Comet II 1862?

Forums Comets Comet II 1862?

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    David Strange

    I have been going through Norman Lockyer’s observing notes and he makes reference to bright Comet II 1862 observed in August 1862. See attached image.
    I find it strange that it wasn’t named in honour of its discoverer. Would this have been a Swift-Tuttle or a Tempel I think two bright comets appeared that year
    and its not clear from his observing reports which one this was.

    • This topic was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by David Strange.
    James Lancashire

    MNRAS gives discoverers as Pacinotho and Toussaint in Florence
    Comet Swift-Tuttle is designated 1862 III

    Nick James

    The comet designated as 1862 II is C/1862 N1 (Schmidt) discovered by J Schmidt (Athens) on 1862 July 2.87. See Cometography Vol 2, p305. Apparently just visible to the naked eye on July 7.

    David Strange

    Thanks both! I think I see where the confusion lies. Both Comet I 1862 and Comet II 1862 where discovered in the same month (July 2nd and July 22nd). I’m not sure how quickly discoveries became known to amateurs at that time but Norman reports very rapid motion of the comet, which suggests it was Schmidt C/1862 N1 which was making a close approach to Earth also known as Comet I 1862. This reference here: observed by Thomas William Webb which looks very similar to Lockyer’s drawing of around the same date was labelled as Swift-Tuttle also discovered in July of that year! Must have been a vintage year for bright comets!

    David C Rayment

    The comet mentioned in your image of Lockyer’s notes was, at the time, known as “Rosa’s Comet”, having been discovered by Father Rosa at Rome on July 25, 1862. An image of the comet’s path in the night sky was produced in the Illustrated London News of August 16, 1862. On August 30 it was predicted to be between Iota Herculis and Alpha Corona; on September 2 between Alpha Herculis and Alpha Serpentis. Your image of Lockyer’s notes reports it to be on a line between Alpha Draconis and Gamma Ursae Minoris on August 22.
    From St James Chronicle of Aug 7, 1862 (and other publications): “M. Temple of Marseilles, has sent the following letter to the journals concerning Father Rosa’s comet: – “The comet discovered at Rome on the 23 ult. by Father Rosa, is a new one, and not identical with that I observed here on the 2d ult. I perceived yesterday that his comet was still in the constellation of Camelopardalus ……”. “The comet of July 2, which M. Julius Schmidt, Director of the Observatory at Athens, discovered at the same time as I did, is now in the constellation of Virgo”. (23ult, elsewhere 25th).

    From: Descriptive Astronomy, George Frederick Chambers, 1867:
    “280. Discovered by Schmidt and Temple on July 2; on July 4 it had a tail half a degree long, and was then visible to the naked eye: between July 3rd and 4th it traversed 24 degrees of a great circle”.
    281 Discovered by H.P. Tuttle and Simmons, July 18; by Pacinotti, July 22; and by Rosa, July 25. Conspicuously visible to the naked eye for 2 to 3 weeks in August – September; with a tail, on August 27, as much as twenty five degrees long, according to Schmidt. An elliptic orbit; period assigned, 123 years”.
    Tousaint appears to have discovered it on the same day as Pacinotti.

    David Strange

    Many thanks for that, I’ve also found an article by David Levy here:
    I hadn’t heard of Rosa’s comet before!

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by David Strange.
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