Thursday, 29 May 2014

Faye's Comet reaches its perihelion.

Faye's Comet (Comet 4P/Faye) reached it's perihelion (the closest point in its orbit to the Sun) on 29 May 2014, for the first time in seven-and-a-half years. It presents no danger to the Earth, as it never comes within the orbit of Mars, and was not easily visible on this occasion, as the perihelion occurred on the far side of the Sun. 

Image of 4P/Faye captured by the John Nassr from Baguio, Philippines, on 15 October 2016. Stardust Observatory.

4P/Faye was discovered in November 1843 by Hervé Faye at the Royal Observatory in Paris. It has a 2744 day period which takes it from 1.66 AU from the Sun at perihelion (i.e. 1.66 times as far from the Sun as the Earth, some way outside the orbit of Mars) to 6.01 Au from the Sun at Aphelion (6.01 times as far from the Sun as Earth, and outside the orbit of the planet Jupiter). As a comet with a period of less than 20 years and an orbit at a low inclination to the plane of the Solar System it is considered to be a Jupiter Family Comet.

The orbit of 4P/Faye. JPL Small Body Database Browser.

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