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Keyword: comets

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Structure in the Tail of Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks

    02/16/2024 12:48:10 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | 16 Feb, 2024 | Image Credit & Copyright: Dan Bartlett`
    Explanation: Heading for its next perihelion passage on April 21, Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks is growing brighter. The greenish coma of this periodic Halley-type comet has become relatively easy to observe in small telescopes. But the bluish ion tail now streaming from the active comet's coma and buffeted by the solar wind, is faint and difficult to follow. Still, in this image stacked exposures made on the night of February 11 reveal the fainter tail's detailed structures. The frame spans over two degrees across a background of faint stars and background galaxies toward the northern constellation Lacerta. Of course Comet 12P's April...
  • Can astronomers use radar to spot a cataclysmic asteroid?

    02/18/2024 5:07:40 PM PST · by Red Badger · 17 replies
    Space Daily ^ | Feb 18, 2024 | by Clarence Oxford
    NEO 2003 SD220 on screen. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How can humans protect the Earth from "devastating asteroid and comet impacts?" According to the National Academies and their 2023-2032 Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey, ground based astronomical radar systems will have a "unique role" to play in planetary defense. There is currently only one system in the world concentrating on these efforts, NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar, part of the Deep Space Network (DSN). However, a new instrument concept from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) called the next generation RADAR (ngRADAR) system will use the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope...
  • Arkansas family suspects meteorite caused smoking hole in their deck

    10/26/2023 10:52:29 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 36 replies
    UPI ^ | OCT. 26, 2023 / 1:20 PM | By Ben Hooper
    Oct. 26 (UPI) -- An Arkansas family who awoke to the smell of fire discovered a smoking hole in their deck -- and they suspect a meteorite may have been to blame. John Devane of Greenwood said he and his family awoke to the smell of smoke inside their house about 3 a.m. and set about searching for the source. They discovered the smoke was coming from a hole in their deck, which had apparently caught fire. Devane said the flames had been extinguished when a corner of the family's hot tub melted from the heat, causing it to pour...
  • ‘Devil’ Comet Bigger Than Mount Everest Now Heading Toward Earth after Explosion

    10/19/2023 10:35:38 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 63 replies
    SLAY News ^ | October 19, 2023 - 8:21 am | David Lindfield
    Scientists are reporting that a “horned” comet three times bigger than Mount Everest is hurtling toward Earth after encountering a large explosion. The blast originated on October 5 from 12P/Pons-Brooks a cryovolcanic — or cold volcano — comet. According to Live Science, the comet, nicknamed the “Devil” due to its apparent horns, measures a colossal 18.6 miles in diameter, or the size of a small city. For reference, Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth, is about 5.5 miles high. This marked the second time this interstellar ice cube erupted in the last four months. The Science Times reports that...
  • A prehistoric cosmic airburst preceded the advent of agriculture in the Levant

    10/06/2023 4:16:13 AM PDT · by FarCenter · 27 replies
    Agriculture in Syria started with a bang 12,800 years ago as a fragmented comet slammed into the Earth's atmosphere. The explosion and subsequent environmental changes forced hunter-gatherers in the prehistoric settlement of Abu Hureyra to adopt agricultural practices to boost their chances for survival. That's the assertion made by an international group of scientists in one of four related research papers, all appearing in the journal Science Open: Airbursts and Cratering Impacts. The papers are the latest results in the investigation of the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, the idea that an anomalous cooling of the Earth almost 13 millennia ago...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Comet Nishimura Grows

    09/09/2023 1:01:51 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | 9 Sep, 2023 | Credit & Copyright: Peter Kennett
    Explanation: Comet Nishimura is growing. More precisely, the tails C/2023 P1 (Nishimura) are growing as it nears the Sun. Discovered only last month, the comet is already near naked eye brightness as it now moves inside the Earth's orbit. The comet will be nearest the Earth next week, but nearest the Sun the week after -- on September 17. Speculation holds that expelled ice and dust from Comet Nishimura's last visit to the inner Solar System may have created the Sigma Hydrids meteor shower which peaks yearly in December. If so, then this meteor shower may become more active, refreshed...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day - Introducing Comet Nishimura

    08/21/2023 12:13:03 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | 21 Aug, 2023 | Credit & Copyright: Dan Bartlett
    Explanation: Will Comet Nishimura become visible to the unaided eye? Given the unpredictability of comets, no one can say for sure, but it currently seems like a good bet. The comet was discovered only ten days ago by Hideo Nishimura during 30-second exposures with a standard digital camera. Since then, C/2023 P1 Nishimura has increased in brightness and its path across the inner Solar System determined. As the comet dives toward the Sun, it will surely continue to intensify and possibly become a naked-eye object in early September. A problem is that the comet will also be angularly near the...
  • 'Once in a Lifetime' Comet Is Shaped Like The Millennium Falcon

    07/28/2023 10:57:09 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies
    Science Alert ^ | July 27, 2023 | ELLIE ZOLFAGHARIFARD,
    A composite image showing Comet 12P/Pons-Brook (left) and a model of the Millennium Falcon spaceship from "Star Wars" (right). (Comet Chasers/Faulkes Telescope Project/Las Cumbres Observatory/Reuters/Insider) Astronomers have spotted a "once-in-a-lifetime" comet shaped like the Millennium Falcon – and sky gazers may soon be able to see it for themselves without a telescope. The comet, known as Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, abruptly brightened 100-fold on July 20 as plumes of debris and ice were blasted off it into space. This gave it a horseshoe shape, which scientists likened to the Millennium Falcon spaceship from "Star Wars." The comet will make its closest approach...
  • Have We Found Fragments of a Meteor from Another Star?

    07/05/2023 8:20:44 AM PDT · by bitt · 39 replies ^ | 7/5/2023 | By Amir Siraj
    Tiny spheres of once-molten metal magnetically dredged from the seafloor could be pieces from IM1, a potential interstellar meteor that struck Earth in 2014 Over the past two weeks, I have circumnavigated the globe by land, air and sea. The reason? A kitchen sink–sized chunk of interstellar material that my colleagues and I believe collided with the Earth at 100,000 miles per hour nearly a decade ago. After years of effort, we may have finally found pieces of this elusive object on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, about a mile beneath the waves. The story began In April 2019,...
  • 4.6 Billion-Year-Old Meteorite Crash-lands Inside New Jersey Home

    05/23/2023 10:43:15 AM PDT · by DUMBGRUNT · 30 replies
    DOGOnews ^ | 22 May 2023 | LEXI ROMANOWSKY
    When Suzy Kop entered her father's bedroom on May 8, 2023, she was stunned to find a grapefruit-sized rock next to a big dent on the wooden floor. Upon further investigation, the New Jersey resident saw two holes in the ceiling. It appeared that the stone had struck the floor with such great force that it rebounded and punched a second hole before landing back.
  • Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) Lights January Skies, Won’t Return for 8,000 Years

    01/06/2015 4:10:54 PM PST · by Jack Hydrazine · 33 replies
    Indian Country Today Media Network ^ | 6JAN2015 | ICTMN Staff Read more at
    It’s being called the New Year’s Comet, a fuzzy green ball named Comet Lovejoy that is cruising past Mother Earth as we speak and is scheduled to become visible to the naked eye starting midweek. The name Comet Lovejoy may ring a bell; one of its namesakes was last in Earth’s vicinity three years ago, when it survived a death plunge into the sun in 2011, then emerged to grow a new tail. That was C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy). The latest entry into our field of vision is the fifth comet discovery for amateur astronomy Terry Lovejoy of Australia, according to...
  • Scientists Reveal Interstellar Object ‘Oumuamua’ Has Organic Shell

    12/20/2017 6:44:36 AM PST · by blam · 79 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 12-20-2017 | Nate Church
    Observations of the oblong interstellar traveler Oumuamua have revealed an unidentified organic coating on it, igniting scientific and public curiosity alike. After “Oumuamua” was initially spotted by a telescope in Hawaii by the Pan-STARRS project on October 19, experts raced to gather all possible information on it before it passed beyond humanity’s collective reach. But, while they expected to find a comet-like chunk of ice passing by our sun, the object mysteriously failed to leave behind a vapor trail as it grazed our home star. Instead, the still-unidentified chunk of ancient space debris hurtling at 60,000 MPH through our solar...
  • NASA solves mystery of cigar-shaped UFO, believed to carry alien life

    09/29/2018 12:56:41 PM PDT · by ETL · 80 replies ^ | Sept 27, 2018 | Rhian Deutrom |
    Scientists have uncovered the truth about a mysterious space rock called Oumuamua which has been hurtling through Earth’s solar system and was spotted last year.A group of acclaimed astronomers, including members from NASA, the European Space Agency and the German Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, released a report this week on the origins of the cigar-shaped asteroid which was first observed in October 2017. The name Oumuamua is Hawaiian for “messenger from afar arriving first” and was named by the site who first spotted it. According to the report, “a fast moving object on an unbound orbit was discovered close...
  • Here’s the Picture We’ve Been Waiting for. Hubble’s Photo of Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov

    10/17/2019 10:32:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    Hubble Space Telescope. The workhorse telescope has given us a photo of the new interstellar comet 2I/Borisov... 2I/Borisov has wandered into our Solar System from the deep cold of interstellar space, but nobody knows from whence it came, or how long it’s been travelling. Boris only the second object we’ve observed that’s come into our Solar System from somewhere else in the galaxy, and the Hubble snapped photos of it speeding along at about 177,000 kph (110,000 mph.) So far, the Hubble images are the sharpest ones yet. Comets contain a lot of water ice and other volatiles. When they...
  • First measurements of 'interstellar comet' [C/2019 Q4 (Borisov)]

    09/18/2019 1:15:00 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    BBC ^ | 17 September 2019 | Paul Rincon
    The team used the Osiris instrument at the 10.4m Gran Telescopio Canarias in La Palma, Spain, to obtain visible spectra - measurements of sunlight reflected by Borisov. By studying these spectra, scientists can draw conclusions about its chemical composition, including how it might differ from comets that were "born" around the Sun. "The spectrum is the red side of the comet's total spectrum, so the only thing we can see in the spectrum is the slope," said Miquel Serra Ricart, from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in Tenerife. In coming days, the team will obtain measurements of the...
  • An interstellar comet looks to be heading our way

    09/11/2019 5:58:09 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 91 replies
    cnet ^ | September 11, 2019 | Eric Mack
    A comet first spotted by a Ukrainian amateur astronomer looks to be just the second known object to visit our cosmic neighborhood from beyond the solar system. What could be an even bigger deal is that this one was discovered as it's still approaching us. The comet was found by Gennady Borisov of Crimea on Aug. 30, and went by the temporary name GB00234 until very recently. After being watched by several other observatories over the past few weeks, it was given the official name of C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) by the Minor Planet Center on Wednesday. It appeared to follow...
  • Mysterious interstellar object Oumuamua is not an alien spaceship but scientists are still baffled

    07/01/2019 9:19:32 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 66 replies
    fox news ^ | 07/01/2019
    It is the first known object to pass through the solar system from outside, but experts have failed to explain where the object, called 'Oumuamua' came from. The mysterious cigar-shaped projectile - formally named the object 1I/2017 U1 - defies description with characteristics resembling both a comet and an asteroid. Oumuamua...spins like a coke bottle and accelerates like a comet, but without the gas jets often seen trailing them. The study’s co-author, Dr. Matthew Knight, an associate research scientist in the University of Maryland Department of Astronomy, said: “The alien spacecraft hypothesis is a fun idea, but … our preference...
  • Interstellar asteroid update [guess]: It’s a comet!

    06/28/2018 10:33:05 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 64 replies ^ | June 28, 2018 | Deborah Byrd
    `Oumuamua, pronounced oh-MOO-ah-MOO-ah – is moving away from the sun faster than expected. The Hubble Space Telescope made the discovery, in cooperation with ground-based telescopes... The measured gain in ‘Oumuamua’s speed is tiny, these astronomers said. Plus, our sun is still trying to drag `Oumuamua back; that is, the sun’s gravity is still slowing down the object, though not as fast as predicted by celestial mechanics. Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency led the team that explored several scenarios to explain ‘Oumuamua’s faster-than-predicted speed. The most likely explanation is that `Oumuamua is venting material from its surface due to...
  • Mysterious Space Object ‘Oumuamua Not Alien, Scientists Say...New study suggests a natural origin for unusual movement of the interstellar body

    03/23/2023 5:34:08 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 50 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | March 22, 2023 12:00 pm ET | By Aylin Woodward
    Nearly six years ago, a space object roughly the size of a football field baffled scientists as it zipped through our solar system. The irregular shape and motion of the object, dubbed ‘Oumuamua, led to one of the most controversial astronomical mysteries, with theories that ranged from asteroid to alien probe. But a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature offers another answer: ‘Oumuamua is a typical comet that expelled gas in an odd way as it traveled through our solar system. “We’ve gone through every weird, crazy, possible theory—ideas that stretch the imagination to match all of these observed...
  • Newly discovered asteroid the size of a [Olympic-size] swimming pool has a 1-in-600 chance of colliding with Earth, NASA says

    03/09/2023 7:50:50 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 39 replies
    Live Science ^ | 03/08/2023 | Brandon Specktor
    First detected on Feb. 27, the asteroid dubbed 2023 DW is estimated to measure about 165 feet (50 meters) in diameter, or roughly the length of an Olympic-size swimming pool. The asteroid is expected to make a very close approach to Earth on Feb. 14, 2046; as of March 8, the European Space Agency's Near-Earth Object Coordination Centre(opens in new tab) predicts a 1-in-625 chance of a direct impact, although those odds are being recalculated daily. "Often when new objects are first discovered, it takes several weeks of data to reduce the uncertainties and adequately predict their orbits years into...