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Comet 8P/Tuttle
Discovered by Horace Parnell Tuttle
Discovery date January 5, 1858
1790 II; 1858 I; 1871 III;
1885 IV; 1899 III; 1912 IV;
1926 IV; 1939 X; 1967 V;
1980 XIII; 1994 XV
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch January 15, 2008
Aphelion 10.376340 AU
Perihelion 1.027132 AU
Semi-major axis 5.701737 AU
Eccentricity 0.819856
Orbital period 13.6 a
Inclination 54.9830°
Dimensions 4.5 km contact binary[3]
Last perihelion January 27, 2008
Next perihelion August 27, 2021[1][2]

8P/Tuttle (also known as Tuttle's Comet or Comet Tuttle) is a periodic comet in the Solar System. It fits the classical definition of a Jupiter-family comet with an orbital period of less than 20 years, but does not fit the modern definition of (2 < TJupiter< 3).[3] Perihelion was late January 2008, and as of February was visible telescopically to Southern Hemisphere observers in the constellation Eridanus. On December 30, 2007 it was in close conjunction with spiral galaxy M33. On January 1, 2008 it passed Earth at a distance of Script error: No such module "convert"..[3]

Comet 8P/Tuttle is responsible for the Ursid meteor shower in late December.[4]

Predictions that the 2007 Ursid meteor shower could be expected to be stronger than usual due to the return of the comet,[5] did not appear to materialize, as counts were in the range of normal distribution.

Contact binary

Radar observations of Comet Tuttle in January 2008 by the Arecibo Observatory show it to be a contact binary.[6][7] The comet nucleus is estimated at about 4.5 km in diameter, using the equivalent diameter of a sphere having a volume equal to the sum of a 3 km and 4 km sphere.[3]

Additional images


  1. ^ Rocher, Patrick (10 June 2008). "Note number : 0105 P/Tuttle : 8P". Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Éphémérides. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Kinoshita, Kazuo (24 January 2008). "8P/Tuttle". Comet Orbits. 
  3. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 8P/Tuttle". NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Meteor Streams". Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Jenniskens, P.; Lyytinen, E.; Nissinen, M.; Yrjölä, I.; Vaubaillon, J. (December 2007). "Strong Ursid shower predicted for 2007 December 22" (PDF). WGN, Journal of the International Meteor Organization 35 (6): 125–133. Bibcode:2007JIMO...35..125J. 
  6. ^ Schilling, Govert (14 October 2008). "Comet Tuttle's Split Personality". Science. Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  7. ^ Harmon, J. K.; Nolan, M. C.; Howell, E. S.; Giorgini, J. D. (2008). Comet 8P/Tuttle: Arecibo Radar Obserations of the First Bilobate Comet (PDF). 10th Asteroids, Comets, Meteors. 13–18 July 2008. Baltimore, Maryland. Lunar and Planetary Institute. 

External links

Periodic comets (by number)
8P/Tuttle Next

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