Comet 103P Hartley 2


Periodic comet 103P/Hartley 2 is classed as a young, dwarf comet, with a nucleus roughly 1.5 kilometers (0.93 mile) across. It belongs to the Jupiter family of comets (comets with periods less than 20 years). The comet was discovered in 1986. Although it then had an orbital period of 6.3 years, an analysis of its orbit reveals the period had been longer in the recent past. During the early decades of the 20th century, the orbital period had been 9.3 years. A close approach to Jupiter in August 1947 (0.22 AU) reduced the period to 7.9 years, while another close approach during April 1971 (0.09 AU) reduced the period to 6.1 years. The comet has been seen at every return since its discovery. The 2010 return is exceptional, as the comet will pass 0.12 AU from Earth on October 20. The Deep Impact space craft will pass about 1000 kilometers from the comet on November 4.

Imaging Data

Date: 10-15-2010

Location : Sudbury, Massachusetts

Optics : William Optic ZenithStar 66mm Semi-Apo Refractor F/5.9

Filter(s) : None

Mount : Piggyback Meade LX-200 on ATS Pier

Autoguiding : None

Camera : Canon EOS 1000D Astro-modified

Exposure info : 30 x 60 second Exposures @ISO 800

Total Exposure : 30 minutes

Carlos David 2010
Carlos David 2010