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Keyword: cometcatalina

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The View Toward M101

    01/21/2016 1:05:21 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | January 21, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Sweeping through northern skies, Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) made its closest approach on January 17, passing about 6 light-minutes from our fair planet. Dust and ion tails clearly separated in this Earth-based view, the comet is also posed for a Messier moment, near the line-of-sight to M101, grand spiral galaxy in Ursa Major. A cosmic pinwheel at the lower left, M101 is nearly twice the size of our own Milky Way galaxy, but some 270 thousand light-centuries away. Both galaxy and comet are relatively bright, easy targets for binocular-equipped skygazers. But Comet Catalina is now outbound from the inner...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comets and Bright Star

    01/06/2016 12:14:43 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | January 06, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This timely, telescopic, two panel mosaic spans about 10 full moons across planet Earth's predawn skies. Recorded as the year began from Tenerife, Canary Islands, near the top of the frame are the faint coma and tail of Comet Borrelly (P/19). A comet with a seven year orbital period, Borrelly's nucleus was visited by the ion propelled spacecraft Deep Space 1 near the beginning of the 21st century. Anchoring the scene at the bottom is brilliant star Arcturus (Alpha Bootes) and Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) a first time visitor from the Oort Cloud. Catalina's yellowish dust tail extends below...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Catalina Tails

    01/01/2016 10:28:53 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | January 01, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A new year's treat for binoculars, as 2016 begins Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10) now sweeps through planet Earth's predawn skies near bright Arcturus, alpha star of Bootes. But this telescopic mosaic from December 21 follows the pretty tails of the comet across a field of view as wide as 10 full moons. The smattering of distant galaxies and faint stars in the background are in the constellation Virgo. Trailing behind the comet's orbit, Catalina's dust tail fans out below and left in the frame. Its ion tail is angled toward the top right, away from the Sun and buffeted...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Meets Moon and Morning Star

    12/11/2015 11:38:43 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | December 12, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A crescent Moon and brilliant Venus met in predawn skies on December 7, a beautiful conjunction of planet Earth's two brightest celestial beacons after the Sun. Harder to see but also on the scene was Comet Catalina (C/2013 US10). The fainter comet clearly sporting two tails, lunar night side, bright sunlit lunar crescent, and brilliant morning star, are all recorded here by combining short and long exposures of the same field of view. Pointing down and right, Catalina's dust tail tends to trail behind the comet's orbit. Its ion tail, angled toward the top left of the frame, is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Catalina Emerges

    12/06/2015 9:10:59 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | December 07, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Catalina is ready for its close-up. The giant snowball from the outer Solar System, known formally as C/2013 US10 (Catalina), rounded the Sun last month and is now headed for its closest approach to Earth in January. With the glow of the Moon now also out of the way, morning observers in Earth's northern hemisphere are getting their best ever view of the new comet. And Comet Catalina is not disappointing. Although not as bright as early predictions, the comet is sporting both dust (lower left) and ion (upper right) tails, making it an impressive object for binoculars...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Announcing Comet Catalina

    08/18/2015 1:24:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | August 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Will Comet Catalina become visible to the unaided eye? Given the unpredictability of comets, no one can say for sure, but it seems like a good bet. The comet was discovered in 2013 by observations of the Catalina Sky Survey. Since then, Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) has steadily brightened and is currently brighter than 8th magnitude, making it visible with binoculars and long-duration camera images. As the comet further approaches the inner Solar System it will surely continue to intensify, possibly becoming a naked eye object sometime in October and peaking sometime in late November. The comet will reside...
  • Comet put on list of potential Earth impactors

    06/02/2005 9:04:31 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 46 replies · 3,184+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 1 June 2005 | David L Chandler
    On 26 May, JPL's unique orbital calculation software determined that Comet Catalina was on what could possibly be a collision course with Earth, though the odds of such an impact were small: just 1 chance in 300,000 of a strike on June 11, 2085. Based on the 980-metre size estimate, that would produce a 6-gigaton impact - equivalent to 6 billion tonnes of TNT. Astronomers expected the addition of further observations to the calculations to rule out any possibility of a collision, as happens with most newly-seen objects. But that did not quite happen. The comet's predicted pathway actually drew...