The brighter comets of 2010

Two hundred and seventy one comets were assigned year designations in 2010, and 25 previously numbered periodic comets returned to perihelion. 222 comets were discovered from the SOHO satellite during the year (some in archive images) and STEREO found 19; of those from 2010, including two found subsequently, 221 were members of the Kreutz group, thirteen were members of the Meyer group, three of the Marsden group, one of the Kracht group and six were not associated with any known group. There were four amateur discoveries (2010 F4, H2, V1 and X1) for which Don Machholz, Jan Vales, Kaoru Ikeya, Shigeki Murakami and Leonid Elenin gained the Edgar Wilson Award. Fifteen periodic comets were numbered. Two 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 Comet 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 Section image archive.

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