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Latest Main-belt comet Stories

2011-02-01 12:12:00

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's NEOWISE mission has completed its survey of small bodies, asteroids and comets in our solar system. The mission's discoveries of previously unknown objects include 20 comets, more than 33,000 asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, and 134 near-Earth objects (NEOs). The NEOs are asteroids and comets with orbits that come within 28 million miles of Earth's path around the sun. (Logo:...

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2010-12-23 13:05:00

By University Of Arizona Communications The extraterrestrial rock is tumbling through space alongside thousands of similar objects in our solar system's main asteroid belt, roughly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. An asteroid discovered more than 100 years ago my not be an asteroid at all, but an extinct comet that is coming back to life, according to new observations. The night of Dec. 11, Steve Larson, senior staff scientist with the Catalina Sky Survey, was searching for potentially...

2009-07-23 10:41:13

The study shows that the comets were probably captured 600 million years after the formation of the solar system, during the Late Heavy Bombardment. This extremely violent event was triggered when Saturn and Jupiter entered into orbital resonance:  Saturn's orbital period became exactly twice that of Jupiter, and the two planets passed each other more often, interacting and destabilizing everything around them. During this time, the entire architecture of the solar system was thrown into...

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2009-07-16 06:45:00

According to a team of astrophysicists, a number of the heavenly bodies drifting about in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter were previously comets that had been ejected from their orbit around planets.  Their report challenges the commonly held notion that most of the asteroids are left-overs from "proto-planetary disks," or the thick gas ring that surrounds young stars. The odd make-up of the orbiting rocks has long tickled the curiosity of scientists, with their strange...

2007-12-24 08:47:19

For millennia, comets were believed to be omens of doom. Instead, solving the mysteries regarding these "dirty snowballs" could help reveal the part they played in the birth of life on Earth, as well as secrets concerning the rest of the galaxy. Did comets help create Earth's seas? For years scientists thought comets slamming against the newborn Earth helped deliver water to a once dry planet. But roughly a decade ago this view was shaken by the discovery that the water in...

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2006-03-25 11:10:00

Three icy comets orbiting among the rocky asteroids in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter may hold clues to the origin of Earth's oceans. The newly discovered group of comets, dubbed "main-belt comets" by University of Hawaii graduate student Henry Hsieh and Professor David Jewitt, has asteroid-like orbits and, unlike other comets, appears to have formed in the warm inner solar system inside the orbit of Jupiter rather than in the cold outer solar system beyond Neptune. The...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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