Wilhelm von Biela
February 27, 1826
designations=1772; 1806 I; 1832 III; 1846 II; 1852 III; 1826 D1
September 29, 1852[ [http://www.oaa.gr.jp/~oaacs/nk/nk851b.htm NK 851B — OAA computing section publication] ]
aphelion= 6.190 AU
period= 6.619 a
September 24, 1852
3D/Biela is the official designation for a lost periodic
cometdiscovered in 1826by Wilhelm von Biela. It is sometimes known as Comet Biela or Biela's Comet.
The comet was sighted in
1772by Charles Messierand in 1805by Jean-Louis Pons. However, it was Wilhelm von Biela who discovered it in its 1826 perihelionapproach (on February 27) and calculated its orbit, discovering it to be periodic with a period of 6.6 years. It was only the third comet (at the time) found to be periodic, after the famous comets Halley and Encke.
1846appearance, the comet was observed to have broken up into two pieces. It was observed again in 1852with the two parts being 1.5 million miles apart [Recreations in Astronomy by Henry White Warren D.D. 1886] . They could not be found on their periodic returns in 1859, 1865, and 1872; But on Nov. 27th, 1872, a brilliant meteor shower(3,000 per hour) was observed radiating from the part of the sky where the comet had been expected to cross in September 1872. This was the date when Earth intersected the comet's trajectory. These meteors became known as the Andromedidsor "Bielids" and it seems apparent that they indicated the death of the comet. The meteors were seen again on subsequent occasions for the rest of the 19th century, but have now faded away.
A highly speculative theory suggests that on
October 8, 1871, fragments of Biela's Comet may have been responsible for starting the Peshtigo Fire[ [http://www.peshtigofire.info/impact.htm The Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871 — Was it a comet?] ] , the Port Huron Fire of 1871, and the Great Chicago Fire. However, there is no direct evidenceof this. Fact|date=February 2007
November 27 1885, there was an iron meteorite fall in northern Mexico, at the same time as the 15,000 per hour outburst of the Andromedid meteor shower. The Mazapil meteoritehas sometimes been attributed to the comet, but this idea has been out of favor since the 1950s. The processes of differentiation required to produce an iron body are not believed to occur in comets.
Comet P/2001 J1 (NEAT) may be part of former comet Biela since it has a similar orbit [ [http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iauc/07600/07635.html#Item2 IAUC 7635: P/2001 J1] ] .
* [http://cometography.com/pcomets/003d.html 3D at Kronk's cometography]
* [http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002M&PS...37..649B The Mazapil meteorite: From paradigm to periphery]
* [http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=3D;orb=1 Comet 3D/Biela orbital simulation from JPL (Java)]
* [http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=P/2001%20J1;orb=1 Comet P/2001 J1 (NEAT) orbital simulation from JPL (Java)]
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