- Astronomy. a comet that passed closer to the earth than any other comet (1770), but now has an orbit that is too distant from the earth for it to be observed.
Origin of Lexell
after Anders Jean Lexell (1740–84), Finnish-born mathematician, who calculated its orbit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for lexell
Its form and extent might be greatly changed after the manner of Lexell's comet.The Asteroids
A famous example of this kind of planetary horse-play is furnished by the story of Lexell's missing comet.Curiosities of the Sky
The adventures of Lexell's comet have long served to exemplify the effects of Jupiter's despotic sway over such bodies.
This possibility seemed to be realized by Chandler's identification of Brooks's and Lexell's comet.
Lexell was the first to suspect that this was a new planet eighteen times as far from the sun as the earth is.History of Astronomy