41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak Home Page

What is interesting about comet T-G-K?

  • T-G-K was "discovered" three different times
    Over the course of nearly a century, it was observed several times, but due to poor geometric circumstances, it was not monitored enough to accurately determine an orbit that would predict its return. It was not until 1951 that the different observations were conclusively linked to the same comet.
  • T-G-K exhibits random outburst activity
    Just before perihelion on its 1973 apparition, T-G-K experienced a major outburst, brightening by almost 10 magnitudes! A month later, a second, smaller outburst was seen. Two more outbursts were reported during its 2001 appartion, and another may have occurred in 1995, though observing conditions were poor for that apparition. No outbursts were reported in 2006, even though the comet was well observed throughout its apparition. If an outburst occurs around perihelion in 2017, the proximity to the Earth could make it a spectacular show.