|Discovered by||Donald Machholz|
|Discovery date||7 November 2018|
|Epoch 16 November 2018|
|Observation arc||37 days|
(barycentric epoch 2050)
|Earth MOID||0.115002 AU|
Comet C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto) is a minor body that follows a slightly hyperbolic orbit (eccentricity > 1, 16.4-sigma). It was visually discovered on 7 November 2018 by Donald Machholz using an 18.5-inch reflecting telescope and it reached perihelion on 3 December 2018.
It was estimated to be between 8 and 10th magnitude from mid-November to mid-December 2018, visible in a small telescope. The value of its total (absolute magnitude of comet and coma) magnitude is 14.6 mag. It was discovered by three amateur astronomers: by an observer in Colfax, California, USA and by two observers in Japan. The observations by three astronomers result in the name for the comet, Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto. The current orbit determination of this comet is based on 750 observations with a 37-day observation arc.
Comet C/2018 V1 (Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto) has a significant probability (72.6%) of having an extrasolar provenance although an origin in the Oort Cloud cannot be excluded. As the present-day value of its barycentric orbital eccentricity is greater than 1, this comet is currently escaping from the Solar System, aiming for interstellar space.
Perihelion in early December 2018, above the orbit of Mercury
Animation of C/2018 V1's orbit
Sun · Mercury · Venus · Earth · Mars · C/2018 V1