C/1972 L1 Sandage
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Comet C/1972 L1 was discovered on 9 June 1972, about five months before perihelion passage, and was last seen on 10 November 1974 [Kronk and Meyer, Cometography: Volume 5], however in 1974 only a few positional measurements were taken (see picture).
This comet made its closest approach to the Earth on 16 May 1972 (3.682 au), 24 days before discovery.
Solution given here is based on data spanning over 2.36 yr in a range of heliocentric distances: 4.47 au – 4.276 au (perihelion) – 7.01 au.
This Oort spike comet suffers moderate planetary perturbations during its passage through the planetary system that lead to escape the comet from the planetary zone on a hyperbolic orbit (see future barycentric orbit).
See also Królikowska 2014 and Królikowska and Dybczyński 2017.

solution description
number of observations 150
data interval 1972 06 09 – 1974 10 19
data type perihelion within the observation arc (FULL)
data arc selection entire data set (STD)
range of heliocentric distances 4.47 au – 4.28 au (perihelion) – 7.01 au
detectability of NG effects in the comet's motion NG effects not determinable
type of model of motion GR - gravitational orbit
data weighting YES
number of residuals 296
RMS [arcseconds] 1.40
orbit quality class 1a
orbital elements (heliocentric ecliptic J2000)
Epoch 1972 11 19
perihelion date 1972 11 14.80974500 ± 0.00388700
perihelion distance [au] 4.27576201 ± 0.00001790
eccentricity 1.00636268 ± 0.00002624
argument of perihelion [°] 56.657922 ± 0.000583
ascending node [°] 225.485976 ± 0.000118
inclination [°] 79.367842 ± 0.000073
recip semi-major axis [10-6 au-1] -1,488.08 ± 6.13
Time distribution of positional observations with corresponding heliocentric (red curve) and geocentric (green curve) distance at which they were taken. The horizontal dotted line shows the perihelion distance for a given comet whereas vertical dotted line – the moment of perihelion passage