Comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake

[Comet Hyakutake]

On January 31, 1996, IAU circular 6299 reported the visual discovery of a comet by Yuji Hyakutake of Japan. Comet Hyakutake, also designated Comet C/1996 B2, approached within 0.1 AU of the Earth (about 15 million km) on March 25. Perihelion on May 1 saw the comet at a distance of 0.23 AU from the Sun. After perihelion, the comet should be visible in the southern hemisphere from the middle of May to early June.

Information on Comet Hyakutake

Perihelion distance: 0.23019 AU
Perihelion date: 01 May 1996 UT 09:30 (5:30 AM EDT)
Closest approach to Earth: 0.1 AU
Date of closest approach to Earth: 25 March 1996
Orbital inclination: 124.924 deg.
Orbital eccentricity: > 0.999784
Argument of perihelion: 130.165 deg.
Longitude of ascending node: 188.046 deg.
Pre-perihelion Orbital period: ~ 8,000 years
Post-perihelion Orbital period: ~ 14,000 years
Original Semi-major axis: ~ 400 AU

Epoch 2450270.50000 = 1996 July 6.00000
Ref. solution 46, 11 May 1996

Other Information on Comet Hyakutake

Press Release on the discovery of ethane on Comet Hyakutake (31 May 1996)
Report on X-rays detected from the comet by ROSAT. Also see the NASA Press Release for 04 April 1996
Comet Hyakutake - NASA Press Release 21 March 1996
Planned NEAR spacecraft observations of Comet Hyakutake
NEAR spacecraft information
Hyakutake Orbital Elements from the PDS Small Bodies Node
Gary Kronk's page on Comet Hyakutake
Sky and Telescope information on Hyakutake
Information and Images - JPL Comet Observation Page
Information on Hyakutake from The Astronomer Online
Astronomical Headlines - Minor Planet Center

General Comet Information

Comet Fact Sheet
From the Nine Planets (SEDS, Univ. of Arizona)
From Views of the Solar System

Comet and Asteroid Home Page
NSSDCA Planetary Science Home Page

Dr. David R. Williams,
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: Dave Williams,
Last Updated: 30 December 2004, DRW