interstellar space.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Small-Body Database Lookup".
  2. ^ a b c Dickinson, David (16 November 2018). "New Comet V1 Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto Takes Observers by Surprise". Universe Today. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  3. ^ Phillips, Tony (14 November 2018). "Amateur Astronomers Discover a Bright New Comet". Spaceweather.com. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  4. ^ Chambó, José J. (14 November 2018). "New comet C/2018 V1 Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto". Sky & Telescope. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b de la Fuente Marcos, Carlos; de la Fuente Marcos, Raúl (11 October 2019). "Comet C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto): dislodged from the Oort Cloud or coming from interstellar space?". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 489 (1): 951–961. arXiv:1908.02666. Bibcode:2019MNRAS.489..951D. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2229.

External links[edit]