Keyword: comet

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  • Six North American sites hold 12,900-year-old nanodiamond-rich soil

    01/02/2009 10:44:35 AM PST · by Red Badger · 19 replies · 1,155+ views ^ | 01-01-2009 | Source: University of Oregon in Nanotechnology / Materials
    Abundant tiny particles of diamond dust exist in sediments dating to 12,900 years ago at six North American sites, adding strong evidence for Earth's impact with a rare swarm of carbon-and-water-rich comets or carbonaceous chondrites, reports a nine-member scientific team. These nanodiamonds, which are produced under high-temperature, high-pressure conditions created by cosmic impacts and have been found in meteorites, are concentrated in similarly aged sediments at Murray Springs, Ariz., Bull Creek, Okla., Gainey, Mich., and Topper, S.C., as well as Lake Hind, Manitoba, and Chobot, Alberta, in Canada. Nanodiamonds can be produced on Earth, but only through high-explosive detonations or...
  • Scientists find signs of 13,000-year-old extinction event

    01/01/2009 2:09:17 PM PST · by neverdem · 79 replies · 3,658+ views
    Chicago Tribune ^ | January 2, 2009 | Robert Mitchum
    Comet may have exploded over planet, causing fires, die-offs, researchers say A meteorite colliding with the Earth 65 million years ago is considered to be the most likely reason dinosaurs vanished from the planet. Now a team of scientists says it has found new evidence that an object from space caused a similar extinction event only 13,000 years ago. In an article to be published Friday in the journal Science, researchers present what one author calls the "smoking bullet"—proof that an exploding comet triggered the sudden, thousand-year freeze that killed off mammoths, saber-toothed tigers and other large mammals that used...
  • Has an alien comet infiltrated the solar system?

    12/03/2008 9:41:38 AM PST · by Fractal Trader · 33 replies · 2,601+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 3 December 2008 | Stephen Battersby
    A comet orbiting our Sun may be an interloper from another star system. Comet Machholz 1 isn't like other comets. David Schleicher of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, measured the chemical makeup of 150 comets, and found that they all had similar levels of the chemical cyanogen (CN) except for Machholz 1, which has less than 1.5% of the normal level. Along with some other comets, it is also low on the molecules carbon2 and carbon3. Schleicher suggests three possible explanations. The simplest is that Machholz 1 could have formed in an extremely cold region of the solar system....
  • A Sparsely Populated Kuiper Belt?

    10/06/2008 3:22:01 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 4 replies · 316+ views
    The transit method — observing a distant planet as it moves in front of its star as seen from Earth — is a prime tool for exoplanet detection. But transits are hardly limited to planets around their primaries. The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS) is demonstration of that, an attempt to find tiny Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) in the range between 0.5 and 28 kilometers. As you would imagine, at a distance like this such objects cannot be seen directly, but an occultation — the dimming of a star when one of the KBOs passes in front of it —...
  • Scientific Scenario Of A Comet's Impact And The Wormwood Star Prophecy by Marshall Beeber

    09/21/2008 9:24:38 AM PDT · by mbeeber · 51 replies · 1,477+ views
    The Messianic Literary Corner ^ | February 2008 | Marshall Beeber
    Scientific Scenario Of A Comet's Impact With Earth And The "Wormwood Star" Prophecy by Marshall Beeber An Introduction In the First Century AD, the Apostle John wrote an apocalyptic book called "Revelation" in which he described among many "end-time" events the collision of a star called Wormwood with Earth. Revelation states: Rev. 8:10-11: The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water-- the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people...
  • Sun's Movement Through Milky Way... Comets Hurtling...Life Extinctions

    05/02/2008 8:53:50 AM PDT · by blam · 84 replies · 222+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 5-2-2008 | Cardiff University
    Sun's Movement Through Milky Way Regularly Sends Comets Hurtling, Coinciding With Mass Life ExtinctionsA large body of scientific evidence now exists that support the hypothesis that a major asteroid or comet impact occurred in the Caribbean region at the boundary of the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods in Earth's geologic history. Such an impact is suspected to be responsible for the mass extinction of many floral and faunal species, including the large dinosaurs, that marked the end of the Cretaceous period. (Credit: Art by Don Davis / Courtesy of NASA) ScienceDaily (May 2, 2008) — The sun's movement through the Milky...
  • Meteors' Mysterious Origin Traced To 1490 Event

    01/07/2008 10:28:04 AM PST · by blam · 9 replies · 141+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 1-7-2008 | Stephen Battersby
    Meteors' mysterious origin traced to 1490 event 15:50 07 January 2008 news service Stephen Battersby Last week's Quadrantid meteor shower was probably debris from a deep-space explosion that went off in the late 15th century, new observations reveal. The meteors, which return every January, were observed more closely than ever before when a group of 14 astronomers tracked them for nine hours on a flight from California, US, to the North Pole. They found that the shower peaked at around 0200 GMT on Friday, matching a prediction made by Peter Jenniskens of NASA. He based his prediction on the...
  • Comet grows larger than the sun

    12/16/2007 4:15:48 PM PST · by camerakid400 · 7 replies · 73+ views
    CNET NEWS ^ | Nov 16 07
    The sun is no longer the largest object in our solar system. At least for a while anyway. Comet 17P/Holmes suddenly exploded on October 23, making it a million times brighter within a few hours and causing its gas and dust cloud to expand until it was measured at 0.9 million miles across by November 9 by Rachel Stevenson, Jan Kleyna and Pedro Lacerda of the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. And it's still growing. The sun's diameter is about 864,900 miles. The comet should begin to shrink back to a more normal size in the near future. The...
  • Did A Comet Cause The Great Flood?

    11/21/2007 2:17:23 PM PST · by blam · 120 replies · 895+ views
    Discover Magazine ^ | 11-15-2007 | Scott Carney
    Did a Comet Cause the Great Flood?The universal human myth may be the first example of disaster reporting. by Scott Carney11-15-2007 The Fenambosy chevrons at the tip of Madagascar. Image courtesy of Dallas Abbott The serpent’s tails coil together menacingly. A horn juts sharply from its head. The creature looks as if it might be swimming through a sea of stars. Or is it making its way up a sheer basalt cliff? For Bruce Masse, an environmental archaeologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, there is no confusion as he looks at this ancient petroglyph, scratched into a rock by a...
  • Is Comet Holmes bigger than the Sun? (Yes!)

    11/16/2007 9:39:36 AM PST · by NYer · 56 replies · 106+ views
    New Scientist ^ | November 16, 2007 | David Shiga
    The notion that Comet Holmes is bigger than the Sun has been making the rounds on space-related websites of late. But is it true? According to a statement on astronomer Dave Jewitt's website, it is. "Formerly, the Sun was the largest object in the Solar System," the statement reads. "Now, comet 17P/Holmes holds that distinction." Jewitt works at the University of Hawaii, and is certainly an authority on icy denizens of the solar system, having co-discovered the first Kuiper Belt object. But what the statement is referring to is not the "body" of the comet, called the nucleus, which...
  • Comet Holmes is Bigger than the Sun

    11/14/2007 7:06:58 PM PST · by annie laurie · 41 replies · 183+ views
    Universe Today ^ | November 13th, 2007 | Fraser Cain
    All right, that title is a little misleading. In fact, when I first read the original press release, my skepticism alarms went off. But it's true, the amazing Comet Holmes now has a halo that's larger than the Sun. Not bad for a comet that, until three weeks ago, was just a tiny dim dirty snowball orbiting near Jupiter. Comet Holmes made its spectacular outburst on October 24, 2007. Formally dim enough to only be visible in the most powerful telescopes, it quickly brightened up to be seen with the unaided eye - even in light-polluted cities (like my very...
  • Comet Brightens Mysteriously By A Factor Of A Million

    10/25/2007 2:39:29 PM PDT · by blam · 97 replies · 197+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 10-25-2007 | Maggie McKee
    Comet brightens mysteriously by a factor of a million 22:04 25 October 2007 news service Maggie McKee A comet usually too faint to be seen with the naked eye has brightened by a factor of a million since Tuesday, suggesting its surface may have cracked open and expelled clouds of dust and gas. Astronomers are scrambling to observe the strange object, which is likely to fade in the coming days and weeks. Comet 17P/Holmes, which orbits the Sun every seven years on a path that takes it from the distance of Jupiter's orbit to about twice that of Earth's,...
  • The End of Eden: The Comet That Changed Civilization

    10/08/2007 11:47:23 PM PDT · by doug from upland · 109 replies · 3,545+ views
    amazon ^ | Oct. 8, 2007
    Editorial Reviews Review Allen West, coauthor of The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes : “Graham Phillips argues persuasively that Earth encountered a massive comet 3,500 years ago around the time of the Exodus from Egypt. The object appeared twenty times larger than the full moon and was by far the largest comet sighting ever recorded by ancient historians. The worldwide consequences for mankind were devastating. Our own scientific research confirms that the author’s theory is completely credible.” Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, authors of The Templar Revelation and The Sion Revelation : “an extraordinary tour de force . . . ”...
  • Site Provides Evidence For Ancient Comet Explosion (Topper - SC)

    10/07/2007 10:07:52 PM PDT · by blam · 38 replies · 1,601+ views
    The News Tribune ^ | 10-7-2007 | Joey Holleman
    Site provides evidence for ancient comet explosion JOEY HOLLEMAN; McClatchy Newspapers Published: October 7th, 2007 01:00 AM COLUMBIA, S.C. – For the second time in less than a decade, a South Carolina river bluff holds evidence pointing to a theory with history-rewriting potential. Microscopic soil particles from the Topper site near Allendale might hold a tiny key to a big theory: that comet-caused explosions wiped out the mammoths and mastodons, prompted the last ice age and decimated the first human culture in North America about 12,900 years ago. The comet theory first began generating a buzz at an international meeting...
  • Comet Collides With Solar Hurricane

    10/01/2007 7:39:21 PM PDT · by blam · 12 replies · 95+ views
    Science Daily ^ | 10-1-2007 | NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center
    Source: NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center Date: October 1, 2007 Comet Collides With Solar Hurricane Science Daily — A NASA satellite has captured the first images of a collision between a comet and a solar hurricane. It is the first time scientists have witnessed such an event on another cosmic body. One of NASA's pair of Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory satellites, known as STEREO, recorded the event April 20. This is a still taken from a visualization showing Comet Encke and the coronal mass ejection erupting from the surface of the Sun. (Credit: NASA) The phenomenon was caused by a...
  • Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago

    09/30/2007 10:14:28 AM PDT · by baynut · 55 replies · 1,887+ views
    A carbon-rich black layer, dating to 12.9 ka, has been previously identified at 50 Clovis-age sites across North America and appears contemporaneous with the abrupt onset of Younger Dryas (YD) cooling. The in situ bones of extinct Pleistocene megafauna, along with Clovis tool assemblages, occur below this black layer but not within or above it. Causes for the extinctions, YD cooling, and termination of Clovis culture have long been controversial. In this paper, we provide evidence for an extraterrestrial (ET) impact event at 12.9 ka, which we hypothesize caused abrupt environmental changes that contributed to YD cooling, major ecological reorganization,...
  • Blowing a Hole in a Comet: Take 2

    09/26/2007 11:49:56 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 7 replies · 54+ views ^ | 09/26/2007 | Dr. Tony Phillips, Science@NASA
    Two years ago, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft blasted a hole in Comet Tempel 1, offering researchers their first look inside a comet. One small problem: The cloud of debris was so thick no one could clearly see the crater. But now the dust has cleared and another NASA spacecraft is returning to the scene to examine the hole Deep Impact wrought. The flash! The dazzle! The front page of the New York Times! Two years ago, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft dropped an 820 lb copper projectile onto Comet Tempel 1, unleashing an explosion that made headlines around the world....
  • Cosmic blast may have killed off megafauna Scientists say early humans doomed, too

    09/26/2007 6:11:48 AM PDT · by baynut · 17 replies · 826+ views
    Boston Globe ^ | September 25, 2007 | Colin Nickerson
    Wooly mammoths, giant sloths, saber-toothed cats, and dozens of other species of megafauna may have become extinct when a disintegrating comet or asteroid exploded over North America with the force of millions of hydrogen bombs, according to research by an international team of scientists. The blast, which the researchers believe occurred 12,900 years ago, may have also doomed a mysterious early human culture, known as Clovis people, while triggering a planetwide cool-down that wiped out the plant species that sustained many outsize Ice Age beasts, according to research published online yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Cosmic blast may have killed off megafauna Scientists say early humans doomed, too

    09/25/2007 6:45:11 PM PDT · by baynut · 52 replies · 1,333+ views
    Boston Globe ^ | September 27, 2007 | Colin Nickerson
    Wooly mammoths, giant sloths, saber-toothed cats, and dozens of other species of megafauna may have become extinct when a disintegrating comet or asteroid exploded over North America with the force of millions of hydrogen bombs, according to research by an international team of scientists. The blast, which the researchers believe occurred 12,900 years ago, may have also doomed a mysterious early human culture, known as Clovis people, while triggering a planetwide cool-down that wiped out the plant species that sustained many outsize Ice Age beasts, according to research published online yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Research Team Says Extraterrestrial Impact To Blame For Ice Age Extinctions (More)

    09/25/2007 12:58:19 PM PDT · by blam · 56 replies · 1,456+ views
    Eureka Alert ^ | Northern Arizona University - Lisa Nelson
    Contact: Lisa Nelson 928-523-6123 Northern Arizona University Research team says extraterrestrial impact to blame for Ice Age extinctions A colorized scanning electron microscope image of a glassy carbon sphere that contains evidence of extraterrestrial impact. The sphere measures about .012 inches in width. What caused the extinction of mammoths and the decline of Stone Age people about 13,000 years ago remains hotly debated. Overhunting by Paleoindians, climate change and disease lead the list of probable causes. But an idea once considered a little out there is now hitting closer to home. A team of international researchers, including two Northern...
  • Jupiter Increases Risk Of Comet Strike On Earth

    08/24/2007 1:21:38 PM PDT · by blam · 84 replies · 1,235+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 8-24-2007 | David Shiga
    Jupiter increases risk of comet strike on Earth 11:53 24 August 2007 news service David Shiga Earth experienced an especially heavy bombardment of asteroids and comets early in the solar system's history (Illustration: Julian Baum) Contrary to prevailing wisdom, Jupiter does not protect Earth from comet strikes. In fact, Earth would suffer fewer impacts without the influence of Jupiter's gravity, a new study says. It could have implications for determining which solar systems are most hospitable to life. A 1994 study showed that replacing Jupiter with a much smaller planet like Uranus or Neptune would lead to 1000 times...
  • Did Life Begin On Comets?

    08/21/2007 3:56:55 PM PDT · by blam · 83 replies · 1,029+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 8-17-2007 | HazelMuir
    Did life begin on comets? 18:17 17 August 2007 news service Hazel Muir Clay particles seen in Comet Tempel 1 suggest comets once had warm, liquid interiors that could have spawned life, a controversial new study argues (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD)Tools If you buy a lottery ticket this week, what are the odds that you'll win the grand prize then get struck by lightning as you pop open the champagne? Vanishingly small, but still much higher than the odds that life on Earth first evolved on our planet, according to an ardent proponent of the notion that life came from space....
  • Oregon Researchers Involved In New Clovis-Age Impact Theory (More)

    05/23/2007 2:30:19 PM PDT · by blam · 20 replies · 1,878+ views
    Contact: Jim Barlow 541-346-3481 University of Oregon Oregon researchers involved in new Clovis-age impact theory Did a comet hit the Great Lakes region and fragment human populations 12,900 years ago? Two University of Oregon researchers are on a multi-institutional 26-member team proposing a startling new theory: that an extraterrestrial impact, possibly a comet, set off a 1,000-year-long cold spell and wiped out or fragmented the prehistoric Clovis culture and a variety of animal genera across North America almost 13,000 years ago. Driving the theory is a carbon-rich layer of soil that has been found, but not definitively explained, at...
  • Comet May Have Doomed Mammoths

    05/26/2007 6:12:53 AM PDT · by Renfield · 32 replies · 1,982+ views
    Red Orbit ^ | 5-26-07 | Betsy Mason
    mammoth some 12,900 years ago. A team of two dozen scientists say the culprit was likely a comet that exploded in the atmosphere above North America. The explosions sent a heat and shock wave across the continent, pelted the ground with a layer of telltale debris, ignited massive wildfires and triggered a major cooling of the climate, said nuclear analytic chemist Richard Firestone of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, one of the scientists who presented the controversial new theory Thursday at a conference of the American Geophysical Union in Acapulco. At least 15 species, mostly large mammals including mammoths, mastadons, giant ground...
  • Comet Theory Collides With Clovis Research, May Explain Disappearance of Ancient People

    08/03/2007 11:29:34 PM PDT · by ForGod'sSake · 122 replies · 4,803+ views
    June 28, 2007 Comet theory collides with Clovis research, may explain disappearance of ancient people A theory put forth by a group of 25 geo-scientists suggests that a massive comet exploded over Canada, possibly wiping out both beast and man around 12,900 years ago, and pushing the earth into another ice age. University of South Carolina archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear said the theory may not be such "out-of-this-world" thinking based on his study of ancient stone-tool artifacts he and his team have excavated from the Topper dig site in Allendale, as well as ones found in Georgia, North Carolina and...
  • NSF Press Release: Comet May Have Exploded Over North America 13,000 Years Ago

    08/15/2007 5:32:04 PM PDT · by baynut · 49 replies · 2,218+ views
    National Science Foundation Press Release ^ | August 14, 2007 | Cheryl Dybas, NSF
    A "black mat" of algal growth in Arizona marks the extinction of mammoths 12,900 years ago New scientific findings suggest that a large comet may have exploded over North America 12,900 years ago, explaining riddles that scientists have wrestled with for decades, including an abrupt cooling of much of the planet and the extinction of large mammals. The discovery was made by scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara and their colleagues. James Kennett, a paleoceanographer at the university, said that the discovery may explain some of the highly debated geologic controversies of recent decades. The period in...
  • Rare Meteor Shower To Shed Light On Dangerous Comets

    08/08/2007 3:08:54 PM PDT · by blam · 13 replies · 1,046+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 8-8-2007 | Stephen Battersby
    Rare meteor shower to shed light on dangerous comets 17:07 08 August 2007 news service Stephen Battersby A rare meteor shower predicted to hit Earth on 1 September should give astronomers only their second chance to study an ancient comet's crust. It could also help them develop a warning system against an otherwise insidious threat – a comet aimed at Earth from the dark fringes of the solar system. September's shower, called the alpha Aurigids, has only been seen three times before, in 1935, 1986 and 1994. The reason for this elusiveness is the shower's unusual origin. Most meteor...
  • Ice Age Ends Smashingly: Did A Comet Blow Up Over Eastern Canada? (More) (Carolina Bays)

    06/02/2007 3:14:23 PM PDT · by blam · 106 replies · 5,308+ views
    Science News ^ | 6-1-2007 | Sid Perkins
    Ice Age Ends Smashingly: Did a comet blow up over eastern Canada? Sid Perkins Evidence unearthed at more than two dozen sites across North America suggests that an extraterrestrial object exploded in Earth's atmosphere above Canada about 12,900 years ago, just as the climate was warming at the end of the last ice age. The explosion sparked immense wildfires, devastated North America's ecosystems and prehistoric cultures, and triggered a millennium-long cold spell, scientists say. IT'S IN THERE. A layer of carbon-rich sediment (arrow) found here at Murray Springs, Ariz., and elsewhere across North America, provides evidence that an extraterrestrial object...
  • Lincoln's death prophesied?

    06/02/2007 7:30:03 AM PDT · by BGHater · 17 replies · 940+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | 02 June 2007 | John Lockwood
    Comets, importing change of times and states Brandish your crystal tresses. — Henry VI, Part I, Act I, Scene I, Lines 2-3 (William Shakespeare). There were times when an air of prophecy hung over the life of Abraham Lincoln. The most famous example was just before the assassination, when Lincoln had a dream about his funeral at the White House. Well before that, in April 1861, at the start of the Civil War, several members of Lincoln's circle also were given a prophecy of his death in office. It's an odd little story that includes Tad and Willie Lincoln, a...
  • Catastrophic Comet Chilled and Killed Ice Age Beasts (and Clovis people)

    05/21/2007 10:16:48 PM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 45 replies · 3,335+ views
    Live Science ^ | 05/21/07 | Jeanna Bryner
    Catastrophic Comet Chilled and Killed Ice Age Beasts Jeanna Bryner LiveScience Staff Writer Mon May 21, 9:30 AM ET An extraterrestrial object with a three-mile girth might have exploded over southern Canada nearly 13,000 years ago, wiping out an ancient Stone Age culture as well as megafauna like mastodons and mammoths. The blast could be to blame for a major cold spell called the Younger Dryas that occurred at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, a period of time spanning from about 1.8 million years ago to 11,500 years ago. Research, presented today at a meeting of the American...
  • Diamonds tell tale of comet that killed off the cavemen

    05/20/2007 4:50:33 PM PDT · by Renfield · 71 replies · 3,536+ views
    Guardian ^ | 5-20-07 | Robin McKie
    Fireballs set half the planet ablaze, wiping out the mammoth and America's Stone Age hunters Scientists will outline dramatic evidence this week that suggests a comet exploded over the Earth nearly 13,000 years ago, creating a hail of fireballs that set fire to most of the northern hemisphere. Primitive Stone Age cultures were destroyed and populations of mammoths and other large land animals, such as the mastodon, were wiped out. The blast also caused a major bout of climatic cooling that lasted 1,000 years and seriously disrupted the development of the early human civilisations that were emerging in Europe and...
  • Did comet start deadly cold snap?

    05/16/2007 3:00:33 PM PDT · by Mike Darancette · 84 replies · 4,671+ views ^ | Monday, May 14, 2007 | Margaret Munro
    An extraterrestrial impact 13,000 years ago wiped out mammoths and started a mini-ice age, scientists believe Margaret Munro CanWest News Service Monday, May 14, 2007 A comet or some other extraterrestrial object appears to have slammed into northern Canada 12,900 years ago and triggered an abrupt and catastrophic climate change that wiped out the mammoths and many other prehistoric creatures, according to a team of U.S. scientists. Evidence of the ecological disaster exists in a thin layer of sediment that has been found from Alberta to New Mexico, say the researchers, whose work adds a dramatic and provocative twist to...
  • Bits of Halley's Comet to produce meteor shower

    05/04/2007 12:05:22 PM PDT · by bedolido · 6 replies · 271+ views ^ | 05-04-2007 | Maggie McKee
    Bits of Halley's Comet will streak into the Earth's atmosphere before dawn on Sunday during the peak of the eta Aquarid meteor shower. Although moonlight will make all but the brightest meteors impossible to see, those that are visible may be quite spectacular due to the geometry of the shower. Halley's Comet last swung by the Earth in 1986 and now lies in the outer solar system. But every time it passes near the Sun on its 76-year orbit, the nucleus of the icy object sheds about 6 metres of material, which spreads out along the comet's orbit. Twice a...
  • New Green Comet Set for April Show (Comet Lovejoy - C/2007 E2)

    04/01/2007 4:09:11 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 11 replies · 2,370+ views
    A new comet has recently been discovered, and like the brilliant Comet McNaught from earlier this year, this latest discovery belongs to an Australian: Comet Lovejoy (C/2007 E2). On March 15th, Terry Lovejoy of Thornlands, Queensland, Australia, discovered a 9th-magnitude comet in the southern constellation Indus the Indian. In reporting the find to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lovejoy described the comet as having a coma that appeared distinctly green in color, with a slight extension to the southwest. Remarkably, Lovejoy made the discovery not with a telescope but using an off-the-shelf digital camera! In...
  • The Eve of the Annunciation

    03/24/2007 9:24:15 AM PDT · by lightman · 23 replies · 495+ views
    American Lutheran Publicity Bureau ^ | 24 March AD 2007 | Tom Shelley
    The Eve of the Annunciation of Our Lord (March 24, AD 1996) was clear and still. This particular night was punctuated by a cosmic visitor, a denizen of the far ranges of the solar system briefly hurtling past the earth on its fleeting, slingshot-like spin around the Sun. Comets are no rarity--thousands have been discovered through the centuries, their orbits tracked, their positions plotted. But bright comets are scarce, and the forecasting of whether a particular comet will be bright enough to be seen unassisted by binoculars is a very inexact science. Too often expectations exceed actualities, and the cosmic...
  • New Comet 2007 E2(Lovejoy)-Destination unknown ?

    03/17/2007 6:28:40 AM PDT · by Orlando · 31 replies · 2,005+ views ^ | 3-17-07 | spaceweather
    New Comet(Lovejoy): On March 15th, Terry Lovejoy of Thomlands, Australia discovered a new comet (C/2007 E2) in the southern constellation Indus. Remarkably, to make the find he used not a telescope but just a camera- a Canon 350D. At Lovejoy's request John Frummund of Gisborme, New Zealand confirmed the comet with this photo taken through a 0.41-m reflector. The new comet is green, 9th-magnitude, and located approximately at right ascension 20h 42m 55s, declination -50o 43' 14" (ref: International Astronomical union Circular 8819). A detailed ephemeris is not yet available, so it is impossible to say how bright Comet Lovejoy...
  • New Photos Reveal Great Comet's Spiraling Jets

    02/24/2007 9:12:51 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 12 replies · 429+ views on Yahoo ^ | 2/24/07 | Robert Roy Britt
    Astronomers have made rare images of the heart of a popular comet and revealed jets of gas spiraling thousands of miles into space. Comet McNaught has been called the Great Comet of 2007 for the show it put on first in the Northern Hemisphere and then south of the equator. The ball of ice and dirt hung frustratingly close to the Sun, however, so many skywatchers never got a good look. The New Technology Telescope (NTT) at the European Southern Observatory in Chile was used to make detailed observations that were released yesterday. Scientists found sodium in the comet's emissions,...
  • European spacecraft to pass Mars ('Rosetta' to rendezvouz with comet 67/Churyumov-Gerasimenko)

    02/24/2007 2:28:30 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 9 replies · 390+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 2/24/07 | David McHugh - ap
    DARMSTADT, Germany - A European spacecraft was on course to zip past Mars on Sunday, a crucial maneuver in its meandering, 10-year voyage through the solar system to make the first soft landing on a comet. The Rosetta craft is to pass within just 150 miles of the Martian surface, using the planet's gravity to change course and head for similar close encounters with Earth later this year and in 2009. The momentum gained from these flybys will sling the spacecraft toward its final rendezvous with the comet 67/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta must swing around Mars on exactly the right course, and...
  • Asteroid 2007 BB close fly-by (Moon)

    01/18/2007 12:17:02 AM PST · by Orlando · 35 replies · 1,572+ views
    NASA/JPL ^ | 1-18-07 | JPL
    Asteroid 2007 BB to pass between 0.0026 au or 0.0025 au. The distance to the moon is 0.00256 au(238,855 miles). Earth is okay from any impact. Just for your information.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day

    01/15/2007 3:29:16 AM PST · by sig226 · 5 replies · 419+ views
    NASA ^ | 1/15/07 | Juan Casado
    Comet McNaught Over CataloniaCredit & Copyright: Juan Casado ( Explanation: This past weekend Comet McNaught peaked at a brightness that surpassed even Venus. Fascinated sky enthusiasts in the Earth's northern hemisphere were treated to an instantly visible comet head and a faint elongated tail near sunrise and sunset. Recent brightness estimates had Comet McNaught brighter than magnitude -5 (minus five) over this past weekend, making it the brightest comet since Comet Ikeya-Seki in 1965, which was recorded at -7 (minus seven). The Great Comet of 2007 reached its brightest as it rounded the Sun well inside the orbit of Mercury....
  • Comet McNaught now visible on SOHO satellite

    01/11/2007 9:13:48 PM PST · by TXnMA · 36 replies · 2,307+ views
    Comet McNaught has just made its appearance in the SOHO (SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory) "LASCO-3" field (at about the 11:00 position) -- and it is very bright!! The real-time image is viewable at In the next couple of days, the 48-hr MPEGs of the SOHO LASCO-3 field at should be well worth watching. ~~~~~~ (The above URL is for the small (256 X 256) MPEG. The larger (512 X 512) MPEG at appears to have a problem at present.)
  • Catch Comet McNaught Now !

    01/11/2007 9:52:17 AM PST · by Orlando · 72 replies · 3,253+ views
    Sky & Telescope ^ | 1-9-07 | Tony Flanders
    "If you live in the Northern hemisphere, this evening is your best remaining opportunity to catch Comet McNaught in its full glory. The comet is sinking rapidly from one evening to the next, but it's also getting brighter.."
  • Bush's Speech and Celestial Omens: Comet McNaught: Brightest Comet in 30 Years On Tonight

    01/10/2007 4:34:14 PM PST · by rface · 35 replies · 2,161+ views
    National Ledger and Astrology Weekly ^ | Jan 10, 2007 | Gene Byrd & Astrology Weekly
    Comet McNaught: Brightest Comet in 30 Years On Display Tonight. The brightest comet in thirty years may be able to be seen by the naked eye tonight. Comet McNaught is plunging toward the sun, and the heat is causing it to brighten dramatically. A few days ago, it was barely visible in evening twilight, but now it pops into view while the sky is still glowing blue. Only Venus is brighter.BBS News is reporting that Comet McNaught has continued to brighten as it approaches the sun and it is now the brightest comet in 30 years.. COMETS: Astrology Weekly...
  • Comet McNaught brightest in decades

    01/10/2007 1:39:11 AM PST · by sig226 · 3 replies · 427+ views
    Sky and Telescope ^ | 1/8/07 | Tony Flanders
    Comet McNaught (2006 P1) has brightened rapidly in the last few days. It's now bright, beautiful, and easy to see at dawn and dusk — as long as you're fairly far north, know exactly where to look, and have an unobstructed horizon and perfect conditions. For most observers in the United States, the comet is quite close to the horizon at twilight, where even the slightest wisp of cloud can hide it. The geometry is more favorable for observers in northern Europe and Canada, who report Comet McNaught as an easy naked-eye object. In the Southern Hemisphere the comet is...
  • Heavenly Bodies Stir Up Routine Catastrophes

    03/18/2003 9:33:33 AM PST · by blam · 9 replies · 842+ views
    IOL ^ | 3-18-2003 | Graeme Addison
    Heavenly bodies stir up routine catastrophes March 18 2003 at 01:30PM By Graeme Addison Legend has it that when two people get together and er... bond, the Earth will move – at least in a metaphorical sense. Likewise, it takes two heavenly bodies, an impactor and a target, to come together with Earth-shattering force to form a crater. There’s nothing dreamlike about this: it happens, frequently, throughout the solar system. Impact catastrophes are routine. Just over two-billion years ago, a chunk of asteroid at least the size of Table Mountain struck the landmass that is now South Africa. It hurtled...
  • Study: Samples of comet dust show a mix (NASA's Stardust mission - comet Wild 2)

    12/14/2006 12:50:32 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 11 replies · 704+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 12/14/06 | Alicia Chang - ap
    SAN FRANCISCO - Detailed observations from the first comet samples returned to Earth are debunking some of science's long-held beliefs on how the icy, celestial bodies form. Scientists expected the minute grains retrieved from a comet Wild 2 to be made up mostly of interstellar dust — tiny particles that flow through the solar system thought to be from ancient stars that exploded and died. Instead, they found an unusual mix of primordial material as if the solar system had turned itself inside out. Hot particles from the inner solar system migrated out to the cold, outer fringes beyond Pluto...
  • Comet Plunges into the Sun

    11/08/2006 8:08:17 AM PST · by Redcitizen · 31 replies · 1,829+ views ^ | Mon Nov 6, 5:00 PM ET | Robert Roy Britt
    A comet made a death plunge into the Sun on Friday, disintegrating as its icy chemicals vaporized on the way in. An animation showing the comet's plunge was made with images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
  • Wow! Striking Green Comet Suddenly Visible in Evening Sky - Comet Swan

    10/26/2006 9:00:01 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 33 replies · 906+ views on yahoo ^ | 10/26/06 | Robert Roy Britt
    What had been a modest comet seen only with binoculars or telescopes flared up this week to become visible to the naked eye [images]. Comet Swan, as it is called, is in the western sky after sunset from the Northern Hemisphere. It remains faint, likely not easy to find under bright city lights but pretty simple to spot from the countryside. It is a "fairly easy naked-eye comet," said Pete Lawrence, who photographed the comet from the UK. "The tail is now showing some interesting features too." UPDATE: Late Thursday, however, Lawrence reported that the comet already may be getting...
  • Comet compositions show striking differences

    10/12/2006 8:27:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies · 256+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 11 October 2006 | David Shiga
    Two of the most common materials found in Tempel 1 are an iron-silicon mineral called ferrosilite and a glassy form of a magnesium-iron mineral called olivine, which make up 33% and 17% of the comet, respectively, according to observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope. However, these minerals are entirely absent from the Wild 2 samples analysed so far... It is not clear how to explain this difference, says Stardust mission leader Donald Brownlee of the University of Washington in Seattle, US. But he says one possibility is that the material on Tempel 1 was chemically modified by ancient collisions --...
  • [ Barnard's Comet returning ] Comet Corner by Don "Captain Comet" Pearce

    09/15/2006 9:35:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies · 361+ views
    Houston Astronomical Society ^ | September 1, 2006 | Don "Captain Comet" Pearce
    177 P/Barnard (2006 M3) 1. 177 P/Barnard (2006 M3),. is a returning semi-long period (117 year orbit) comet that was originally discovered on June 24th ,1889 by E.E. Barnard with a six-inch refractor from the Lick Observatory in California at mag. 9.5. For all these years it was lost to the world until the LINEAR robotic imager “recovered” it at 17th magnitude as an apparent asteroidal object. This occurred on June 23, almost exactly 117 years later. For a while it carried the designation P/2006 M3 (Barnhard), but it has since been changed to 177P/ Barnard. In addition, in...