World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

C/1760 A1


C/1760 A1

Great Comet of 1760
Discovered by Abbe Chevalier
Discovery date January 7th, 1760
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch 08:11:02 AM, Dec 17, 1759 TDB
(JD 2363871.841)
Observation arc 31 days
Perihelion 0.96576 AU
Eccentricity 1.0 (assumed)
Inclination 175.126°
Last perihelion December 17, 1759
Next perihelion unknown

The Great Comet of 1760 (C/1760 A1) was first seen on 7 January 1760 by Abbe Chevalier at Lisbon.[1] Charles Messier also spotted the comet on 8 January 1760 in Paris, by the sword of Orion. The comet was his third discovery and the comet was the 51st to have a calculated orbit. Messier observed the comet for a total of 6 days.

It approached to within approximately 0.0682 astronomical unit (AU) or 6.34 million miles. This is the 11th closest approach by a comet of all time. Messier gave the comet a magnitude rating of 2.0, making it easily visible to the unaided eye. Messier also gave the comet an elongation angle of 140 degrees.

Messier came up against opposition from Navy astronomer Joseph Nicholas Delisle, who had employed Messier from October 1751, because Delisle would not publish the discovery Messier had made. This was a continuation of the mistrust that had developed between Messier and Delisle because Delisle had been slow to publish work done by Messier in 1759; Messier had independently rediscovered Halley's Comet on 21 January 1759 but because Messier had doubted the correctness of Delisle's path, Delisle instructed Messier to continue observing the comet and refused to announce his discovery. Delisle apparently later changed his mind and announced the discovery on 1 April 1759, but other French astronomers discredited Delisle's claim, labelling the discovery an April Fools' joke. Delisle retired in 1760.

As of June 2008, the comet was about 216 AU from the Sun.[2][3]


  1. ^ Cometography: Ancient-1799. Cambridge University Press. 1999. p. 430.  
  2. ^ NASA. JPL Small-body database browser plot and approximate distance. (needs Java)
  3. ^ NASA. JPL HORIZONS current ephemeris more accurate position, no plot.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.