Comet Kohoutek (formally designated C/1973 E1) was first sighted on March 7, 1973 by Czech astronomer Lubos Kohoutek. It attained perihelion on December 26 that same year.
Kohoutek was hyped by the media as the "comet of the century", but gave a poor display and was considered a letdown, leading some to nickname it "Comet Watergate".
In the nomenclature of the time it was known as either Comet 1973 XII or Comet 1973f, but the modern nomenclature is C/1973 E1.
Not to be confused with the periodic comet 75P/Kohoutek , which can also be called "Comet Kohoutek" (as could the comets C/1969 O1 and C/1973 D1, also discovered by Lubos Kohoutek as sole discoverer).
Music and art inspired by Comet Kohoutek
The rock band R.E.M. wrote the song "Kohoutek" about this comet, which appeared on their 1985 album Fables of the Reconstruction.
The jazz composer Sun Ra performed the Concert for the Comet Kohoutek in December 1973.
The first single of German avant-garde music group Kraftwerk, released in December 1973, was called Kohoutek-Kometenmelodie. On the album Autobahn, which appeared a few months later, the track title was shortened to Kometenmelodie (comet melody).
The rock band Journey wrote and recorded the instrumental "Kohoutek", which appeared on their self-titled debut album Journey.
The first album of Yahowha 13 from 1973 is called "Kohoutek".