289P/Blanpain

Japanese version
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Updated on January 24, 2015

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* Profile

It had been lost for about 200 years since its discovery in 1819 until recovered in 2003.

The absolute magnitude in 1819 is estimated as 8.5 mag. Probably it was visible as bright as 5-8 mag. However, this brightness was exceptional in unusual great outburst. Usually, little cometary activity is observed and it looks almost asteroidal with an absolute magnitude of 20.5 mag.

Kenji Muraoka's calculation revealed that the orbit is wavering as the perihelion distance between 0.88 A.U. and 1.04 A.U., and the period between 5.1 years and 5.5 years.

It is usually extremely faint, fainter than 22 mag. But if it passes the perihelion between late November and late December, it passes near by the earth and becomes bright. However, due to a little difference of the perihelion distance, the apparent brightness changes drastically.

When the perihelion distance is smaller than 1.0 A.U., the comet becomes invisible at the approach to the earth because it enters between the sun and the earth. Therefore, it brightens up to only 18 mag.

When the perihelion distance is larger than 1.0 A.U., it becomes very bright if it passes the perihelion on a special day in early December. However, only if the perihelion passage shifts by a several days, the maximum brightness fades by several magnitudes.

During about 300 years from 1819 to 2109, the comet becomes brighter than 18 mag only four times.

Perihelion PassageMaximum BrightnessNearest Distance
2003Dec. 1114.4 mag0.025 A.U.
2035Nov. 2017.4 mag0.088 A.U.
2019Dec. 2017.6 mag0.089 A.U.
2067Nov. 2617.7 mag0.102 A.U.

It was recovered in 2003 because every condition became extraordinarily excellent during recent 300 years. But it will never be brighter than 17 mag again during next about 100 years until 2109.

For about 200 years since its discovery, the condition had been bad in all returns. It had never been brighter than 18 mag. So it had been missed until 2003.

If the great outburst like in 1819 happens again, it can be a naked eye object in good condition, or at least 10 mag even in bad condition.

* Returns and Appearances

!Discovered *Appeared -Not observed #Appeared before discovery +Not observed before discovery .Returns in the future
.
2019 Dec. 20
* 289P
2014 Aug. 28
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2009 Apr. 30
* 289P/2003 WY25
2003 Dec. 11
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1998 July 18
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1993 Jan. 21
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1987 Nov. 23
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1982 Sept.29
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1977 Aug. 9
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1972 June 19
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1967 Apr. 27
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1962 Feb. 27
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1956 Oct. 25
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1951 June 11
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1946 Feb. 8
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1940 Nov. 12
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1935 Aug. 20
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1930 May 29
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1925 Mar. 5
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1919 Dec. 9
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1914 Sept. 6
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1909 Mar. 26
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1903 Sept.30
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1898 Apr. 22
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1893 Jan. 22
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1887 Oct. 31
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1882 Aug. 10
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1877 May 19
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1872 Feb. 25
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1866 Nov. 26
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1861 July 21
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1856 Mar. 4
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1850 Nov. 2
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1845 Sept. 2
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1840 July 9
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1835 May 17
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1830 Mar. 24
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1825 Jan. 24
! 289P/1819 W1
1819 Nov. 20

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The identification between D/1819 W1 and 2003 WY25 is printed on IAUC 8485 and NK 1168.
The perihelion dates from 1819 to 1998 are published on M.P.E.C. 2013-N21.
Information on the discovery and historical highlights are available at General Comet Info (Gary W. Kronk).

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