Letter to the Editor
Daytime observations of sungrazing comets in Chinese annals
ASTRON, Radiosterrenwacht, PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands Astronomical Institute “A. Pannekoek”, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, PR China
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 26 March 2002
Kreutz sungrazers consist of a handful of major comets and some 400 minor (faint) members found by satellite observations through 2001. Although they can be spectacular visual objects, many must be absent from historical records. Here I show that a dozen or so previously unrecognized sungrazers were probably recorded in Chinese solar observations, and from their brightnesses they must be major group members. The earliest dates from 15 AD, but nearly half were seen in a short period in the 17th century, and there is some evidence that most of the entire ensemble belong to the Kreutz class.
Key words: comets: individual: Kreutz sungrazers / history and philosophy of astronomy
© ESO, 2002