Discovered byDavid H. Levy
Discovery date2006-Oct-02[1]
Orbital characteristics A
(JD 2456981.5)
Aphelion5.069 AU (Q)
Perihelion1.008 AU (q)
Semi-major axis3.038 AU (a)
Orbital period5.30 yr
Earth MOID0.025 AU (3,700,000 km)[1]
Last perihelion2017-May-03[2][3]
Next perihelion2022-Sep-07[5]

255P/Levy, formerly P/2006 T1 and P/2011 Y1, is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 5.25 years.[1] It last came to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 14 January 2012.[4] During the 2006 passage the comet achieved an apparent magnitude of ~9.5.[6] Levy (PK06T010) was believed to have been recovered on 3 June 2011 at magnitude 19.8,[7] but other observatories were unable to confirm a recovery. It was most likely a false positive because of large residuals. Levy was recovered on 17 December 2011 at magnitude 19.8, and given the second designation 2011 Y1.[8] It was then numbered.

It came to perihelion on 14 January 2012 at a distance of 1.007 AU from the Sun.[4] The comet passed the Earth on 2012-Jan-26 at a distance of 0.2359 AU (35,290,000 km; 21,930,000 mi).[9] During the 2012 passage the comet was originally expected to reach an apparent magnitude of 7, but the comet had been in outburst in 2006 and was much dimmer than expected when it was recovered in 2011. MPC estimates after the 2011 recovery estimated that it would reach a magnitude of 17, and it had an elongation of 90°. However, CCD images showed it was diffuse[10] and the comet's magnitude was estimated at 14.1 on 30 December 2011.[11]

The comet was not observed during the 2017 perihelion passage.[2] At opposition in August 2016 it would have been dimmer than magnitude 19.

255P/Levy currently has an Earth-MOID of 0.025 AU (3,700,000 km; 2,300,000 mi).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: P/2006 T1 (Levy)" (last observation: 2012-01-25; arc: 5.31 years). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2016-01-10.
  2. ^ a b c "255P/Levy Orbit". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  3. ^ Syuichi Nakano (2012-01-02). "P/Levy (2006 T1 = 2011 Y1) (NK 2187)". OAA Computing and Minor Planet Sections. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  4. ^ a b c "P/2006 T1 (Levy)" (last observation: 2011-12-17). Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
  5. ^ JPL Horizons (last obs 2012-01-25)
    Observer Location: @sun
  6. ^ "P/2006 T1 Comet for Windows apmag graph for 2006". aerith.net. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
  7. ^ "MPEC 2011-L51 : OBSERVATIONS AND ORBITS OF COMETS". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  8. ^ "MPEC 2011-Y07 : P/2006 T1 = 2011 Y1 (Levy)". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2011-12-18. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
  9. ^ "JPL Close-Approach Data: P/2006 T1 (Levy)" (last observation: 2011-12-30; arc: 5.24 years). Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  10. ^ "Weekly Information about Bright Comets (2011 Dec. 24: North)". aerith.net. 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  11. ^ "CCD comet estimates". severastro.narod.ru. 2012-01-01. Archived from the original on 2012-04-22. Retrieved 2012-01-04.

External links

  • Orbital simulation from JPL (Java) / Horizons Ephemeris
  • Elements and Ephemeris for 255P/Levy – Minor Planet Center
  • P/2006 T1 (Levy) at the Minor Planet Center's Database
  • 255P/Levy - Seiichi Yoshida @ aerith.net (with pictures taken by different astronomers around the world)
  • P/2006 T1 (Levy) as seen at the Great Shefford Observatory in 2006