The largest → comet orbiting periodically around the → Sun. Its nucleus is about 26 km across and its orbital period 133 years. Comet Swift-Tuttle is the parent body of the → meteor shower called the → Perseids. The comet was discovered in July 1862, when it was apparently as bright as → Polaris in the night sky. The comet's reappearance was predictaed for 1992, when it was rediscovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Tsuruhiko Kiuchi. In 2126 it will be a bright naked-eye comet when it will come within about 23 million km of Earth, or about 60 times the distance from Earth to the Moon. Its nearest approach to Earth is expected in 3044, when the comet will come within 1.6 million kilometres of the Earth's surface.
Named after the American astronomers who independently discovered the comet in 1862, Lewis Swift (1820-1913) on July 16, and Horace Parnell Tuttle (1837-1923) on July 19.