Donati's comet

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Donati's comet

(doh-mah -teez) (1858 VI) A spectacular comet famous for its coma with multiple haloes: parabolic envelopes with vertices toward the Sun and foci near the apparent nucleus. These haloes were regular and sharp and are thought to have been produced by repetitive ejection of material from a single active area exposed successively to solar radiation as the solid cometary nucleus rotated every 4.6 hours.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Donati’s Comet


a long-period comet having a period of about 150 years. One of the brightest comets, it moves around the sun in an elongated elliptical orbit having a perihelion of 0.58 astronomical units and an aphelion of 300 astronomical units. The comet was discovered on June 2, 1858, by Giovanni Donati. The remarkable duration of its visibility to the naked eye (from the middle of August to the beginning of December) has made it possible to study it in great detail. In the first half of October 1858, Donati’s comet attained a brightness of a star of zero magnitude and had three tails: tails of types I and II (following F. A. Bredikhin’s classification) measuring up to 70 million km long and a short, diffuse, type III tail. Up to seven luminous envelopes have been observed around the nucleus.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bond sketched 1858 Comet Donati at Harvard College Observatory, has anyone seen such distinct de tails around the pseudonucleus.
The comet reminded him of the drawing of Comet Donati made by George P.
The Great Comet of 1811, whose performance Hale-Bopp may possibly emulate, accompanied a particularly splendid harvest of grapes, and the vintage squeezed out of them was subsequently marketed as "comet wine." The same thing happened in 1858 with Comet Donati. If comets truly are dead souls, they embrace the good life.