57P/du Toit–Neujmin–Delporte is the designation of a periodic comet. It is a member of the Jupiter family of comets whose orbits and evolution are strongly influenced by the giant planet. In 2002 it was discovered to have broken up into at least 20 fragments. At the time of their discovery, these shed fragments were spread out along the orbital path subtending an angle of 27 arcminutes from the comet's surviving head.
|Discovered by||Daniel du Toit,|
Grigory N. Neujmin,
Eugène Joseph Delporte
|Discovery date||July 18, 1941|
|1983 IX; 1983g;|
1989 XIV; 1989l;
1941 VII; 1941e;
1941 VII; 1941e;
1970 XIII; 1970i;
1983 IX; 1983g
|Orbital characteristics A|
|Epoch||July 25, 2002|
|Semi-major axis||3.452865 AU|
|Orbital period||6.42 yr|
|Last perihelion||May 22, 2015|
|Next perihelion||October 17, 2021|
The comet has many co-discoverers and a complicated discovery history due to unreliable communications during World War II. Daniel du Toit discovered the comet (retrospectively designated as P/1941 O1) on July 18, 1941, working at Boyden Station, South Africa. His cabled message about the comet did not reach his employer, Harvard College Observatory, until July 27. During a routine asteroid search, Grigory N. Neujmin (Simeis Observatory, Soviet Union) found the comet on a photographic plate exposed July 25. He confirmed his own observation on July 29, but the radiogram from Moscow took 20 days to reach Harvard. The official announcement of the new comet finally happened on August 20, 1941. A few days later, it became known that Eugène Joseph Delporte at the Royal Observatory, Belgium, also had found the comet on August 19, so he was added to the list of discoverers.
Fragment A was last observed in 2002.
- Seiichi Yoshida (2010-03-24). "57P/du Toit-Neujmin-Delporte". Seiichi Yoshida's Comet Catalog. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
- Patrick Rocher (2009-11-24). "Note number : 0040 P/Du Toit-Neujmin-Delporte : 57P". Institut de mécanique céleste et de calcul des éphémérides. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- 57P past, present and future orbital elements (Kazuo Kinoshita)
- Fernández, J. A.; et al. (December 1999). "The population, magnitudes, and sizes of Jupiter family comets". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 352: 327–340. Bibcode:1999A&A...352..327F.
- "Spectacular Comet Breakup". Newsletter from the Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii (No.5 - Summer 2002). 2002. Archived from the original on 2014-10-30. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
- Fernández, Yanga R. (August 2009). "That's the way the comet crumbles: Splitting Jupiter-family comets". Planetary and Space Science. 57 (10): 1218–1227. arXiv:0907.4806. Bibcode:2009P&SS...57.1218F. doi:10.1016/j.pss.2009.01.003. S2CID 15153026.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 57P/duToit-Neujmin-Delporte-A" (last observation: 2002-12-06). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2020-07-04.