C/2002 X1 (LINEAR)

C/2002 X1 (LINEAR) was discovered on 2002 December 5th by the LINEAR team and reported to be cometary on December 7th by various observers.

The initial orbit based on 27 observations made between December 5th and 7th showed that this was an object that had reached perihelion on September 6th 2003 at just 0.27AU (well inside the orbit of Mercury). This though was completely overturned by a new and better orbit based on observations from December 5th-29th that showed that the comet actually had a perihelion distance (2.49AU) that was 10 times as large as the initial estimate and that perihelion will not be reached until July 12th 2003.


The light curve

GThe comet should continue to brighten slowly until autumn 2003. Around perihelion the increasing geocentric distance will cause the comet to fade slightly before brightening to maximum. The observations in a 10 arcsecond aperture show a slow brightening up to the end of January 2003. In February 2003 there is evidence that the comet has suddenly faded rapidly.











CCD observations in R in a 10 arcsecond aperture by:

CCD aperture photometry in an aperture of 2'.0 by:



Coma profile: January 25th 2003

Profile of the coma of C/2002 X1 (LINEAR).

Obtained by CCD photometry with apertures of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 60 arcseconds.

Ramón Naves & Montse Campàs



Última actualización 04/04/2003
Por M.R.Kidger