|Discovered by||Horace Parnell Tuttle|
|Discovery date||January 5, 1858|
|1790 II; 1858 I; 1871 III;|
1885 IV; 1899 III; 1912 IV;
1926 IV; 1939 X; 1967 V;
1980 XIII; 1994 XV
|Orbital characteristics A|
|Epoch||January 15, 2008|
|Semi-major axis||5.701737 AU|
|Orbital period||13.6 a|
|Earth MOID||0.095 AU (14.2 million km)|
|Dimensions||4.5 km contact binary|
|Last perihelion||August 27, 2021|
January 27, 2008
8P/Tuttle (also known as Tuttle's Comet or Comet Tuttle) is a periodic comet with a 13-year orbit. It fits the classical definition of a Jupiter-family comet with an orbital period of less than 20 years, but does not fit the modern definition of (2 < TJupiter< 3). The next perihelion passage is August 27, 2021 when the comet will have a solar elongation of 26 degrees at approximately apparent magnitude 9. Closest approach to Earth will be a rather distant 1.8 AU (270 million km) on September 12, 2021 which is about as far from Earth as the comet can get when the comet is near perihelion.
Under dark skies the comet was a naked eye object. Perihelion was late January 2008, and as of February was visible telescopically to Southern Hemisphere observers in the constellation Eridanus. On December 30, 2007 it was in close conjunction with spiral galaxy M33. On January 1, 2008 it passed Earth at a distance of 0.25282 AU (37,821,000 km; 23,501,000 mi).
Predictions that the 2007 Ursid meteor shower could be expected to be stronger than usual due to the return of the comet, did not appear to materialize, as counts were in the range of normal distribution.
Radar observations of Comet Tuttle in January 2008 by the Arecibo Observatory show it to be a contact binary. The comet nucleus is estimated at about 4.5 km in diameter, using the equivalent diameter of a sphere having a volume equal to the sum of a 3 km and 4 km sphere.
About 1.2 degrees from M33 on December 30, 2007.