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Comet Morehouse (modern formal designation: C/1908 R1) was a bright, non-periodic comet discovered by US astronomer Daniel Walter Morehouse and first observed on September 1, 1908. It was unusual in the rapid variations seen in the structure of its tail. At times, the tail seemed to split into up to six separate tails; at others, the tail appeared completely detached from the head of the comet. The tail was further unusual in that it formed while the comet was still 2 AU away from the Sun (where distances of 1.5 AU are more usual), and that there was a high concentration of the CO+ ion in its spectrum.

C/Morehouse (1908 R1)
Morehousecometpostcard2.jpg
Picture from a 1908 postcard. [1]
Discovery
Discovered byDaniel Walter Morehouse
Discovery date1908
Alternative
designations
Comet Morehouse, 1908 III, 1908c
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch2418250.5
AphelionN/A AU
Perihelion0.945 AU
Semi-major axisN/A AU
Eccentricity1.00073
Orbital periodN/A a (?)
Inclination140.2°
Last perihelionDecember 26, 1908
Next perihelionN/A

As is typical for comets fresh from the Oort Cloud, its orbital solution is more or less parabolic; if its orbit is in fact closed, it will likely not return for millions of years.

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