2P/Encke is a periodic comet that orbits the Sun every 3.30 years, the second shortest orbital period comet (after 311P PanSTARRS with an orbital period of 3.24 years). The comet was first observed in 1786 by Pierre Méchain, but its orbit was only calculated in 1819 by Johann Franz Encke. Comet Encke is believed to be the originator of several meteor showers known as Taurids. Comet Encke was one of the targets of NASA's CONTOUR spacecraft launched in 2002, but communication with the spacecraft was lost and the mission failed.
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