Comet Track

Space news from around the Internet, updated every weekday .

Comets Currently Visible: C/1998 T1 (LINEAR)

IAU Circular 7026 (Oct. 8, 1998) reports that an object discovered by Lincoln Laboratory Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) Team on Oct. 2 is a long-period comet. An orbit, also published on the same circular, indicates that perihelion will occur on June 25, 1999 at a perihelion distance of about 1.5 AU. The comet is currently fainter than magnitude 15.0. However, it is expected that the comet will brighten as it approaches the Sun and the Earth. The comet is currently in the midnight sky with observers in the Northern Hemisphere slightly favored.

The comet will move south and west. In early 1999, C/1998 T1 will move into conjunction with the Sun. When it emerges in the morning sky in late April, they comet may be as bright as 12th magnitude. By July 1999, the comet will be at opposition, but will also be quite far south (-47 degrees) and thus, favoring Southern Hemisphere observers. At this time, the comet may be as bright as 8th magnitude. The comet will then move north as it fades.

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