The nucleus of Archer's Comet

Archer's Comet was a comet discovered by Enterprise NX-01 in 2151. With a diameter of 82.6 kilometers, the comet was the largest ever observed by Humans or Vulcans. It was named after Captain Jonathan Archer, following confirmation that it was not listed in the Vulcan database.

As a comparison, optimistic estimates place the diameter of the nucleus of Hale-Bopp at 60 ± 20 kilometers.

Enterprise passes the tail of Archer's Comet

Initially disregarded as merely "rock and ice" by Sub-Commander T'Pol, upon further analysis it was discovered to contain large quantities of eisillium located under a twenty-meter thick layer of magnesite. Since eisillium was extremely rare, Captain Jonathan Archer suggested obtaining a sample with the transporter. With the layer located out of transporter range, Lieutenant Malcolm Reed suggested making use of the portable drilling rig with Ensign Travis Mayweather's assistance.

The surface of Archer's Comet

Dawn at Archer's Comet

During the "comet walk," the drilling team experienced several setbacks, including a broken drill bit due to a layer of magnesite, a rotational axis shift resulting in the dawn approaching sooner than expected causing the temperature to increase by several hundred degrees, and the Shuttlepod 1 falling into a chasm due to melting ice. Enterprise attempted to use the grappler and pull the shuttlepod to safety. However, a secure hold could not be obtained. The drilling team was eventually rescued by the Vulcan starship Ti'Mur under command of Captain Vanik. (ENT: "Breaking the Ice")

Scans of the comet were reported by Enterprise to Starfleet Command, where Admiral Maxwell Forrest found them "incredible." He later relayed this enthusiasm to Archer. (ENT: "Fortunate Son")

The scenes on the surface of the comet were filmed on Monday 10 September 2001 on Paramount Stage 9. ("Call sheet")
In the writers' second draft script of "Breaking the Ice", this comet was instead named "Comet Archer" and was said to have a diameter of forty-eight point six kilometers. It was described as having been traveling through space for the past ten billion years and be scheduled to orbit within fifty kilometers of its sun in twenty-seven days since its discovery by Enterprise. Also, it was theorized that, during the past ten billion years, the comet had orbited around its sun only a few times. In the first draft script of "Fortunate Son", Archer mentioned that the scans of the comet didn't do justice to actually seeing the comet in person, and Admiral Forrest wrily answered he had been told the comet would be visible from Earth in approximately ten thousand years.
According to the reference book Star Trek: Star Charts (p. 60), this comet was discovered by the Enterprise in the Beta Quadrant.
Community content is available under CC-BY-NC unless otherwise noted.