32P/Comas Solà

32P/Comas Solà is a periodic comet with a current orbital period of 8.8 years.

32P/Comas Solà
Discovered byJosep Comas i Solà
Discovery dateNovember 5, 1926
1944 II; 1952 VII; 1951h;
1961 III; 1960f; 1969 VIII;
1968g; 1978 XVII; 1977n;
1987 XVIII; 1986j; 32P/1926 V1;
1927 III; 1926f; 32P/1935 P1;
1935 IV; 1935c; 32P/1960 VL;
1961 III; 1960f
Orbital characteristics A
EpochMarch 6, 2006
Aphelion6.692 AU
Perihelion1.834 AU
Semi-major axis4.263 AU
Orbital period8.801 a
Last perihelionOctober 17, 2014[1]
April 1, 2005
Next perihelionApril 20, 2024[2]

The comet nucleus is estimated to be 8.4 kilometers in diameter.[3]


32P/Comas Solà was discovered November 5, 1926, by Josep Comas Solà. As part of his work on asteroids for the Fabra Observatory (Barcelona), he was taking photographs with a 6-inch (150 mm) telescope. The comet's past orbital evolution became a point of interest as several astronomers suggested early on that the comet might be a return of the then lost periodic comet Spitaler (aka 113P/Spitaler). In 1935 additional positions had been obtained, and P. Ramensky investigated the orbital motion back to 1911. He noted the comet passed very close to Jupiter during May 1912 and that, prior to this approach, the comet had a perihelion distance of 2.15 AU and an orbital period of 9.43 years. The identity with comet Spitaler was thus disproven.

In 1933, the Danish astronomer Julie Vinter Hansen undertook significant new research which calculated the orbit of the comet up to 1980, predicting when it would return to the earth's orbit.[4]


The title of the early Tangerine Dream piece "Fly and Collision of Coma[s] Sola", appearing on the Alpha Centauri (1971) album, refers to this comet, which at the time was undergoing a moderately close (0.73 AU) approach to Jupiter.


  1. ^ Syuichi Nakano (2011-11-04). "32P/Comas Sola (NK 2155)". OAA Computing and Minor Planet Sections. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  2. ^ "32P/Comas Sola Orbit". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2014-10-29.
  3. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 32P/Comas Sola" (last observation:2014-01-25). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  4. ^ Hansen, Julie M. Vinter (1933). "The periodic comet Comas Sola (1926 f) at its return in the year 1935". Publikationer og mindre Meddeler fra Kobenhavns Observatorium. 85: 1–16. Bibcode:1933PCopO..85....1H.

External linksEdit

Numbered comets
32P/Comas Solà Next