Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

NEOWISE Spots a ôWeirdoö Comet
Universe Today ^ | February 28, 2014 | Jason Major

Posted on 04/10/2014 1:07:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

NASA’s 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, it’s 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. That’s 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 spacecraft’s 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 Earth’s.) But it’s still good to know that NEOWISE is looking out for us.

(Excerpt) Read more at universetoday.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: c2014c3; catastrophism; comet; comets; nasa; neowise; wise; xplanets
Infrared image of comet NEOWISE (C/2014 C3). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Infrared image of comet NEOWISE (C/2014 C3). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

1 posted on 04/10/2014 1:07:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...

Extra to APoD.


2 posted on 04/10/2014 1:08:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...
Retrograde and out of the ecliptic.

3 posted on 04/10/2014 1:09:00 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...
Retrograde and out of the ecliptic.
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

4 posted on 04/10/2014 1:09:39 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Something from Wayoutthere that somehow got captured, no doubt.


5 posted on 04/10/2014 1:13:14 PM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Why the name-calling NASA ?
is the asteroid leaning the right ??


6 posted on 04/10/2014 1:18:31 PM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (>> F U B O << "What the hell kind of country is this if I can only hate a man if he's white?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

It will not comply.


7 posted on 04/10/2014 1:24:20 PM PDT by TheOldLady
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ├čudda├čudd

Maybe it will bow towards mecca?


8 posted on 04/10/2014 1:24:57 PM PDT by null and void (The British declared war on the Tea Party. The Tea Party won! (Thanks mom!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

9 posted on 04/10/2014 1:37:21 PM PDT by Disambiguator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Disambiguator

Makes me pray for an asteroid strike on the moon.


10 posted on 04/10/2014 1:41:09 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Who but a TYRANT shoves down another man's throat what he has exempted himself from?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Disambiguator

Omigosh that is wicked looking!


11 posted on 04/10/2014 1:44:21 PM PDT by DallasDeb (usafa06mom)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ├čudda├čudd

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.


12 posted on 04/10/2014 1:46:24 PM PDT by messierhunter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Disambiguator

No wonder Jules Verne insisted on shooting it.

13 posted on 04/10/2014 2:30:28 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (Republican amnesty supporters don't care whether their own homes are called mansions or haciendas.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

We’re doomed! All those pixels are coming straight at us!


14 posted on 04/10/2014 2:37:27 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (I live in NJ....' Nuff said!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Sons of Liberty
Why would anyone want asteroids. They hurt.

Tda Da Da Tsssshhhh.

15 posted on 04/10/2014 2:38:15 PM PDT by dhs12345
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ├čudda├čudd; TheOldLady; null and void; Disambiguator; Focault's Pendulum

:’D


16 posted on 04/10/2014 3:40:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
Hey! Thanks for putting me on your ping list. I always read these when I catch them.

Of course this doesn't mean we're engaged or sumpin'

17 posted on 04/10/2014 4:00:16 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (I live in NJ....' Nuff said!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Focault's Pendulum

It may have been a one topic stand, so no worries.


18 posted on 04/11/2014 7:58:12 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson