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D/1952 B 1 Harrington-Wilson

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D/1952 B 1 Harrington-Wilson

Has anyone seen this comet in 2017 and is there an ephemeris somewhere?

Regards
Lars Lindhard

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D/1952 B1 Harrington-Wilson

Hello Lars,

I've not heard of it being recovered. It would be a major comet news item if it was, because it has been lost for a very long time. Guide 9 gives a perihelion date of 2017 Feb 27 but it's pretty meaningless!

I mentioned the 2017 'Defunct Comets' at the end of this piece:

https://www.britastro.org/node/8602

Regards,

Martin

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D/1952 B1 Harrington-Wilson

Hello Martin

Thank you. It was in fact Guide 9 that brought the comet to my attention.

I would like to know where to look for it if an ephemeris could be made.

Regards
Lars

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The attached ephemeris is

The attached ephemeris is from JPL Horizons however, as Martin says, the orbit is very uncertain and it isn't likely to be near these locations.

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D/1952 B 1 Harrington-Wilson

Thank you. It seems to be at bit more difficult than the promised mag. 9 in Guide 9.

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Yes, it was almost certainly

Yes, it was almost certainly in outburst when discovered back in 1952. Unlike today, there were very few people doing astrometry then so the orbit is based on only 7 position measurements over an arc of 26 days. That, and the fact that the orbit will have been changed by relatively close encounters with Jupiter mean that it is very unlikely to be recovered with a specific search. The fact that it has not been picked up by the big professional surveys means that it must be intrinsicly very faint. I'm not sure where Guide 9 gets its data from but it could do with being revised.

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D/1952 B 1 Harrington-Wilson

I suppose Guide is using the same data as your ephemeris. The Guide position at 27. March 0.00 is off by 10 minutes in RA and 55' in Dec. compared to your figures. No problem if the comet was mag 9 (and the ephemeris was valid).