Collection Item Summary:
A drawing in pastel on black cardboard of Comet Kohoutek made by astronaut E. G. Gibson based on observations he made during the Skylab 3 mission. The comet was discovered in early March 1973 and was predicted to become a major celestial event since it was believed to be a primordeal comet on its first passage into the inner solar system. Gibson, the science specialist and pilot for the third manned Skylab visit, is a solar physicist and focused on the astronomical experiments. He took the opportunity to observe the comet visually through different windows in Skylab during the 84-day mission, supplementing electronographic images taken by various Skylab telescopes.
The full suite of over a dozen drawings and renderings was split between the space science collection and the art collection after it was donated by the Aerospace Corporation. This drawing represents the comet on January 1, 1974, four days after perihelion.