2P/Encke

Japanese version
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Updated on August 30, 2012

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* Profile

This is a comet to brighten rapidly around the perihelion passage. The light curve is asymmetric and it keeps bright for a long time before the perihelion passage.

Especially, the rapid brightening before the perihelion passage is furious. It starts brightening about three months before the perihelion passage, then it brightens 6-7 mag within two months and immediately becomes visible visually. The brightness evolution turns to slow after that, and keeps bright for about 45 days.

After the perihelion passage, it keeps bright with slow fading for a while. But about 20 days after the perihelion passage, it starts fading out rapidly. Not so steep as brightening before the perihelion passage, but it fades out rapidly and returns to the original faint state about three months after the perihelion passage.

The comet is usually almost asteroidal and so faint as 18-20 mag in the other time.

In the Northern Hemisphere, it is observable before the perihelion passage. In the Southern Hemisphere, observable after the perihelion passage. The condition is better to observe in the Northern Hemisphere.

In the Northern Hemisphere, it is observable visually when it passes the perihelion between September and February. Especially, if it passes the perihelion in mid or late December, it approaches to the earth and brightens up to 6.5 mag. The condition is also excellent to observe. On the other hand, it is not observable in its bright time when it passes the perihelion between April and August.

In the Southern Hemisphere, it is observable visually when it passes the perihelion between January and August. However, the maximum brightness becomes 8 mag at best, much fainter than the Northern Hemisphere. On the other hand, it is not observable in its bright time when it passes the perihelion between September and December.

Kazuo Kinoshita's calculation revealed no significant change of the orbit from mid 18th through the end of 21st century.

However, the brightness of the comet has been declining. At its discovery in early 19th century, it was brighter than now by 4 mag. It reached to 3.5 mag at best and visible as bright as Andromeda Galaxy with naked eyes. Now it reaches to 6.5-7 mag at best.

* Returns and Appearances

!Discovered *Appeared -Not observed #Appeared before discovery +Not observed before discovery .Returns in the future
* 2P
2013 Nov. 21
* 2P
2010 Aug. 6
* 2P
2007 Apr. 19
* 2P
2003 Dec. 29
* 2P
2000 Sept. 9
* 2P
1997 May 23
* 2P
1994 Feb. 9
* 2P
1990 Oct. 28
* 2P
1987 July 17
* 2P
1984 Mar. 27
* 2P
1980 Dec. 6
* 2P
1977 Aug. 17
* 2P
1974 Apr. 28
* 2P
1971 Jan. 9
* 2P
1967 Sept.22
* 2P
1964 June 3
* 2P
1961 Feb. 5
* 2P
1957 Oct. 19
* 2P
1954 July 2
* 2P
1951 Mar. 16
* 2P
1947 Nov. 26
-
1944 Aug. 6
* 2P
1941 Apr. 17
* 2P
1937 Dec. 27
* 2P
1934 Sept.15
* 2P
1931 June 3
* 2P
1928 Feb. 19
* 2P
1924 Oct. 31
* 2P
1921 July 13
* 2P
1918 Mar. 24
* 2P
1914 Dec. 5
* 2P
1911 Aug. 19
* 2P
1908 May 1
* 2P
1905 Jan. 12
* 2P
1901 Sept.15
* 2P
1898 May 27
* 2P
1895 Feb. 5
* 2P
1891 Oct. 18
* 2P
1888 June 28
* 2P
1885 Mar. 8
* 2P
1881 Nov. 15
* 2P
1878 July 26
* 2P
1875 Apr. 13
* 2P
1871 Dec. 29
* 2P
1868 Sept.15
* 2P
1865 May 28
* 2P
1862 Feb. 6
* 2P
1858 Oct. 18
* 2P
1855 July 1
* 2P
1852 Mar. 15
* 2P
1848 Nov. 26
* 2P
1845 Aug. 10
* 2P
1842 Apr. 12
* 2P
1838 Dec. 19
* 2P
1835 Aug. 26
* 2P
1832 May 4
* 2P
1829 Jan. 10
* 2P
1825 Sept.16
* 2P/1822 L1
1822 May 24
! 2P/1818 W1
1819 Jan. 27
+
1815 Oct. 13
+
1812 June 26
+
1809 Mar. 12
# 2P/1805 U1
1805 Nov. 21
+
1802 Aug. 2
+
1799 Apr. 11
# 2P/1795 V1
1795 Dec. 21
+
1792 Sept. 4
+
1789 May 19
# 2P/1786 B1
1786 Jan. 31

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The perihelion dates in the past appearances are printed on Catalog of Cometary Orbits 1996.
The perihelion date in 1944 is calculated using the Minor Planet & Comet Ephemeris Service.
The perihelion dates of non-observed returns from 1789 to 1815 are calculated by Kazuo Kinoshita (http://www9.ocn.ne.jp/~comet/pcmtn/0002p.htm).
Information on the discovery and historical highlights are available at General Comet Info (Gary W. Kronk).
The past and future orbital elements calculated by Kazuo Kinoshita (http://www9.ocn.ne.jp/~comet/pcmtn/0002p.htm).

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Copyright(C) Seiichi Yoshida (comet@aerith.net). All rights reserved.