• synonyms


[lek-suh l]
  1. 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.
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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

Historical Examples

  • Its form and extent might be greatly changed after the manner of Lexell's comet.

    The Asteroids

    Daniel Kirkwood

  • A famous example of this kind of planetary horse-play is furnished by the story of Lexell's missing comet.

    Curiosities of the Sky

    Garrett Serviss

  • 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.