C/1999 F1

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C/1999 F1 (Catalina)
Discovered by Catalina Sky Survey 1.5-m reflector (703)[1][2]
Discovery date March 23, 1999
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch May 14, 2001
(JD 2452043.5)
Aphelion ~66,600 AU[3] (Q)
(1.05 light-years)
Perihelion 5.787 AU (q)
Semi-major axis ~33,300 AU[3] (a)
Eccentricity 0.99914[4]
Orbital period ~6 million yr[3]
Inclination 92.035°
Last perihelion February 13, 2002
Next perihelion unknown

C/1999 F1 (Catalina) is one of the longest known long-period comets. It was discovered on March 23, 1999, by the Catalina Sky Survey.[1]

The comet has an observation arc of 2,360 days[4] allowing a good estimate of the orbit. The orbit of a long-period comet is properly obtained when the osculating orbit is computed at an epoch after leaving the planetary region and is calculated with respect to the center of mass of the solar system. C/1999 F1 made its closest approach to Neptune in August 2017. Using JPL Horizons, the barycentric orbital elements for epoch 2035-Jan-01 generate a semi-major axis of 33,300 AU, an apoapsis distance of 66,600 AU, and a period of approximately 6 million years.[3] Comet West has a similar period.

The generic JPL Small-Body Database browser uses a near-perihelion epoch of 2001-May-19[4] which is before the comet left the planetary region and makes the highly eccentric aphelion point inaccurate since it does not account for any planetary perturbations. The heliocentric JPL Small-Body Database solution also does not account for the mass of Jupiter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "IAUC 7148: C/1999 F1; 1999bv". IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. 1999-04-20. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  2. ^ "MPEC 1999-H09 : COMET C/1999 F1 (CATALINA)". IAU Minor Planet Center. 1999-04-20. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  3. ^ a b c d Horizons output. "Barycentric Osculating Orbital Elements for Comet C/1999 F1 (Catalina)". Retrieved 2011-03-07.  (Solution using the Solar System Barycenter and barycentric coordinates. Select Ephemeris Type:Elements and Center:@0)
  4. ^ a b c "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: C/1999 F1 (Catalina)" (last observation: 2005-08-28; arc: 6.46 years). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 

External links[edit]