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Keyword: comet

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  • Rosetta spacecraft sees possible 'double' comet

    07/17/2014 4:55:29 PM PDT · by cripplecreek · 23 replies
    Sciencenews.org ^ | July 17, 2014 | Ashley Yeager
    The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko may actually be two objects stitched together. New images from ESA's Rosetta spacecraft show an odd constriction near the middle of the comet, suggesting that two clumps of matter may have merged in what scientists call a contact binary. The conclusions are preliminary, as Rosetta was still roughly 12,000 kilometers away from the comet when the images were taken. The comet could also have had a more regular single shape with parts carved out through impacts or ice melting as the object circled the sun, mission scientists say. They will have more details about the comet's...
  • Comet Jacques Is Back! Joins Venus and Mercury at Dawn

    07/12/2014 12:21:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 12, 2014 | Bob King on
    Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques has returned! Before it disappeared in the solar glow this spring, the comet reached magnitude +6, the naked eye limit. Now it’s back at dawn, rising higher each morning as it treks toward darker skies. Just days after its July 2 perihelion, the fuzzball will be in conjunction with the planet Venus tomorrow morning July 13. With Mercury nearby, you may have the chance to see this celestial ‘Rat Pack’ tucked within a 8° circle.
  • Earth to experience a never-before-seen meteor shower next week

    05/19/2014 2:50:40 AM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 32 replies
    dailydigestnews.com ^ | May 18, 2014 | Daily Digest News
    Astronomers are predicting the astronomical event of a lifetime next week. On 24 May 2014, Earth will pass through the debris tail of Comet 209P/LINEAR, which will unleash a myriad of cosmic explosions lighting up the night sky. This will be the first time Earth has ever experienced this particular meteor shower. A meteor shower happens when the Earth passes through debris left in space by a comet; the chunks of rock, ice and other materials, burn up in the atmosphere to form ‘shooting’ or ‘falling stars’.
  • Tunguska, A Century Later

    06/09/2008 12:44:01 PM PDT · by blam · 49 replies · 633+ views
    Science News ^ | 6-5-2008 | Sid Perkins
    Tunguska, a century later By Sid PerkinsJune 5th, 2008 Asteroid or comet blamed for Siberian blast of 1908BLAST FROM THE PASTThe Tunguska blast shook Siberia in 1908, but on-site investigations were delayed for two decades. One of the first photos showed a large area of flattened trees.Early on the morning of June 30, 1908, a massive explosion shook central Siberia. Witnesses told of a fireball that streaked in from the southeast and then detonated in the sky above the desolate, forested region. At the nearest trading post, about 70 kilometers away from the blast, people were reportedly knocked from their...
  • NEOWISE Spots a “Weirdo” Comet

    04/10/2014 1:07:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    Universe Today ^ | February 28, 2014 | Jason Major
    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...
  • Newfound pink world lurks at solar system fringes

    03/26/2014 12:06:45 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies
    www.utsandiego.com ^ | 03-26-2014 | By ALICIA CHANG
    <p>LOS ANGELES (AP) — Peering into the far reaches of the solar system, astronomers have spied a pink frozen world 7½ billion miles from the sun.</p> <p>It's the second such object to be discovered in a region of space beyond Pluto long considered a celestial wasteland. Until now, the lone known resident in this part of the solar system was an oddball dwarf planet spotted in 2003 named Sedna after the mythological Inuit goddess who created the sea creatures of the Arctic.</p>
  • QUESTIONS: Comet 209P/LINEAR

    02/27/2014 5:19:00 PM PST · by Yosemitest · 107 replies
    many different sources | Feb 27, 2014 | Yosemitest
    John Bochanski wrote an article tilted The Next New Meteor Shower,Astronomers confirm that debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR should create a sky show on May 24, 2014 on November 12, 2013 that is one of the most detailed I've read so far. Here are some excerpts from it. "Most meteor showers ... occur when Earth plows into the debris trail left behind by a comet. The comet throws this debris off as itÂ’s heated by the Sun, but while all comets heat up as they enter the inner solar system, many do not have orbits that intersect with EarthÂ’s. ......
  • Rosetta Spacecraft Waking Up for Final Leg of Comet Journey

    01/21/2014 11:35:27 AM PST · by 12th_Monkey · 36 replies
    Space.com ^ | January 20, 2014 | Charles Q. Choi
    Rosetta, the first spacecraft built to orbit a comet and land a probe on these icy nomads, is now waking up after more than two years of slumber, and videos filmed as part of an international competition will help greet the spacecraft after it awakens. Comets are some of the most primitive building blocks of the solar system, with many dating to soon after its formation. Comets also likely helped seed Earth with water and other ingredients of life. By analyzing the composition of the comet, the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft will help scientists learn more about the role...
  • Sleeping Rosetta Spacecraft Wakes Up for Historic Comet Rendezvous and Landing

    01/20/2014 9:34:30 PM PST · by smokingfrog · 31 replies
    space.com ^ | 1-20-14 | Mike Wall
    A European probe awoke from a deep sleep Monday (Jan. 20) to gear up for an unprecedented comet rendezvous and landing this year that will cap a 10-year voyage across the solar system. After two and a half years in hibernation, the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft emerged from its slumber while cruising nearly 418 million miles (673 million kilometers) from the sun. The wakeup call, which was due to begin at 5 a.m. EST (1000 GMT), took hours as Rosetta switched on heaters to warm itself after its long night in the cold depths of space.
  • Wake Up, Rosetta!

    01/18/2014 4:18:15 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | January 18, 2014 | Jason Major on
    Monday, January 20, at 10:00 GMT (which is 5:00 a.m. for U.S. East Coasters like me) the wake-up call will ring on ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, bringing it out of hibernation after over two and a half years in preparation of its upcoming and highly-anticipated rendezvous with a comet. The wake-up will incite the warming of Rosetta’s star trackers, which allow it to determine its orientation in space. Six hours later its thrusters will fire to stop its slow rotation and ensure that its solar arrays are receiving the right amount of sunlight. ... After nearly a decade of soaring through...
  • Thermal Effects from Comet 2013 A1 (Siding Spring) on Mars’ Upper Atmosphere

    01/14/2014 3:33:41 PM PST · by Yosemitest · 16 replies
    American Astronomical Society ^ | Oct 2013 | Morrison, Sarah J. ; Yelle, R
    American Astronomical Society, DPS meeting #45, #313.18 Published in Oct 2013 The Comet 2013A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 123,000 km of Mars on October 19, 2014 at a relative velocity of 56 km/s. The comet coma will impinge directly on the Martian upper atmosphere, causing significant perturbations.We examine the thermal effects of the encounter with a first principle model of the upper atmosphere (100-200 km) that solves for the time-dependent thermal structure. The thermal model includes solar EUV heating, radiative cooling, thermal conduction, and heating due to the impact of H2O molecules from the coma.Assuming a H2O production rate...
  • Hubble Looks but Finds No Trace of Comet ISON

    12/20/2013 10:16:14 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 69 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | December 20, 2013 | Bob King on
    On December 18, the Hubble Space Telescope slewed to Comet ISON’s expected position and found nothing down to the incredibly faint magnitude of 25. According to astronomer Hal Weaver, who planned the ISON search, that limit implies any remaining fragments would have to be smaller than about 500 feet (160 meters) in diameter.
  • ISON UPDATE/Large Debris Moving Fast.

    12/05/2013 12:02:03 AM PST · by Yosemitest · 361 replies
    www.youtube.com ^ | Dec 4, 2013 | BPEarthWatch
    ISON UPDATE/Large Debris Moving Fast. Published on Dec 4, 2013 Ison Update. Solar and Quake Links http://www.BPearthWatch.ComPaul Begley Show Thursday 11 am - 2 pm Central time. LINK http://www.paulbegleyprophecy.com/web... Ison is a V shaped debris field with objects that are miles wide each..at least 21 large ones..They are moving at 2 million miles per day. Ison is moving away from "Secchi A" at that speed which makes it appear smaller from that camera each hour.. THE ROCKS ARE DARK NOW. They will become darker as they move further from the sun over Earth..They will not become smaller.
  • Hubble Telescope best shot at learning comet fate

    12/04/2013 11:01:35 AM PST · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    http://www.wsbradio.com ^ | Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 | By MARCIA DUNN
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — It's all up to Hubble. NASA said Monday that the Hubble Space Telescope is the best bet for figuring out whether Comet ISON disintegrated during its brush with the sun last week. A pair of solar observatories saw something emerge from around the sun following ISON's close approach on Thanksgiving Day. But scientists don't know whether the spot of light was merely the comet's shattered remains or what's left of its icy nucleus. Either way, by now, they say it may be just dust. Over the coming week or two, scientists will keep a lookout for...
  • COMET ISON LIVES (UPDATED)[Video at link]

    11/29/2013 4:35:15 PM PST · by Islander7 · 14 replies
    SpaceWeather.com ^ | Nov 29, 2013 | Staff
    COMET ISON LIVES (UPDATED): Cancel the funeral. Comet ISON is back from the dead. Yesterday, Nov. 28th, Comet ISON flew through the sun's atmosphere and appeared to disintegrate before the cameras of several NASA and ESA spacecraft. This prompted reports of the comet's demise. Today, the comet has revived and is rapidly brightening. Click to view a SOHO coronagraph movie of the solar flyby
  • Did Comet ISON survive? Scientists see tiny hope

    11/29/2013 8:20:34 AM PST · by Brad from Tennessee · 50 replies
    AP via Washington Post ^ | November 29, 2013 | Associated Press
    STOCKHOLM — A comet that gained an earthly following because of its bright tail visible from space was initially declared dead after essentially grazing the sun. Now, there is a silver of hope that Comet ISON may have survived. New images, basically faint smudges on a screen, being analyzed Friday showed a streak of light moving away from the sun that some said could indicate it wasn’t game over just yet. “It certainly appears as if there is an object there that is emitting material,” said Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Basically a dirty...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet ISON Before and After

    11/29/2013 8:59:37 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | November 29, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sungrazing Comet ISON reached perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun, yesterday, November 28, at 18:45 UT. The comet passed just over 1 million kilometers above the solar surface, a distance less than the diameter of the Sun. These two panels follow ISON before (right) and after its close approach, imaged by the LASCO instrument onboard the Sun staring SOHO spacecraft. Overwhelming sunlight is blocked by LASCO's central occulting disk with a white circle indicating the Sun's positon and scale. The bright comet is seen along its path at the bottom of the before panel, but something much fainter...
  • Comet Ison destroyed in Sun passage

    11/28/2013 3:19:30 PM PST · by LeoWindhorse · 93 replies
    BBC World News ^ | Nov. 28 ,2013 | BBC
    Comet Ison was severely battered in its encounter with the Sun, and largely destroyed. Telescopes saw the giant ball of ice and dust disappear behind the star, but only a dull streamer emerge. Astronomers continued to search for the object, but it eventually became clear that the much vaunted "Comet of the Century" had gone out with a whimper. Despite its great size, Ison was probably torn apart in the immense heat and tidal forces so close to the Sun.
  • WATCH LIVE TODAY @ 1 pm ET: Comet ISON Buzzes the Sun, SpaceX Rocket Launch

    11/28/2013 8:24:35 AM PST · by Errant · 246 replies
    Space.com ^ | 28 November, 2013 | Staff
    NASA will hold a live Google+ hangout on Thursday (Nov. 28) to webcast the solar passage of Comet ISON as it whips around the sun. The webcast will begin at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) and last until 3:30 p.m. EST (2030 GMT). You will be able to watch the webcast live in the window below at the start time. LATEST STORY: Comet ISON Makes Thanksgiving Day Sun Flyby Today: Watch It Live Online
  • Comet ISON Becomes a Nail-Biter (An Omen?)

    11/27/2013 9:19:51 AM PST · by Repent and Believe · 22 replies
    Sky & Telescope ^ | November 25, 2013 A.D. | Alan MacRobert
    (snip) Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) is nearing the climax...(snip) What will emerge after perihelion into the December dawn? A naked-eye marvel, a binocular-only target for amateur astronomers with good charts, or nothing at all? Maybe the latter, a new report this morning suggests. Michal Drahus posts: (snip)We observe consistent, rapid fading of the molecular emission lines between Nov. 21 and Nov. 25 by at least a factor of 20 (likely more). This may indicate that the nucleus is now at best marginally active or that... it no longer exists. (snip) I am afraid that there is rather "little hope" for...
  • Will Comet ISON beat the odds? Watch a superstar's climactic scene

    11/27/2013 6:36:53 AM PST · by Red Badger · 18 replies
    NBC News ^ | 11-27-2013, 16 hours ago | Alan Boyle, Science Editor
    Experts gives Comet ISON only a 30 percent chance of surviving its crucial Thanksgiving Day encounter with the sun. Or maybe 40 percent. Whatever the odds, scientists say what some have called the "comet of the century" has already lived up to their expectations. But will it live up to yours? We should find out on Thursday, during a series of webcasts you can tune into while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner. You won't be able to see the comet flaring in the sky on Thursday. Instead, leave the comet-watching job to NASA's sun-watching probes, including the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the...
  • Cosmic daredevil comet ISON will pass sun this week [Thanksgiving Day!]

    11/25/2013 12:38:44 PM PST · by Red Badger · 24 replies
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | November 25, 2013 | By Mike Wall
    Professional astronomers are eagerly awaiting the comet's much-anticipated brush with the sun, expected for Thanksgiving Day. The promising Comet ISON's close pass by the sun this week has amateur astronomers on the edge of their seats, but professional scientists are anticipating the celestial encounter with perhaps even greater relish. Comet ISON is set to skim just 730,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) above the surface of the sun on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28). The comet has brightened considerably as it has zoomed closer and closer to the sun in recent weeks, thrilling stargazers who have captured amazing photos of ISON and...
  • Old Comet Strike On Earth

    11/18/2013 1:25:14 AM PST · by Yosemitest · 2 replies
    www.youtube.com ^ | Nov 17, 2013 | BPEarthWatch
    ISON and New Quake Update. ( 6:21 ) Multiple Nuclei in the Coma. At 4 minutes 43 seconds into this video, the author talks about an old comet strike on earth. This whole video is well worth your time and talks about Comet Ison as of about 1:00 pm Sunday Afternoon, Nov 17, 2013. RELATED LINK Giant Crater Found: Tied to Worst Mass Extinction Ever, by Robert Roy Britt, Senior Science Writer (Space.com), June 01, 2006
  • ISON May Be Starting to Disintergrate

    11/15/2013 8:25:02 AM PST · by Yosemitest · 24 replies
    www.youtube.com ^ | Nov 14, 2013 | BPEarthWatch
    ISON May Be Starting to Disintergrate. ( 3:32 ) Latest Images, http://spaceweathergallery.com/index.php?title=comet Solar,Comet and Quake Links, http://www.bpearthwatch.com
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Great Comet of 1680 Over Rotterdam

    10/28/2013 8:20:05 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | October 28, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Was there ever another comet like ISON? Although no two comets are exactly alike, one that appears to have had notable similarities was Comet Kirch, the Great Comet of 1680. Like approaching Comet ISON, Comet Kirch was a bright sungrazer, making a very close approach to the surface of the Sun. Neither comet, coincidently, is a member of the most common group of sungrazers -- the Kreutz group -- populated by remnants of a comet that disintegrated near the Sun hundreds of years ago. The long tail of Comet Kirch is depicted in the above painting by Lieve Versheier....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sungrazer

    10/27/2013 9:05:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | October 27, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Arcing toward a fiery fate, this Sungrazer comet was recorded by the SOHO spacecraft's Large Angle Spectrometric COronagraph(LASCO) on December 23, 1996. LASCO uses an occulting disk, partially visible at the lower right, to block out the otherwise overwhelming solar disk allowing it to image the inner 8 million kilometers of the relatively faint corona. The comet is seen as its coma enters the bright equatorial solar wind region (oriented vertically). Positioned in space to continuously observe the Sun, SOHO has now been used to discover over 1,500 comets, including numerous sungrazers. Based on their orbits, the vast majority...
  • What Is About To Happen To Earth? – ISON vs Nibiru – Trumpets Of Revelation

    10/26/2013 7:16:24 AM PDT · by Yosemitest · 186 replies
    www.youtube.com ^ | Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Rev Michelle Hopkins
    Rev. Michelle Hopkins has two videos that are worth your time to consider things that are happening now. Rev. Hopkins talks aboutwhere ISON is coming from, what its expected trajectory is, the debris it is leaving in it’s trail and how the expected trajectory is nothing more than a guess.Can we really trust the experts to tell us or to even know, exactly where Ison will go after it reappears after passing around the sun. Has the Bible got your attention?WHAT is ABOUT to HAPPEN to EARTH ??? ISON - TRUMPETS OF REVELATION - Part 1 WHAT is ABOUT to...
  • Why Is Comet ISON Green?

    10/24/2013 11:46:06 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 7 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | October 24, 2013 | Nancy Atkinson on
    “ISON’s green color comes from the gases surrounding its icy nucleus,” says SpaceWeather.com’s Tony Phillips. “Jets spewing from the comet’s core probably contain cyanogen (CN: a poisonous gas found in many comets) and diatomic carbon (C2). Both substances glow green when illuminated by sunlight in the near-vacuum of space.” Both are normally colorless gases that fluoresce a green color when excited by energetic ultraviolet light in sunlight. And if those poisonous gasses sound dangerous, don’t worry. They are spread out in space much too thinly to touch us here on Earth. So don’t fall prey to fear mongers who are...
  • Comet Encke Return (Next Perihelion)

    10/19/2013 6:04:04 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Fall of a Thousand Suns ^ | October 19, 2013 | Kevin Curran
    Comet Encke next perihelion will be in November 21, 2013. It should become visible with binoculars, beginning in late September of 2013 in the evening skies. It will be one of the brightest comets in 2013, but will pale in comparison to Comet ISON (C/2012 S1). After Comet Encke transits the Sun, it will become visible in the morning sky in December... Earth's position in space and the outgassing of Comet Encke are two of the factors that determine when, and if, this comet will become visible to the naked eye at some point in its path around the Sun....
  • Hubble’s Latest View Shows Comet ISON Still Intact, Fairly Average

    10/17/2013 8:01:30 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | October 17, 2013 | Nancy Atkinson on
    NASA explains: In this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image taken on October 9, the comet’s solid nucleus is unresolved because it is so small. If the nucleus broke apart then Hubble would have likely seen evidence for multiple fragments. Moreover, the coma or head surrounding the comet’s nucleus is symmetric and smooth. This would probably not be the case if clusters of smaller fragments were flying along. What’s more, a polar jet of dust first seen in Hubble images taken in April is no longer visible and may have turned off. So, its not disintegrating, its not a three-piece body,...
  • First evidence of comet striking Earth found in Egypt

    10/10/2013 5:36:16 PM PDT · by workerbee · 32 replies
    Fox ^ | 10/10/13 | Mike Wall
    A team of scientists claims to have found the first-ever definitive evidence of a comet striking Earth. After conducting a series of analyses, the researchers determined that a mysterious black pebble discovered years ago in the Egyptian desert is a piece of a comet nucleus — the first ever discovered. "It’s a typical scientific euphoria when you eliminate all other options and come to the realization of what it must be," study lead author Jan Kramers, of the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, said in a statement. [Best Close Encounters of the Comet Kind] The pebble, which the team...
  • Ready, Set, Observe! How to See Comet ISON In The Early Morning Sky

    09/03/2013 7:06:58 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | September 2, 2013 | Bob King on
    OK, you’ve waited patiently for Comet ISON to brighten and reappear in the dawn sky. It has. Now you’re chomping at the bit for a look at it in your telescope. Before you set the alarm and venture into the night, let’s prepare for what to expect.
  • Giant NASA Balloon Ready to Hunt Potentially Dazzling Comet ISON

    09/26/2013 10:31:53 PM PDT · by oxcart · 12 replies
    Space.com ^ | 09/26/13 | Leonard David
    A colossal NASA balloon is poised to carry a free-hanging gondola sky-high on a mission to take a gander at celestial grandeur: Comet ISON. Weather permitting, NASA's Balloon Rapid Response for Comet ISON (BRRISON) gondola and science instruments are to ascend from the space agency's Scientific Balloon Facility in Fort Sumner, N.M., possibly by Sunday (Sept. 29). The one-day balloon mission's target is Comet ISON, an incoming comet that some scientists have billed as a potential "comet of the century" because it could flare up to spectacular brilliance after a close flyby of the sun in late November. Along with...
  • Comet ISON: A Viewing Guide from Now to Perihelion

    09/23/2013 12:54:40 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    September 23, 2013 | David Dickinson on
    Currently, ISON sits about a magnitude below the projected light curve, (see below) but that isn’t all that unusual for a comet. Already, there’s been increasing talk of “ISON being a dud,” but as Universe Today’s Nancy Atkinson pointed out in a recent post, these assertions are still premature. The big question is what ISON will do leading up to perihelion, and if it will survive its passage 1.1 million kilometres above the surface of the Sun on November 28th to become a fine comet in the dawn skies in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Of course, there’s much...
  • More ISON Craziness: Tales of Popes, a Prophet and a Comet

    09/19/2013 11:48:09 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | September 19, 2013 | David Dickinson on
    There’s an astronomical tall tale from the Middle Ages that seems to get recycled as factual every time a “great” comet rolls around. This week, we thought we’d look at a story that just won’t die, as well as a new twist in comet conspiracy that’s rolling around ye’ ole ‘Net.
  • New Comet Discovered: Lovejoy Will Add to “Comet Lineup” in Winter Skies

    09/10/2013 5:38:40 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | September 10, 2013 | Bob King on
    The discovery of C/2013 R1 Lovejoy was announced on Sept. 9 after two nights of photographic observations by Lovejoy with an 8-inch (20 cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector. When nabbed, the comet was a faint midge of about 14.5 magnitude crossing the border between Orion and Monoceros. Subsequent observations by other amateur astronomers peg it a bit brighter at 14.0 with a small, condensed coma.
  • Comet Makes Suicidal Plunge Into Sun (Video)

    08/21/2013 12:33:23 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 26 replies
    Space.com ^ | 8/20/13 | Mike Wall
    A small comet dove headlong toward the sun this week in a cosmic death-dive captured on camera by a spacecraft — an opening act of sorts for the highly anticipated close solar approach of another comet, Comet ISON, in a few months' time. The minuscule and apparently nameless comet was captured barreling toward our star Monday (Aug. 19) by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft operated by NASA and the European Space Agency. Scientists created of video of the comet's dive toward the sun using the SOHO images. The little comet failed to emerge on the other side of...
  • 'Comet of the century' nears Earth

    07/18/2013 9:48:26 AM PDT · by Sopater · 81 replies
    Fox News ^ | July 18, 2013 | Megan Gannon
    About 10,000 years ago, Comet ISON left our solar system's distant shell, a region known as the Oort cloud, and began streaking toward the sun. This November, the icy wanderer will reach the climax of its journey, potentially providing a stunning skywatching show here on Earth. Comet ISON was discovered just last September by two Russian amateur astronomers. Scientists have since recognized ISON as a possible "comet of the century," but to live up to its promise, it will have to survive its dangerous perihelion, or closest approach to the sun. ISON is what's known as a sungrazing comet. These...
  • Amateur Astronomer Discovers Comet C/2013 N4 (Borisov) During a Star Party

    07/14/2013 11:51:13 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 14, 2013 | Bob King on
    Ukrainian amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov discovered a brand new comet on July 8 near the bright star Capella in the constellation Auriga. The comet was confirmed and officially christened C/2013 N4 (Borisov) on July 13. At the time of discovery, Borisov was attending the Russian-Ukrainian “Southern Night” star party in Crimea, Ukraine. He nabbed the comet – his first – using an 8-inch (20-cm) f/1.5 wide field telescope of his own design equipped with a CCD camera. ... Aside from how prominent or not Gennady’s comet will become, the most amazing thing is that he beat the automated surveys to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- PanSTARRS: The Anti Tail Comet

    06/29/2013 7:51:12 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | June 29, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Once known as Earth's sunset comet, PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) is up all night now, but only for northern hemisphere skygazers. Telescopes are required to track its progress as it fades and heads for the outer solar system. But because planet Earth passed through the comet's orbital plane in late May, PanSTARRS will also be remembered for its remarkably long anti-tail. That edge-on perspective looking along the broad, fanned-out dust tail as it trailed behind the comet created the appearance of an anti-tail pointing in the sunward direction, back toward the inner solar system. Recorded on the night of May...
  • We are all made of comet dust

    06/16/2013 12:50:32 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 35 replies
    The National ^ | Jun 16, 2013
    Man owes a lot to chunks of rock and ice floating through space. From ancient jewellery to water and possibly even the beginnings of life itself, scientists are discovering that comets have contributed in many ways to the development of life on the planet, Robert Matthews writes Since their discovery in an Egyptian cemetery more than a century ago, a handful of metal beads have perplexed archaeologists. As jewellery, the beads seem decidedly downmarket, being made of nothing more glamorous than iron. Yet clearly their owner, dead for more than 5,000 years, held them in great esteem - as do...
  • Comet's water 'like that of Earth's oceans'

    10/05/2011 6:41:44 PM PDT · by decimon · 39 replies
    BBC ^ | October 5, 2011 | Jason Palmer
    Comet Hartley 2 contains water more like that found on Earth than prior comets seem to have, researchers say. A study using the Herschel space telescope aimed to measure the quantity of deuterium, a rare type of hydrogen, present in the comet's water. The comet had just half the amount of deuterium seen in comets. The result, published in Nature, hints at the idea that much of the Earth's water could have initially came from cometary impacts. Just a few million years after its formation, the early Earth was rocky and dry; something must have brought the water that covers...
  • Small Comets and Our Origins

    10/19/2004 11:13:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 80 replies · 1,857+ views
    University of Iowa ^ | circa 1999 | Louis A. Frank
    Given the reality of the dark spots, which soon became known as "atmospheric holes" because of their appearance in the images, there is only one explanation which has endured over all these years to present. That is, the holes are due to the shadowing of the atmospheric light by an object above the atmosphere. This object simply cannot be a stony or iron meteor because the holes are very large, tens of miles in diameter. A rock of this size would provide a disastrous impact on the Earth's surface. As it turns out, water vapor is very good at absorbing...
  • Did Comets Contain Key Ingredients For Life On Earth?

    06/06/2009 10:52:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 51 replies · 817+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | April 29, 2009 | Adapted from materials provided by Tel Aviv University
    While investigating the chemical make-up of comets, Prof. Akiva Bar-Nun of the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences at Tel Aviv University found they were the source of missing ingredients needed for life in Earth's ancient primordial soup. "When comets slammed into the Earth through the atmosphere about four billion years ago, they delivered a payload of organic materials to the young Earth, adding materials that combined with Earth's own large reservoir of organics and led to the emergence of life," says Prof. Bar-Nun.
  • Kansas scientists probe mysterious possible comet strikes on Earth

    12/14/2009 5:27:46 AM PST · by decimon · 35 replies · 981+ views
    University of Kansas ^ | Dec 14, 2009 | Unknown
    An investigation by the University of Kansas' Adrian Melott and colleagues reveals a promising new method of detecting past comet strikes upon Earth and gauging their frequencyLAWRENCE, Kan. — It's the stuff of a Hollywood disaster epic: A comet plunges from outer space into the Earth's atmosphere, splitting the sky with a devastating shock wave that flattens forests and shakes the countryside. But this isn't a disaster movie plotline. "Comet impacts might be much more frequent than we expect," said Adrian Melott, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas. "There's a lot of interest in the rate...
  • New Images of Comet ISON Hurtling Towards the Sun

    05/30/2013 7:08:03 PM PDT · by Errant · 27 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 30 May, 2013 | Nancy Atkinson
    As Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) heads closer to Earth, we’re getting a better view of what has been billed by some as the “Comet of the Century.” Astronomers say these new photos from the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i provide hints of how well this comet might survive one of the closest comet encounters with the Sun ever recorded, on November 28, 2013. With astronomy enthusiasts hopeful and optimistic about having a spectacular comet visible in our skies, it’s anyone’s guess if the comet will actually survive its extremely close pass of the Sun to become early...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet PanSTARRS Anti-Tail

    05/18/2013 6:07:35 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | May 18, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Once the famous sunset comet, PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) is now visible all night from much of the northern hemisphere, bound for the outer solar system as it climbs high above the ecliptic plane. Dimmer and fading, the comet's broad dust tail is still growing, though. This widefield telescopic image was taken against the starry background of the constellation Cepheus on May 15. It shows the comet has developed an extensive anti-tail, dust trailing along the comet's orbit (to the left of the coma), stretching more than 3 degrees across the frame. Since the comet is just over 1.6 astronomical...
  • Debunking Comet ISON Conspiracy Theories (No, ISON is Not Nibiru)

    04/29/2013 6:01:11 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 21 replies
    www.universetoday.com ^ | April 29, 2013 | David Dickinson on
    What are some of the conspiracy theories out there about Comet ISON? One currently circulating claim states that Comet ISON has “companions” that have been imaged trailing it. While comets do indeed fragment on occasion, the culprits that can be seen in the .gif animation circulating the internet are easily identified by photography experts as hot pixels in the camera. Another even more extravagant claim is that Comet ISON will somehow appear “as bright as the Sun.” Even if Comet ISON reaches an expected magnitude equal to that of the full Moon at -13, it will do so when it...
  • Hubble Telescope Captures Image of Comet ISON

    04/23/2013 6:37:51 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | April 23, 2013 | Nancy Atkinson on
    Here’s our first good look at Comet (C/2012 S1) ISON. The Hubble Space Telescope captured this shot on April 10, when the comet was slightly closer than Jupiter’s orbit at a distance of 634 million kilometers (394 million miles) from Earth. Later this year, this comet could become a brilliant object in the sky, perhaps 10 times brighter than Venus. Astronomers say preliminary measurements from the Hubble images suggest that the nucleus of ISON is no larger than 4-6 km (3-4 miles) across. The astronomers said this is remarkably small considering the high level of activity observed in the comet...
  • Spectacular Comet and Moon View Wows Stargazers (Photos)

    03/14/2013 11:58:11 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    space.com ^ | 13 March 2013 Time: 06:17 PM ET | Tariq Malik, SPACE.com Managing Editor
    The Comet Pan-STARRS may be a challenge to spot in the evening sky, but it still dazzled stargazers around the world when it paired up with the moon Tuesday (March 12). Comet Pan-STARRS is currently appearing low on the western horizon just after sunset, making it hard to pick out in the bright evening twilight for some observers. But on Tuesday evening, a slender crescent moon served as a celestial guide for those stargazers with clear, dark skies. Just northwest of Rio Rancho, N.M., astrophotographer Josh Knutson and his 8-year-old daughter Aurora were amazed at the sight of Comet Pan-STARRS...