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Comet 2P Encke

Comet 2P Encke was first observed by Pierre Méchain, Paris, France in 1786.  In 1818, J F Encke finally linked the 1786 and several subsequent observations and published an orbit.  The first predicted return was in 1822 when it was first observed by Rumker at the Parramatta Observatory, New South Wales, Australia.  It has a period of 3.30 years.  This comet used to get quite bright (easy naked eye), but over the centuries it has got dimmer & dimmer and is considered a 'dying' comet - it appears quite asteroidal each side of perihelion.

Seiichi Yoshida's catalogue information:
2010 light curve, Seiichi Yoshida
Historical information:
Click on images to enlarge...

Comet 2P Encke as a tiny dot in a twilight widefield, taken at 102mm in a piggybacked Canon 400D, 7 x 10 sec, at 08:50, 22 August 2010 UT.

2P in twilight, on its 62nd observed apparition.  Actual pixel crop from image taken at 55mm.


Comet 2P Encke on 28 August 2010


2P Encke on 7 September 2010, a tiny green dot.  This shot was taken at 200mm, and consisted of seven frames processed in Registax, stacked on the comet head.