Comet Morehouse

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C/Morehouse (1908 R1)


Picture from a 1908 postcard. [1]
Discovered by Daniel Walter Morehouse
Discovery date 1908
Comet Morehouse, 1908 III, 1908c
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch 2418250.5
Aphelion N/A AU
Perihelion 0.945 AU
Semi-major axis N/A AU
Eccentricity 1.00073
Orbital period N/A a (?)
Inclination 140.2°
Last perihelion December 26, 1908
Next perihelion N/A

Comet Morehouse (modern formal designation: C/1908 R1) was a bright, non-periodic comet discovered by US astronomer Daniel Walter Morehouse and first observed on September 1, 1908. It was unusual in the rapid variations seen in the structure of its tail. At times, the tail seemed to split into up to six separate tails; at others, the tail appeared completely detached from the head of the comet. The tail was further unusual in that it formed while the comet was still 2 AU away from the Sun (where distances of 1.5 AU are more usual), and that there was a high concentration of the CO+ ion in its spectrum.

As is typical for comets fresh from the Oort Cloud, its orbital solution is more or less parabolic; if its orbit is in fact closed, it will likely not return for millions of years.

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