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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 15:10 EDT

Latest Gordon J. Garradd Stories

Image 1 - Swift Tracks Departing Comet Garradd
2012-04-15 07:02:34

An outbound comet that provided a nice show for skywatchers late last year is the target of an ongoing investigation by NASA's Swift satellite. Formally designated C/2009 P1 (Garradd), the unusually dust-rich comet provides a novel opportunity to characterize how cometary activity changes at ever greater distance from the sun. A comet is a clump of frozen gases mixed with dust. These "dirty snowballs" cast off gas and dust whenever they venture near the sun. What powers this activity is...