178P/Hug–Bell is a periodic comet in the Solar System. It was discovered by Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomers' League members Gary Hug and Graham Bell and is thought to be the first periodic comet to be discovered by amateurs. It was declared a comet less than two days after its initial discovery, after having its course confirmed on previous images.[3]

Discovered byGary Hug and Graham E. Bell
Discovery dateDecember 10, 1999
1999 X1, 2006 O1
Orbital characteristics A
EpochJuly 7, 2013
Aphelion5.405 AU
Perihelion1.9337 AU
Semi-major axis3.6993 AU
Orbital period7.03 a
Last perihelion2020-Jul-16[1]
July 23, 2013[2]
July 6, 2006
Next perihelion2027-Jun-21 (JPL Horizons)

Hug-Bell's orbital period is about seven years; its orbit is eccentric, though less so than many comets. Hug-Bell's orbit lies entirely outside the orbit of Mars, but at its aphelion overlaps in solar distance with the orbit of Jupiter. Because it never comes closer to the Sun than about 2 AU, it is never expected to be a very bright comet, with a typical perihelion magnitude of 18-19.[4]


  1. ^ "178P/Hug-Bell Orbit". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  2. ^ Syuichi Nakano (2010-04-09). "178P/Hug-Bell (NK 1910)". OAA Computing and Minor Planet Sections. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
  3. ^ "Winter, Jennifer and Winter, Vic. Comet Hug-Bell Discovery!". ICSTARS Astronomy. Archived from the original on 19 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-18.
  4. ^ "178P/Hug-Bell (1999)". Seiichi Yoshida July 21, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-18.

External linksEdit

Numbered comets
178P/Hug–Bell Next