Astronomers sifting through data sent to earth by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) have discovered an extremely faint comet that came within 210 million km of our sun on January 20. This is the second comet to have been sighted by the satellite in a two-week period.
Comet IRAS (1983F) was found by the orbiting telescope on May 13 (GMT) and was confirmed by ground-based observers on May 19. The comet is one million times fainter than comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock, which was discovered simultaneously by IRAS and the two amateur astronomers for whom the comet is named. IRAS-Araki-Alcock passed Earth May 11.