P/1997 B1

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P/1997 B1 (Kobayashi)
Discovered by Takao Kobayashi
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 2450506.5
(February 27, 1997)
Aphelion 15.1 AU
Perihelion 2.054 AU
last perihelion: January 30–31, 1997
8.6 AU
Eccentricity 0.761
25.17 a[1]
Inclination 12.4°

On January 30 and January 31, 1997, Takao Kobayashi observed an object, P/1997 B1 (Kobayashi), which was initially thought to be a minor planet and was reported to the IAU as such by S. Nakano. Over the next few days, the object was observed to be in a cometary orbit. W. Offutt later showed it to be a comet.[2] This is the first amateur CCD discovery of a comet and is also the faintest amateur discovery. It demonstrates that amateur astronomers still have an important role to play in the field of astronomical object discovery.[3]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: P/1997 B1 (Kobayashi)" (1997-01-30 last obs). JPL. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  2. ^ "THE ASTRONOMER Electronic Circular No 1171". THE ASTRONOMER. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  3. ^ "Current comets". Jonathan Shanklin. Retrieved 2009-12-22.