Key Facts


C/1785 E1 (Mechain) is a large comet whose orbit does not match any defined comet orbit class. NASA JPL has not classified Mechain as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Mechain orbits the sun every 0 days (0.00 years), coming as close as 0.42 AU and reaching as far as 240.98 AU from the sun. Its orbit is highly elliptical. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Mechain is probably between 2658.000 to 5943.469 kilometers in diameter, making it the largest asteroid/dwarf planet, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. state of Alaska.

No Close Approaches

Mechain's orbit is 0.00 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that its orbit is very close to Earth's orbit.

Orbital simulations conducted by NASA JPL's CNEOS do not show any close approaches to Earth.

Images and Observations

Mechain's orbit is determined by observations dating back to March 11, 1785. It was last officially observed on April 17, 1785. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 25 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

This comet is not considered a viable target for human exploration by the NHATS study.



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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2373116.4 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 120.7 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.9965
  • Inclination: 92.64°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 67.69°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 127.2°
  • Mean Anomaly: 0.0°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~3431.463 km

Derived Characteristics

  • Aphelion Distance: 240.98 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.42 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of C/1785 E1 (Mechain) is indicated by a ◯ pink circle. Note that the object may not be in your current field of view. Use the controls below to adjust position, location, and time.