Comet C/1996 R3 (Lagerkvist)

On a Schmidt film taken at ESO on September 13, 1996, a faint comet was found. Above the discovery image is shown. The comet is the fuzzy object inside the ink marking. The comet was also identified on a film taken the following night. The discovery was confirmed by observations at NEAT and Spacewatch. Additional observations was published in the December (2003) issue of the Minor Planet Circulars thanks to the work of Maik Meyer. These confirmed that it is a long periodic comet. With a new more accurate orbit additional observations could be found on Schmidt films taken in October 1996. Below are the orbital elements:

    
C/1996R3 (Lagerkvist)
   Perihelion 1995 Jul 20.147207 TT  2449918.647207
Epoch 1996 Oct 24.0 TT = JDT 2450380.5
q   5.2083544            (2000.0)            P               Q
                   Peri.  130.14294      0.56441447      0.82156444
                   Node   172.70774     -0.80596288      0.52737418
e   1.0            Incl.   39.31725      0.17849408     -0.21658334
From 11 observations 1996 Sep. 12-Oct. 30;   RMS error 0.870 arcseconds        
                        
 
             


The  coordinates from the ESO observations.

C/1996 R3 (Lagerkvist)    1996 09 13.15139   23 09 34.782   -00 54 59.19                     809
C/1996 R3 (Lagerkvist)    1996 09 14.27361   23 09 13.811   -01 02 03.69                     809
C/1996 R3 (Lagerkvist)    1996 10 12.11424   23 02 09.67    -03 47 23.3                      809
C/1996 R3 (Lagerkvist)    1996 10 18.18264   23 01 15.32    -04 18 19.9                      809
C/1996 R3 (Lagerkvist)    1996 10 30.04167   23 00 23.71    -05 11 27.1                      809

The image of the comet on  October 12 is close to a faint galaxy, disturbing the
scanned image.

Comets in Uppsala

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Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist