Tag Archives: orbital period

Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) Still Elusive In The North, Though It Put On Quite The Show ‘Down Below’.

by Anura Guruge



It is BARELY naked-eye visible in the North — and it is very low, in the very early mornings — in the NW sky.

Very low & borderline naked-eye.

It could — it should get — brighter. Perihelion is on May 27, 2010. 10-days away.

On May 13 it was at its closest to Earth.

Fingers crossed. It is up there. Just not that visible.

This has been the story, when it comes to comets, in the Northern Hemisphere.


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by Anura Guruge

New Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) Looks VERY Promising, BUT Will Not Be Seen In The North Till Next Week.

by Anura Guruge


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Comet SWAN, i.e., C/2020 F8 (SWAN), has become naked-eye visible in the Southern Hemisphere. It is approaching us from below the equator. Hence, why it is currently only visible in the South.

This will change as of May 11, 2020. It will cross the ‘equator’ — so to speak. The ‘Ecliptic‘ if you want to get technical. It will still take a few days after that to get above the horizon and trees.

I will keep you posted.

Keep your fingers crossed that this one, unlike C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS), will NOT fragment and fizzle away.


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by Anura Guruge

The ‘Eccentricity’ Of New Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) Is Very High, But This Could Change With More Observations.

by Anura Guruge


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It has NOT been deemed Interstellar — i.e., originating from outside our Solar System.

But, the eccentricity — pretty damn close to ‘1.0’ — and the CRAZY 10 MILLION YEAR orbital period suggest that this is a strange comet — for NOW.

But, we only have 90 observations of it yet. Basically, early days.

With more observations the orbital path will get REFINED and will most likely change.

Just wanted to make sure you got that.


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by Anura Guruge

2017 Perseids Meteor Shower, Over New England, As Usual Will Peak Around August 11 – 13.

by Anura Guruge


Perseids Meteor Shower over New Hampshire New England


The Perseids Meteor Shower happens each and every year, without fail, in ‘mid-August’. This is because at that time the Earth crosses the path of the repeatedly left behind debris from the periodic comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle — which orbits the Sun with a 133.28 year orbital period. It was discovered in 1862 BUT may have been orbiting the Sun long before that. It was last seen from Earth in 1992. The next time around be in 2126.

It is difficult to predict how good (i.e., spectacular) it will be in a given year. In 2016 they said it would be huge — but it didn’t quite live up to the billing though I did see a few. The weather might not cooperate this year — though it is a bit early to tell. Rain is predicted for August 11, though this could change. There will be some moon BUT that should not be an issue.

109P/Swift-Tuttle has an perihelion distance of 0.96 AU (i.e., just inside Earth’s orbit) and an aphelion of 51.2 AU — which takes it past Pluto.

The name of the Meteor Shower, i.e., Perseids, comes from the constellation Perseus — where the meteors appear to originate. See image above.


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by Anura Guruge

2016 Annual Perseids Meteor Shower, August 11 – 12, Expected To Be BIG — 200/Meteors/Hour.

by Anura Guruge


Perseids on August 12, 2007 from NASA.


Perseids Meteor Shower over New Hampshire New England


The Perseids Meteor Shower happens each and every year, without fail, in ‘mid-August’. This is because at that time the Earth crosses the path of the repeatedly left behind debris from the periodic comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle — which orbits the Sun with a 133.28 year orbital period. It was discovered in 1862 BUT may have been orbiting the Sun long before that. It was last seen from Earth in 1992. The next time around be in 2126.

109P/Swift-Tuttle has an perihelion distance of 0.96 AU (i.e., just inside Earth’s orbit) and an aphelion of 51.2 AU — which takes it past Pluto.

The name of the Meteor Shower, i.e., Perseids, comes from the constellation Perseus — where the meteors appear to originate. See image above.


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘Perseids& ‘meteor’ for MANY related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Perseids Meteor Shower, Which Typically Peaks August 12 – 13, Has Already Started. 6 Major Meteors Spotted Already.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Gamma Delphinid meteor showerJune 10, 2013.
>> 1P/Halley Eta Aquariids meteor shower — May 4, 2013.

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Please check this post for how
meteor showers get their name and how they come to be.


Perseids on August 12, 2007 from NASA.


Perseids are the repeatedly left behind debris from the periodic comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

109P/Swift-Tuttle has an orbital period of 133.28 years and was last around in 1992. Its next trip to the Sun, perihelion, will be in 2126. It has an perihelion distance of 0.96 AU (i.e., just inside Earth’s orbit) and an aphelion of 51.2 AU — which takes it past Pluto.

The name, as explained in the post referenced above, comes from the constellation Perseus — where the meteors appear to originate.



From my ‘Comets: 101 Facts & Trivia’ book.

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Meteor Shower From 1P/Halley Comet, Eta Aquariids, Will Peak Over New Hampshire Sunday Morning, May 5, 2013.

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by Anura Guruge


>> Lyrid meteor shower … — Apr. 20, 2013.
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The Eta Aquariids meteor shower, like all such showers, is an annual event; this one taking place between late-April and early-May.

As with all meteor showers, the meteors associated with shower are detritus left in the wake of comets; periodic comets such as Halley’s that make routine visits obviously leaving behind more matter in their trail each time they make a pass. The Eta Aquariids meteor shower is caused by the Earth crossing through the debris field left behind by 1P/Halley, with its 75.3 year orbital period, over the centuries.

Actually there is another meteor shower associated with 1P/Halley — that being the typically prolific, Orionids in late October. Having two showers associated with a ‘frequent’ visitor like Halley is to be expected. If nothing else, as should be fairly clear with all the attention that Comet ISON is getting, comet’s that are heading past Earth to circumnavigate the Sun have an inbound and outbound path, that crossed the Earth’s orbital path. So there are are two debris trails — and in the case of ISON, if it survives perihelion, Earth will be crossing those two paths, two weeks apart in January 2014. In the case of Halley, due to regular perturbations by Jupiter, its orbital path also changes, albeit not majorly, from trip to trip. So it, over the centuries, has laid down ‘rubber’ in different parts of the sky. Contrary to what you might read in the media, this meteor shower is not the result of Halley’s last apparition in 1986. It is debris left behind over the centuries.

Meteor showers, confusingly, are named after the constellation from which they appear to originate — though the constellation has nothing to do with the shower. It just provides astronomers with a reference as to where to find the shower. The constellation in this instance is Aquarius. Eta Aquariids the nearest distinguishing star, one of the brightest in the constellation.

I doubt whether I will get up that early to see this shower. I have seen quite a few in my time.


Comet Halley’s 75.3 year orbital path relative to the planets. From http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/


Halley on March 14, 1986, taken ‘close-up’ by European spacecraft ‘Giotto’ that was sent up as part of the ‘Halley Armada’ to meet-and-greet it. From NASA.

Lyrid Meteor Shower Peak Over New Hampshire This Weekend

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by Anura Guruge


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The Lyrid Meteor shower is an annual event taking place, typically, between April 16 and April 26.

It is caused by the Earth crossing through the debris field left behind by Comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher) over centuries.

C/1861 G1 (Thatcher), with an aphelion of 110 AU, a perihelion of 0.9207 AU and an orbital period of 415 years, was discovered on April 5, 1861 by A. E. Thatcher (not sure whether he is a relative). Its last perihelion was in June 1861, when it passed by the Earth at a 31 million mile separation. So, it came closer to Earth then than will the much anticipated Comet ISON, C/2012 S1. It will next go by Earth in 2,276.

The Lyrid Meteor shower has been observed for over 2,600 years!

Meteor showers, confusingly, are named after the constellation from which they appear to originate — though the constellation has nothing to do with the shower. It just provides astronomers with a reference as to where to find the shower. The constellation is Lyria. Vega the nearest distinguishing star.

The above map shows where you can locate the shower, early in the morning, on Monday, April 22, 2013.

They are expecting 10 – 20 meteors/hour, possibly with peaks of 100 meteors/hour.

I have seen some great meteor showers in NH. Maybe this might be a good one. Enjoy.