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Some Comets Like It Hot
2012-01-13 11:08:23

[ Watch the Video ] Comets are icy and fragile. They spend most of their time orbiting through the dark outskirts of the solar system safe from destructive rays of intense sunlight.  The deepest cold is their natural habitat. Last November amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy discovered a different kind of comet.  The icy fuzzball he spotted in the sky over his backyard observatory in Australia was heading almost directly for the sun.  On Dec. 16th, less than three weeks...

Comet Survives Close Encounter With Our Sun
2011-12-18 06:18:30

[ Watch the Video ] On December 16, an armada of spacecraft witnessed something that many experts thought impossible.  Comet Lovejoy flew through the hot atmosphere of the sun and emerged intact. "It's absolutely astounding," says Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC.  "I did not think the comet's icy core was big enough to survive plunging through the several million degree solar corona for close to an hour, but Comet Lovejoy is still with us." The...

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2008-06-27 06:46:51

The ESA/NASA SOHO spacecraft has just discovered its 1500th comet, making it more successful than all other comet discoverers throughout history put together. Not bad for a spacecraft that was designed as a solar physics mission. SOHO's record-breaking discovery was made late on 25 June. When it comes to comet catching, the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory has one big advantage over everybody else: its location. Situated between the Sun and Earth, it has a privileged view of a region of...

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2007-09-26 07:55:00

It is nothing new for the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) to discover another comet "“ it has already found more than 1350. But the latest is a bit different - SOHO had spotted it twice before. For the first time, SOHO's Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment (LASCO) has found a rare type of comet called a periodic comet (which flies by the Sun at regular intervals). While many SOHO comets are believed to be periodic, this is the first one that has been...

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2005-08-19 08:05:00

NASA -- One thousand comets have been discovered to date using the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. The SOHO spacecraft, a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency, has accounted for approximately one-half of all comet discoveries with computed orbits in the history of astronomy. Many SOHO comet discoveries have been by amateurs using SOHO images on the internet, and SOHO comet hunters come from all over the world. Toni Scarmato, a high school teacher from...

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2005-07-06 15:06:21

ESA -- As of July 6, 2005, 989 comets have been discovered using the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, which is expected to discover its 1000th comet this summer. The SOHO spacecraft, a joint effort between NASA and the European Space Agency, has been so prolific that it has accounted for almost half of all comet discoveries for which orbits have been computed in the history of astronomy. Before SOHO was launched, only 16 "Ëœsungrazing'...


Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.