C/1987 W3 Jensen-Shoemaker
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Comet C/1987 W3 was discovered by Carolyn S. and Eugene M. Shoemaker (with the 0.46-m Schmidt telescope at Palomar) on 24 November 1987 (IAUC 4503), when the comet was about two months before its perihelion passage. It was next announced (IAUC 4505) that the same comet was discovered by Poul Jensen on an earlier exposure taken by Karl Augustesen on 25 October (with the 0.45-m Schmidt telescope at the Copenhagen Observatory's Brorfelde station). Later, two more pre-discovery observations from September were found. The comet was last seen on 29 April 1990.
C/1987 W3 made its closest approach to the Earth on 17 October 1987 (2.47 au), that was three months before its perihelion passage.
Solution given here is based on data spanning over 2.60 yr in a range of heliocentric distances: 3.51 au – 3.33 au (perihelion) – 7.77 au.
This Oort spike comet suffers moderate planetary perturbations during its passage through the planetary system that lead to escape of the comet from the solar system (see future barycentric orbit).
See also Królikowska 2014 and Królikowska and Dybczyński 2017.

solution description
number of observations 34
data interval 1987 09 24 – 1990 04 29
data type perihelion within the observation arc (FULL)
data arc selection entire data set (STD)
range of heliocentric distances 3.51 au – 3.33 au (perihelion) – 7.77 au
detectability of NG effects in the comet's motion NG effects not determinable
type of model of motion GR - gravitational orbit
data weighting NO
number of residuals 65
RMS [arcseconds] 1.22
orbit quality class 1a
orbital elements (heliocentric ecliptic J2000)
Epoch 1987 12 31
perihelion date 1988 01 18.80890900 ± 0.00268000
perihelion distance [au] 3.33281436 ± 0.00001639
eccentricity 1.00477970 ± 0.00002465
argument of perihelion [°] 194.736359 ± 0.000546
ascending node [°] 198.345564 ± 0.000086
inclination [°] 76.715895 ± 0.000095
recip semi-major axis [10-6 au-1] -1,434.13 ± 7.38
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