44P/Reinmuth 2

44P/Reinmuth 2 was discovered by Karl Reinmuth at Heidelberg on September 10th 1947 at magnitude 12.5. The comet was discovered after perihelion and faded slowly. in less than 2 weeks Cunningham had recognised that it was a short period comet. Various orbital solutions were calculated estimating a period from 6.40 to 6.59 years. The longer period was soon found to be the correct one. Since then it has been observed at nine further returns (1954, 1960, 1967, 1974, 1981, 1988, 1994 and 2001) making the current apparition its 9th observed apparition. However, it has never been brighter than in its discovery apparition.

The comet is of short period. Initially the period was 6.59 years and the perihelion distance 1.87AU, but both the period and the perihelion distance increased slowly to 6.74 years and 1.95AU respectively, before decreasing again to their current values of 6.63 years and 1.89AU - almost back to the discovery values. The comet had moderately close approaches to Jupiter in 1943 and 1945 and its orbit is subject to continuous small changes.

The 2001 apparition

G44P/Reinmuth 2 passed perihelion on February 19th 2001, peaking at around magnitude 15.5. Like many old, evolved comets it brightens rather rapidly as it approaches the Sun. In 1967 an outburst was seen after perihelion. During the 2001/2002 a small outburst is seen in December 2001. This is also recorded in Seichii Yoshida’s light curve of the comet.

All the coverage in this light curve was taken between six and twelve months post-perihelion, during which period there is a good level of light curve coverage. The last observations recorded here were made in late January 2002.

The graph of Afrho shows a rather flat activity curve over the post-perihelion period. Interestingly, the value of Afrho increased slowly from 20-cm to 30-cm between July and mid-December, before briefly bursting up to 40-cm in the second half of December. After the outburst the activity declined rapidly.












CCD observations in a 10 arcsecond aperture by:

CCD aperture photometry in apertures of 0'.2 and 0'.3 by:


Image: December 11th 2002

Image of 30P/Reinmuth. The sum of 10, 30s exposures. There is a very faint gas tail to the right.l

Giovanni Sostero
Remanzacco Observatory (Italy)

Image: December 28th 2002

Image of 30P/Reinmuth showing the faint tail.










Última actualización 23/01/2003
Por M.R.Kidger
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