Posts tagged with ‘comets

Newly discovered comet could be brighter than the moon by the end of 2013

Right now, a newly discovered comet named Lovejoy is just a faint light in the the constellation Cancer. But astronomers predict that by the end of 2013 and into the beginning of 2014, as Lovejoy comes a bit closer and becomes visible to the naked eye, there could be a point where it’s a brighter point in the sky than the moon.

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How to safely land a probe on a comet

The Rosetta project is a joint effort between NASA and the ESA to land a probe on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in January 2014. But landing on a comet is not like landing on a planet. For one, we’re not entirely sure whether it will be solid and rocky, slick and icy or soft. So NASA and ESA had to build a lander that could accomodate for a variety of landing surfaces.

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Comet Lovejoy passes behind Earth for this gorgeous photo op
International Space Station Commander Dan Burbank captured spectacular imagery of Comet Lovejoy as seen from about 240 miles above the Earth’s horizon on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
See Commander Burbank talking about the comet here

Comet Lovejoy passes behind Earth for this gorgeous photo op

International Space Station Commander Dan Burbank captured spectacular imagery of Comet Lovejoy as seen from about 240 miles above the Earth’s horizon on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

See Commander Burbank talking about the comet here

Comet Lovejoy somehow survived going through the Sun to come out the other side

Normally, when anything crashes into a star, you can pretty much hang it up for that whatever it is. So when astronomers saw a comet named Lovejoy plunge into the Sun’s corona, the assumption was that was the end of the comet.. until the comet came out the other side of the Sun. A giant furnace, where even atoms are stripped down to their base components and yet somehow a comet survived.

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NASA is building a harpoon to shoot at comets. Hell yeah.

If you ever doubted that working somewhere like NASA would be one of the coolest jobs ever, consider that they’ve proposed a harpoon to shoot at the heart of a comet to try and extract its secrets. One day, a buch of astronomers were sitting around like “How can we get material from the heart of a comet?” and another was like “Let’s shoot one with a harpoon!” And so that’s what they’re gonna do.

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Spitzer telescope observes a deadly comet storm on a distant planet

Way across the galaxy, around the star Eta Corvi, NASA’s Spitzer telescope has spotted what astronomers are pretty sure is a bombardment of of comets through the Eta Corvi dust cloud, pummeling the planets in their way. The assault resembles the Late Heavy Bombardment of Earth during its infancy, and this bombardment would have happened at the same time it was happening on Earth.

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Comet caught between fireworks and lightning
Taken as a three-photo panorama during Australia Day celebrations in 2007, this spectacular photograph by Antti Kemppainen would make an epic heavy metal album cover if it weren’t for all the people just leisurely sitting around on the beach.
The comet in question, if you’re wondering is Comet McNaught.
Via

Comet caught between fireworks and lightning

Taken as a three-photo panorama during Australia Day celebrations in 2007, this spectacular photograph by Antti Kemppainen would make an epic heavy metal album cover if it weren’t for all the people just leisurely sitting around on the beach.

The comet in question, if you’re wondering is Comet McNaught.

Via

This is the sound of a probe passing through comet debris

NASA’s been describing this as the sound of a comet, but in reality, a comet wouldn’t make any sound out in the vacuum of space. But as NASA’s Deep Impact probe passed through the debris field of Hartley 2, it was bombarded by tiny pieces of comet stuff and it sent back a recording.

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NASA’s EPOXI craft gets some amazing close-up photos of the comet Hartley 2
From NASA:

Comet Hartley 2 can be seen in glorious detail in this image from NASA’s EPOXI mission. It was taken as the spacecraft flew by around 6:59 a.m. PDT (9:59 a.m. EDT), from a distance of about 700 kilometers (435 miles). The comet’s nucleus, or main body, is approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long and .4 kilometers (.25 miles) at the “neck,” or most narrow portion. Jets can be seen streaming out of the nucleus.

More photos here, thanks to Delsyd for the link

NASA’s EPOXI craft gets some amazing close-up photos of the comet Hartley 2

From NASA:

Comet Hartley 2 can be seen in glorious detail in this image from NASA’s EPOXI mission. It was taken as the spacecraft flew by around 6:59 a.m. PDT (9:59 a.m. EDT), from a distance of about 700 kilometers (435 miles). The comet’s nucleus, or main body, is approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long and .4 kilometers (.25 miles) at the “neck,” or most narrow portion. Jets can be seen streaming out of the nucleus.

More photos here, thanks to Delsyd for the link






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