The Modern Role of Visual Observations of Comets

  • S. M. Larson
  • S. J. Edberg
  • D. H. Levy
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 167)


This paper reviews the role of past and future visual observations in cometary research. The strengths and limitations of visual observations are explored for the benefit of both investigators who might have to use them and observers who wish to make real contributions to the field. We consider the characteristics of the eye-brain combination as a detector and compare them with those of modern detectors. We specifically evaluate visual discoveries, magnitude estimates, and drawings.


Visual Search Magnitude Estimate Heliocentric Distance Visual Discovery Cometary Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Larson
    • 1
  • S. J. Edberg
    • 2
  • D. H. Levy
    • 3
  1. 1.Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  3. 3.Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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