The brighter comets of 2009


Two hundred and forty six comets were assigned year designations and 27 previously numbered periodic comets returned to perihelion. 184 comets were discovered from the SOHO satellite (some in archive images) and STEREO found 15; of those from 2009, 162 were members of the Kreutz group, eight were members of the Meyer group, one of the Marsden group, three of the Kracht group and eight were not associated with any known group. There were three amateur discoveries (2009 E1, F6 and L2) for which Koichi Itagaki (Yamagata, Japan), Dae-am Yi (Yeongwol-kun, Gangwon-do, Korea) and Rui Yang (Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China) & Xing Gao (Urumqi, Xinjiang province, China) gained the Edgar Wilson Award. 21 periodic comets were numbered. Three comets were reported as visible to the naked eye during the year.

Orbital elements for all the comets discovered and returning during the year can be found on the JPL Small-Body Database Browser, which will also generate ephemerides. Discovery details and some information for the other comets found or returning during the year are available on the Section visual observations web pages, which also contain links to additional background information. The raw visual observations for the year are on the Section visual observations web pages in ICQ format and in the Comet Observations Database (COBS).  Additional images of the comets are presented in the Comet Section image archive (continued)

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