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Comet d’Arrest

Comet 6P/d'Arrest

A short-period comet of inner Solar System officially discovered by Heinrich d'Arrest in 1851, though there are some indications that it may bave been observed as early as 1678. The comet has a relatively small icy nucleus some three kilometres across (for comparison Halley's Comet has a nucleus some five times this diameter).

Comet d'Arrest pursues a path through the Solar System that nears the orbit of Mars on its closest approach to the Sun, and extends out to a point a little beyond Jupiter's orbit at its most distant point (placing it among the family of objects known a Jupiter-family comets).

Though it crosses the area of the Solar System occupied by the Asteroid Belt, Comet d'Arrest has an orbit inclined nearly 20° to the plane of the system, and so does not pass through the Belt directly. With such a short orbit (by comparison with many other comets) it returns to its perihelion point regularly, completing a trip around the Sun and returning to its closest point of approach in a period of a little over six years.

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