Comet Ikeya–Seki

This photo was taken by Roger Lynds at Kitt Peak, Arizona, on the morning of 1965 October 29. It was a 4-minute exposure. The two stars to the left of the comet’s head are Delta and Eta Corvi (magnitude 3.0 and 4.3, respectively), while the star a little ways up and just right of the tail is Gamma Corvi (magnitude 2.6).
Comet Ikeya-Seki,long-period comet that is one of a group of Sun-grazing comets having similar orbits and including the great comet known as 1882 II. Comet Ikeya-Seki was discovered Sept. 18, 1965, by two Japanese amateur astronomers, Ikeya Kaoru and Seki Tsutomu. Moving in a retrograde orbit, the comet made its closest approach to the Sun on Oct. 21, 1965, at a distance less than a solar radius from the surface.
The comet was then bright enough to be seen with the naked eye in daylight. Like the similarly spectacular Comet 1882 II, it was fragmented by tides induced by its proximity to the Sun; Ikeya-Seki gave astronomers their first chance since 1882 to study a comet in such conditions. It is assumed that the group of Sun-grazing comets to which Ikeya-Seki belongs represents the remnants of a single, larger comet that also was fragmented by solar tides at some time in the past.


Image Credit: Roger Lynds/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Comet Ikeya–Seki

This photo was taken by Roger Lynds at Kitt Peak, Arizona, on the morning of 1965 October 29. It was a 4-minute exposure. The two stars to the left of the comet’s head are Delta and Eta Corvi (magnitude 3.0 and 4.3, respectively), while the star a little ways up and just right of the tail is Gamma Corvi (magnitude 2.6).

Comet Ikeya-Seki,long-period comet that is one of a group of Sun-grazing comets having similar orbits and including the great comet known as 1882 II. Comet Ikeya-Seki was discovered Sept. 18, 1965, by two Japanese amateur astronomers, Ikeya Kaoru and Seki Tsutomu. Moving in a retrograde orbit, the comet made its closest approach to the Sun on Oct. 21, 1965, at a distance less than a solar radius from the surface.

The comet was then bright enough to be seen with the naked eye in daylight. Like the similarly spectacular Comet 1882 II, it was fragmented by tides induced by its proximity to the Sun; Ikeya-Seki gave astronomers their first chance since 1882 to study a comet in such conditions. It is assumed that the group of Sun-grazing comets to which Ikeya-Seki belongs represents the remnants of a single, larger comet that also was fragmented by solar tides at some time in the past.

Image Credit: Roger Lynds/NOAO/AURA/NSF


Posted 10 months ago with 540 notes
Tagged:Comet Ikeya–SekiAstronomyscienceastrophotographycometstars

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