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Czech & Slovak comets

1942 a  Whipple-Bernasconi-Kulin Comet 1942 a, known as Whipple-Bernasconi-Kulin discovered independently A. Bečvář on February 18. 1942 and his message about it arrived to Centre for comet observations in Coppenhagen first. But comet was discovered also by M. Bernasconi from Como, Italy on February 11. and 1 day later also by G. Kulin in Budapest, Hungary. As it appeared later the comet was observed first in USA, by Fred Whipple on Januray 25. at Harvard College Observatory. However his message arrived to Center for discoveries only on autum 1942 with 9 months delay. So in the end Whipple´s name replaced Becvár´s name.

1946 d  Pajdušáková-Rotbart-Weber Comet was discovered on night from 29. to 30. May 1946 by Ludmila Pajdusakova at Observatory Skalnate Pleso, Slovakia. She used for her search a newly obtained giant binocular Somet Binar 25x100. The new object was in Cygnus, near to star 52 Cyg and it appeared definitely like a comet - brightness 7th magn., tail 0,75 grades long. It moved very fast across the sky - 12 grades daily. It was independently discovered 7 hours later by David Rotbart, Washington, USA and next day also by Anton Weber in Berlin, Germany.

The discovery was made 19 days after comet passed its perihelium. The comet moved on retrograde orbit. It was observed from Skalnate Pleso 17 days, finally on 15. June 1946. It reached 6th visual magnitude after discovery and was visible by naked eyes shortly, then its brighness slowly decreased. On 5. June there was observed a sign of double tail.

1947 c  Bečvář Comet discovered Bečvář at his 219th scan on March 27., 1947. It was in Draco as 9th magnitude fuzzy object. In spite of Moon just before Full Moon and bad wheather, he was able to photograph the comet also on March 28. and 30. Only the following day was comet observed also outside Czechoslovakia, in USA.

1948 d  Pajdušáková-Mrkos Comet was discovered on 13. March 1948 by Ľudmila Pajdušáková and Antonín Mrkos at Observatory Skalnate Pleso, Slovakia. The comet was in Hercules as diffuse spot of 10th magnitude.

1951 d  Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák Comet discovered April 24. 1951 Ľubor Kresák at Observatory Skalnate Pleso as object of 10 magnitude. Soon after he made more observations he identified this object with comets observed in 1858 and 1907 and lately lost. In 1951´s return the comet was observed for longer period as in previous years (24. Apr. - 4. Aug. 1951) so its orbital elements were improved much so it would not be lost anymore. It was observed in following returns in 1973, 1978 and 2001.

First it was discovered by Horace Parnell Tuttle on May 3. 1858 on Harvard College Observatory, Cambridge, USA. Its last observation in this return was on June 2. Although it was clear that it is a periodic comet, due to a short observation arc of 30 days its orbital solution was not very precise with 5.8 to 7.5 yrs. It was not observed at its next return and got lost.

The comet circled unnoticed 9 times the Sun after it was rediscovered on June 1. 1907 by Michel Giacobini in Nice, France with 40 cm telescope as rather faint object. Observed last on June 14. from Alger, Algeria. No one identified it with the comet from 1858 until A.C.D. Crommelin showed the similarity of their orbital elements and computed its return to years 1928 and 1934. But it was not found and got lost for second time. Another 8 returns passed until Lubor Kresak discovered third time and this time for good.

Ľubor Kresák: Pohyb periodickej kométy Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák 1951—1956
Ľubor Kresák: The motion of the periodic comet Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák 1951—1956
Gary W. Krok´s Cometography:41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak

1959 j  Mrkos Comet discovered Antonin Mrkos before dawn Dec. 3. 1959 at Lomnitz Peak. It moved accross Libra constelation as 8th magnitude difuse object with central condensation and short tail of 1 grade. Following day E. Roemer from Flagstaff, Arizona, USA confirmed the new comet. As it appeared, comet was discovered 20 days after its passage of perihelium. The comet was observable until late April 1960 from southern hemisphere and its britness was about 1Oth magnitude.

P/1983 J3 Kowal-Vávrová Objekt discovered by Zdenka Vávrová at Kleť Observatory on May 14, 1983 received preliminary designation 1983 JG as minor planet. It did not showed any cometary activity at that time. Charles T. Kowal detected unknown comet on Palomar plates taken on May 8, 9 and 15. Later in September Brian Marsden showed that both discoveries were in fact the same object - a new short periodic comet and it got name 1983 J3/Kowal-Vavrova.

Astronomers tried to find additional positions of new comet also from images of IRAS spacecraft, but without success. Another month later Antonín Mrkos found comet on images from May 31, 1983. This significantly helped to refine comet orbital solution so afterwards comet was detected also on IRAS images.

The following return to perihelium was predicted for 1998. Jim V. Scotti from Spacewatch Observatory found the comet already on Dec. 5 and 6., 1997. He confirmed periodic character of comet and it received final designation - 134P/Kowal-Vávrová.

Next apparition is due in 2014, in June of that year comet should reach its highest brightness about 14. magnitude.


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  My discoveries total:             342
    Apache Point (705):                   4

    Konkoly Obs (461):                 180

    Moorook Obs (D90):                   1
    Rodeo Obs (H11):                       1
    Sierra Stars Obs (G68):              1
    RAS Observatory (H06):             7
   SkyMorph/NEAT (644):           145
   FMO Spacewatch (691):              3
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