Lexell's comet

Lexell's comet

(leks -ĕlz) A comet that was discovered by Messier in June 1770 but was named after the St. Petersburg mathematician who calculated its orbit. Prior to 1767 Lexell's comet had a period of 11.4 years; a close approach to Jupiter in 1770 changed this to 5.6 years and the next close approach to Jupiter in 1779 changed this period to a calculated 174 years. This last approach perturbed the comet so that it has a perihelion distance of 5.4 AU and it has never been seen again, always being too far away from Earth.

Lexell's Comet

[′lek·selz ‚käm·ət]
(astronomy)
A small comet that approached to within 2,000,000 miles (3,200,000 kilometers) of earth in 1770; it has not been seen since.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Herschel describes an encounter between Lexell's Comet and Jupiter thusly:
So Poe's mention of a comet "observed to pass among the satellites of Jupiter" was definitely inspired by Lexell's Comet.
She used John Herschel's 1834 American edition as a source and connected "The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion" to both Biela's Comet and Lexell's Comet.
Poe's story alludes to the remarkable 1779 passage of Lexell's Comet through Jupiter's satellite system.
1 million miles on October 26, 1366; almost four centuries later, Lexell's comet (D/1770 L1), which passed on July 1, 1770 and missed Earth by only 1.