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Latest Comets Stories

In Mid-March Comet PANSTARRS Rises To The Occasion
2013-03-08 10:35:02

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Comets visible to the naked eye are a rare delicacy in the celestial smorgasbord of objects in the nighttime sky. Scientists estimate that the opportunity to see one of these icy dirtballs advertising their cosmic presence so brilliantly they can be seen without the aid of a telescope or binoculars happens only once every five to 10 years. That said, there may be two naked-eye comets available for your viewing pleasure this year. "You might have heard of...

Comet Siding Spring To Pass Close To Mars In 2014
2013-03-05 20:27:50

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online We've had our fair share of close calls from asteroids recently, but a neighboring planet will soon have its day in the spotlight as a comet grazes past it. Mars will have a front row ticket to comet 2013 A1 as it passes by the Red Planet in 2014, passing within 186,000 miles of Mars, according to NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The office even said there is a...

Comet PANSTARRS Arrives In March
2013-03-06 09:00:24

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online This March sky gazers will be treated to another special celestial event as comet Pan-STARRS C/2011 L4 becomes visible to the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere. According to astronomers from the University of Hawaii, the comet should become visible from about March 7 just above the horizon. In order to see the comet, you will need to find dark skies away from the lights of the city. Scientists say that this comet will have a...

Comet Coming To A Backyard Near You In March
2013-02-08 04:52:57

[ Watch the Video: ScienceCasts: A Naked-Eye Comet in March 2013 ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Backyard astronomers and star watching enthusiasts need to be on the lookout in March for a comet that could possibly be seen with the naked-eye. Comet Pan-STARRS will be passing about 100 million miles from Earth, briefly dipping inside the orbit of Mercury, and astronomers say it could become an object in the sky about as bright as some stars. Pan-STARRS derives...

Comet ISON To Pass Through Sun's Atmosphere In November
2013-01-19 07:48:01

[ Watch the Video: ScienceCasts: Comet of the Century ] redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online A comet discovered by Russian astronomers last September could blossom into one of the stargazing highlights of the year, NASA officials announced on Friday. Comet ISON, which was found by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok of Roscosmos and named in honor of their International Scientific Optical Network night-sky survey program, is currently located near Jupiter. For...

Comet Ison To Make An Appearance In 2013
2012-12-27 11:22:44

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gaze upon the stars will be had next year by thousands of backyard astronomers who wish to catch a glimpse of the comet of the century. Comet Ison has yet to earn its spotlight in the media, but soon enough it will be the trending topic among all the search engines. The comet, which was discovered by two Russian astronomers, will be "the biggest star of 2013" and "brighter than a full moon,"...

Revisiting Comet Halley
2012-11-26 10:52:46

ESA Comet Halley, the originator of the Orionids meteor shower that lit up our skies last month — as they do every October — is seen here up close by ESA´s Giotto probe as it flew past the famous comet on 13—14 March 1986. Giotto was ESA´s first deep-space mission. It swept within 600 km of Halley, obtaining the first close-up images of a comet. Comets are considered to be the primitive building blocks of the Solar System and likely helped to...

Best Viewing For The Leonid Meteor Shower Is Saturday, November 17, 2012
2012-11-16 10:02:42

The University of Texas McDonald Observatory The best viewing for this year's Leonid meteor shower will be several hours before dawn on November 17, according to the editors of StarDate magazine. The Moon will be below the horizon, so its light will not wash out any meteors. With clear skies, viewers can expect to see about 15 to 20 meteors per hour, though the shower has proved highly variable in recent years. Though the meteors will appear to originate from the constellation Leo,...

Comet Witnessed Breaking Apart
2012-11-05 08:23:47

NASA Press Statement The Hergenrother comet is currently traversing the inner-solar system. Amateur and professional astronomers alike have been following the icy-dirt ball over the past several weeks as it has been generating a series of impressive outbursts of cometary-dust material. Now comes word that the comet's nucleus has taken the next step in its relationship with Mother Nature. "Comet Hergenrother is splitting apart," said Rachel Stevenson, a post-doctoral fellow working at...

Comets Passing By Each Other Tuesday Night
2012-10-22 13:51:45

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online On Tuesday night, there will be no football, and the World Series will be a day away, but there will be another spectacle you can watch. Slooh.com said it will be broadcasting a one-of-a-kind celestial event on Tuesday night, as Comet 168P/Hergenrother and Comet C/2012 J1 (Catalina) pass each other in space. Slooh will begin providing live coverage of this event starting at 5:00 p.m. Eastern, accompanied by real-time discussions...


Latest Comets Reference Libraries

54_1e39bd96196de2b0b3d3cb59083186ef
2009-04-28 16:55:25

Jean Elias Benjamin Valz was born on May 27, 1787 in Nimes in France. He was formally trained as an engineer, but he became intrigued with astronomy, specifically comets, after witnessing the return of the Comet Encke. Before leaving his home to become the Director of the Marseille Observatory, he built a private observatory in it. He theorized that abnormalities in the orbit of Halley's Comet could be explained by a planet beyond Uranus. Scientist would later discover this planet and...

6_348877a21702e82deaef967e7029f7ad2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Comet -- A comet is a small body from the outer reaches of the solar system similar to an asteroid but composed of ice. Often described as "dirty snowballs," they are composed largely of carbon dioxide ice, methane ice, and water ice with a mixture of dust and small stony aggregates mixed in. Comets are thought to be small pieces of debris left over from the formation of the solar system, representing a sample of the original composition of the nebula that condensed to form the Sun and all...

3_dc1884c0b1face8b446a01bf67cf86f42
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Halley's Comet -- Comet Halley, more generally known as Halley's Comet after Edmond Halley, is the best-known and the brightest of the "short-period" comets from the Kuiper belt that visit the inner solar system in years or decades-long orbits rather than the millennia of comets from the Oort Cloud. Early History Having perceived that the elements of the comet of 1682 were nearly the same as those of two comets which had appeared respectively in 1531 and 1607, Halley concluded that...

3_089f177002efcc416c4d1ef8735393d12
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Comet Encke -- Because of its proximity to the Sun and its stable orbit, comet Encke is probably one of the most evolved comets that still remains active. It may represent a transition object between an active comet and the defunct comets that are thought to make up a significant percentage of the near-Earth asteroid population. The orbit of comet Encke is very stable both in its size and orientation because it can pass no closer to Jupiter than about 0.9 AU. This orbital stability...

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