Promising one of the heavens' most brilliant spectacles in recent years, the new Peltier comet, first of the season, gives indications that it will become visible to the naked eye just before sunrise during the latter part of July. No other comet has swum into man's unaided ken since 1927.
Since its discovery Friday, computations of the stellar body's orbit and other conclusive calculations have already been made by the Observatory. The local astronomers were only second on the scene of notion, however.
Credit for the discovery goes to Leslie C. Peltier, garage employee of Delphos, Ohio. One of the world's most distinguished amateur astronomers, Mr. Peltier hereby chalks up the fourth in his string of comet discoveries; his other most recent success was achieved in 1933.
With a nucleus and tail about one degree in length, the comet is located in the Constellation Cepheus through which it is rambling south and east at a rate sufficient to keep visible for some months to come.
On the average about six comets a year come within range of the earth's telescopes. This one is now 120,000,000 miles away. Latest Observatory figures show it has increased in brightness from ninth to eighth magnitude since the initial recording Friday, and by the end of July, before beginning to recede, will be brighter than the sixth magnitude and within 20,000,000 miles of terra firma.
Computations of the comet's orbit were made by Fred L. Whipple, instructor in Astronomy and Leland E. Cunningham on the basis of photographs taken at the Cambridge and Oak Ridge stations.
Their calculations at present indicate for the body an "open parabolic" course around the sun, which apparently never gets nearer the solar star than 93,000,000 miles or the distance from earth to sun.
Once Mr. Peltier's star child goes away it will probably be several hundred years before it returns.