Skip to comments.NEOWISE Spots a ôWeirdoö Comet
Posted on 04/10/2014 1:07:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
NASAs NEOWISE mission formerly known as just WISE has identified the first comet of its new near-Earth object hunting career and, according to mission scientists, its a weirdo.
To date several new asteroids have already been found by NEOWISE, and on February 14, 2014, it spotted its first comet.
We are so pleased to have discovered this frozen visitor from the outermost reaches of our solar system, said Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE principal investigator at JPL. This comet is a weirdo it is in a retrograde orbit, meaning that it orbits the sun in the opposite sense from Earth and the other planets.
Designated C/2014 C3 (NEOWISE), the comet was 143 million miles (230 million km) away in the image above a composite made from six infrared exposures. Thats 585 times the distance to the Moon, or about the average distance between the Earth and Mars.
The tail of the comet NEOWISE extends about 25,000 miles (40,000 km) to the right in the image.
Overall, C/2014 C3 (NEOWISE) was spotted six times before it moved out of range of the spacecrafts view. The comet has a highly-eccentric 20-year orbit that takes it high above the plane of the Solar System and out past the orbit of Jupiter. Technically, with a perihelion distance greater than 1.3 AU, comet C/2014 C3 does not classify as a near-Earth object (and its orbit does not intersect Earths.) But its still good to know that NEOWISE is looking out for us.
(Excerpt) Read more at universetoday.com ...
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Something from Wayoutthere that somehow got captured, no doubt.
Why the name-calling NASA ?
is the asteroid leaning the right ??
It will not comply.
Maybe it will bow towards mecca?
Makes me pray for an asteroid strike on the moon.
Omigosh that is wicked looking!
Not exactly unprecedented or even all that unusual to be honest. In fact, a comet found during WISE’s prime mission 4 years ago had a similar retrograde inclination, C/2010 L5 (WISE). Many comets have had retrograde orbits like this. Notably, C/1877 C1 (Borrelly) had a very similar orbit, but had a much closer approach to the sun that NEOWISE will.
The truth is that they’re doing everything they can to publicize every “first” new discovery that NEOWISE makes and just publicize the hell out of it for every dime it’s worth. They initially failed to secure funding for NEOWISE for the long term past the initial primary mission. They have to generate interest and keep NEOWISE in the spotlight to try to protect it from the chopping block in the future. Unfortunately this means sensationalizing everything to the maximum extent they can, complete with “funny names” for things they find even if it’s not actually anything novel.
We’re doomed! All those pixels are coming straight at us!
Tda Da Da Tsssshhhh.
Of course this doesn't mean we're engaged or sumpin'
It may have been a one topic stand, so no worries.