Discovered by David H. Levy
Discovery date 2006-Oct-02[1]
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch 2006-Nov-22[1]
(JD 2454061.5)
Aphelion 5.051 AU (Q)
Perihelion 0.9895 AU (q)
Semi-major axis 3.020 AU (a)
Eccentricity 0.6723
Orbital period 5.25 yr
Inclination 18.32°
Last perihelion 2012-Jan-14[2]
Next perihelion 2017-May-03[2][4]

255P/Levy, formerly P/2006 T1 and P/2011 Y1, is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 5.25 years.[1] It last came to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 14 January 2012.[3] During the 2006 passage the comet achieved an apparent magnitude of ~9.5.[5] Levy (PK06T010) was believed to have been recovered on 3 June 2011 at magnitude 19.8,[6] but other observatories were unable to confirm a recovery. It was most likely a false positive because of large residuals. Levy was recovered on 17 December 2011 at magnitude 19.8, and given the second designation 2011 Y1.[7] It was then numbered.

The last perihelion passage was on 14 January 2012 at a distance of 1.007 AU from the Sun.[3] The comet passed the Earth on 2012-Jan-26 at a distance of Script error: No such module "convert"..[8] During the 2012 passage the comet was originally expected to reach an apparent magnitude of 7, but the comet had been in outburst in 2006 and was much dimmer than expected when it was recovered in 2011. MPC estimates after the 2011 recovery estimated that it would reach a magnitude of 17, and it had an elongation of 90°. However, CCD images showed it was diffuse[9] and the comet's magnitude was estimated at 14.1 on 30 December 2011.[10]


  1. ^ a b c "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: P/2006 T1 (Levy)" (last observation: 2011-12-17; arc: 5.21 years). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2011-12-20. 
  2. ^ a b "255P/Levy Orbit". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  3. ^ a b c "P/2006 T1 (Levy)" (last observation: 2011-12-17). Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  4. ^ Syuichi Nakano (2012-01-02). "P/Levy (2006 T1 = 2011 Y1) (NK 2187)". OAA Computing and Minor Planet Sections. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  5. ^ "P/2006 T1 Comet for Windows apmag graph for 2006". Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  6. ^ "MPEC 2011-L51 : OBSERVATIONS AND ORBITS OF COMETS". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  7. ^ "MPEC 2011-Y07 : P/2006 T1 = 2011 Y1 (Levy)". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2011-12-18. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  8. ^ "JPL Close-Approach Data: P/2006 T1 (Levy)" (last observation: 2011-12-30; arc: 5.24 years). Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  9. ^ "Weekly Information about Bright Comets (2011 Dec. 24: North)". 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  10. ^ "CCD comet estimates". 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2012-01-04. 

External links