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Discovered by William Frederick Denning
Discovery date 4 October 1881
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch 2014-07-02
(JD 2456840.5)[1]
Aphelion 7.884 AU (Q)
Perihelion 0.7842 AU (q)
Semi-major axis 4.334 AU (a)
Eccentricity 0.8191
Orbital period 9.02 yr
Inclination 9.17°
Earth MOID 0.085 AU (12,700,000 km)
Last perihelion 2014-Jul-11[1]
Next perihelion 2023-Jun-15[1]

72P/Denning–Fujikawa is a periodic comet discovered on 4 October 1881 by William Frederick Denning.[2] The comet was not seen at another apparition until recovered by Shigehisa Fujikawa in 1978. From 29 December 1978 until 17 June 2014, the comet was lost. On 17 June 2014 the comet was recovered by Hidetaka Sato.[3]

Repeated failures to recover the comet during perihelion even in cases where it is estimated that it should have been magnitude 8 or, as in 1987 and 1996, it was being actively looked for suggest it is only occasionally active.[4] This has resulted in it being classified as a transitional comet.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "72P/Denning-Fujikawa Orbit". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  2. ^ Kronk, Gary W. "72P/Denning-Fujikawa". Retrieved 2014-06-19.  (Cometography Home Page)
  3. ^ "MPEC 2014-M11 : COMET 72P/DENNING-FUJIKAWA". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2014-06-18. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  4. ^ a b Beech, Martin (11 November 2001). "Comet 72P/Denning–Fujikawa: down but not necessarily out". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 327 (4): 1201–1207. doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2001.04822.x. Retrieved 1 July 2018. 

External links[edit]

Numbered comets
72P/Denning–Fujikawa Next