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Latest Comets Stories

Comet ISON May Fizzle Out
2013-07-30 10:54:51

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Once dubbed "the Comet of the Century," Comet ISON may prematurely fizzle out before its much anticipated spectacular debut, according to an analysis from astronomer Ignacio Ferrin, with the University of Antioquia in Colombia. "The future of comet ISON does not look bright," Ferrin said in a statement. According to the astronomer's calculations, the comet has not increased in brightness since the middle of January - a somewhat...

Perseids Identified By NASA As Most Active Annual Meteor Shower
2013-07-29 10:14:59

[ Watch the Video: ScienceCasts: Perseid Fireballs ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Meteor showers are some of the most exciting and unpredictable displays of nature and a team of NASA astronomers have just identified one shower as the most active of any annual display. "We have found that one meteor shower produces more fireballs than any other," said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO). "It's the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on August...

Hubble Video Shows Comet ISON Approach
2013-07-02 14:46:00

Watch the video "Hubble View Of Comet ISON" Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Comet ISON is on course to potentially light up our night skies in November as it makes a close pass by our Sun. However, we don't have to wait until November to get some cosmic eye candy to go along with our Independence Day festivities. NASA released a new movie (see above) showing a sequence of Hubble Space Telescope observations taken over 43 minutes as the comet hurtles through space...

2013-06-06 20:04:07

With more than 400 meteors per hour, it was one of the most intense meteor showers in the last decade Every 6.6 years, the comet Giacobini-Zinner circulates through the inner solar system and passes through the perihelion, the closest point to the Sun of its orbit. Then, the comet sublimates the ices and ejects a large number of particles that are distributed in filaments. The oldest of these particles have formed a swarm that the Earth passes trough every year in early October. The result...

Comet ISON On Uncertain Course Towards The Sun
2013-05-31 04:32:24

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) is racing toward an uncomfortably close rendezvous with the Sun, according to a new series of images from the Gemini Earth Observatory. Comet ISON might present a stunning sight in the twilight sky of late November that will remain easily visible, even brilliant, into early December. Gemini´s time-sequence images span from early February through May 2013, showing the comet´s remarkable activity...

Comet Pan-STARSS Survives Solar Encounter, Emerges Brighter Than Ever
2013-03-17 09:17:25

redOrbit staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online A comet making its first visit to the inner solar system has survived a journey that brought it close to the sun, and has emerged as one of the brightest comets in years, NASA astronomers confirmed on Friday. Comet Pan-STARRS, which according to the Daily Mail has been visible for several weeks in the Southern Hemisphere, could be viewed for the first time by stargazers in the northern parts of the world last week after...

Comet PANSTARRS Visible In UK And Irish Skies
2013-03-11 10:00:20

AlphaGalileo Foundation A comet discovered by a Queen´s University Belfast supported project will be visible in UK and Irish skies from tomorrow evening (Tuesday 12 March) onwards. Comet PANSTARRS was discovered in June 2011, by a team including astronomers from the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen´s, using the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii, when it was still 1.2 billion kilometers from the Sun. The comet will be visible by eye low-down in the Western sky from...

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...


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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Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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