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Latest Minor Planet Center Stories

Comet Discoveries Garner 2012 Edgar Wilson Award
2013-01-30 07:24:51

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The 2012 Edgar Wilson Award for the discovery of comets by amateurs was announced this week by the Minor Planet Center, located at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass. The awards, created and funded by the will of the late business man Edgar Wilson of Lexington, Kentucky, have been given out for 14 consecutive years. Five recipients received plaques and cash awards this year: • Leonid Elenin of...

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2010-11-19 09:13:15

Dr. Brian Geoffrey Marsden passed away Thursday, Nov. 18 at the age of 73 following a prolonged illness. He was a Supervisory Astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Director Emeritus of the Minor Planet Center. "Brian was one of the most influential comet investigators of the twentieth century," said Charles Alcock, Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, "and definitely one of the most colorful!" Dr. Marsden specialized in celestial mechanics and...

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2009-06-03 14:55:00

Swiss astronomer Jose De Queiroz on Wednesday announced the discovery of two new asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. According to the Mirasteilas Observatory, De Queiroz has located two new asteroids with a diameter of between 1 kilometer and 2 kilometers. According to the Associated Press, the discovery of 2009FM1 and 2009FA1 was confirmed by the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union in Cambridge, Massachusetts in March. "They're perfectly ordinary objects...

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2008-10-06 16:30:00

Boulder-sized Asteroid Will Burn Up in Earth's Atmosphere Tonight A tiny asteroid discovered just hours ago at an Arizona observatory will enter Earth's atmosphere harmlessly at approximately 10:46 p.m. Eastern time tonight (2:46 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time). There is no danger to people or property since the asteroid will not reach the ground. It is between 3 and 15 feet (1-5 m) in diameter and will burn up in the upper atmosphere, well above aircraft heights. A brilliant fireball will be...

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2007-10-25 14:32:28

Cambridge, MA - A once-faint comet has made a sudden leap from obscurity to center stage. Comet 17P Holmes, now visible to northern hemisphere residents, increased its brightness by a factor of one million this week, going from magnitude 17 to 2. This makes it visible to the unaided eye as well as binoculars and telescopes, offering a unique viewing opportunity for sky watchers. "This is a terrific outburst," said Brian Marsden, director emeritus of the Minor Planet Center, which tracks...


Word of the Day
monteith
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'
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