C/2010 X1 Elenin, on Aug 29, 2011. Credit: Michael Mattiazzo. Used by permission
C/2010 X1 Elenin, on Aug 29, 2011. Credit: Michael Mattiazzo. Used by permission

2012, Comets

Comet Elenin Could Be Disintegrating

29 Aug , 2011 by

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Astronomers monitoring Comet Elenin have noticed the comet has decreased in brightness the past week, and the coma is now elongating and diffusing. Some astronomers predict the comet will disintegrate and not survive perihelion, its closest approach to the Sun.

On August 19, a massive solar flare and coronal mass ejection hit the comet, which may have been the beginning of the end for the much ballyhooed lump of ice and dirt.

Comet Elenin as seenby the STEREO HI1-B on Aug. 6, 2011, from about 7 million kilometers from the spacecraft. Credit: NASA/STEREO

“We’ve been following it in the STEREO spacecraft images and a number of amateurs have been following it in their telescopes,” said Australian amateur astronomer Ian Musgrave, author of the Astroblog website. “Shortly after the coronal mass ejection the comet flared up and you could see some beautiful details in the tail, with the tail was twisting about in the solar wind. But shortly after that Earth- bound amateurs reported a huge decrease in the intensity of the comet. We think it may presage a falling apart of the comet.”

One journalist joked that maybe Comet Elenin just couldn’t take all the doomsday talk and publicity.

“It really has been a beautiful little comet and it deserves a better fate than to be overhyped by doom-sayers,” said Musgrave.

Elenin is a long period comet originating from the outer edges of our solar system, and Musgrave noted that comets coming from the Oort cloud which are making their first pass through the solar system tend to be under-performers in terms of brightness. “They don’t brighten as quickly as comets that come around more than once,” he said, “and in looking at the relationship between the brightness and the distance from the Sun, we find empirically that comets that brighten on roughly the same speed as Elenin tend to be likely to fall apart at perihelion.”

However, Musgrave added, each comet is unique. “Some comets will survive and some won’t. The fact that this comet decreased in brightness after the CME, possibly indicates that the comet will not survive. Another possibility is that merely the CME wiped away the coma — the bright cloud of particles around the comet — and the volatiles of the comet might take awhile to come back and recreate the coma, if it does survive.”

Elenin’s mass is smaller than average and its trajectory will take it no closer than 34 million km (21 million miles) of Earth as it circles the Sun. It will make its closest approach to Earth on October 16th, but be closest to the Sun on Sept. 10.

Animation of 5 images taken Aug 19,22,23,27,29 displaying the nucleus of Comet Elenin in the process of disintegrating. Credit: Michael Mattiazzo. Used by permission

Another Australian amateur Michael Mattiazzo has been taking images of the comet (see his website, Southern Comets) and he has noticed that the nucleus appears to be elongating. When that occurs, usually the comet disintegrates or splits apart. Above is an animation Mattiazzo created from images he took of Comet Elenin on August 19, 22, 23, 27 & 29.

You can see a wide-field view of the comet by astrophotographer Rob Kaufmanns, comparing the view from August 19, 23 and 26 at this link.

A similar process took place just a few weeks ago with another comet, 213P Van Ness.

Do comets break apart often?

“You don’t see it it that often, but it happens surprisingly more than people think,” Musgrave said. “Van Ness just happened, but ever couple of years there is a comet that visibly breaks up into fragments, maybe about 6 comets in the last 10 years — excluding the Kreutz-sun-grazer family of comets which split and vaporize on a regular basis.”

A closeup photo of the breakup of Comet S4 LINEAR taken on August 6, 2000 by the European Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Credit: ESO

Unfortunately, the likely demise of Comet Elenin hasn’t put a lid on the doomsdayers who have predicted earthquakes or three days of darkness or a collision with Earth.

“The doomsdayers are just saying that more bad things will happen!” laughed Musgrave. “But you have to remember that when a comet breaks up, the fragments stay in the same orbit. If it evaporates, you’ll have a mass of rubble and gas on the same orbit. People don’t seem to get that space is big, really big, and when a comet breaks up it follows Newtons Laws and the fragments will slowly draw apart, but over the timescale that we see them, the difference will be so miniscule.”

Sources: Conversation with Ian Musgrave, Astroblog, AstroBob, Southern Comets, STEREO

By  -        
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.


97 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    If it breaks apart then it also evaporates much faster.

  2. demarco jones says:

    who cares why is there even an article on this. i dont remember reading anything about this comet on any news site or this before it was disintergrating. Why all this coverage now that it is? Just to prove the doomsayers wrong? This comet was nothing relevant never on CNN or NASAs site. All im saying is this comet wasnt even news before all these recent post came about how it may be breaking up. You guys are trying to hard.

    • Ian Musgrave says:

      It’s relevant to astronomers. There’s nothing on any news site about comet C/2009 P1 Garrad, yet it was near to the cluster M71 a few days ago and astronomers world-wide were taking pictures like crazy. Comet break-up is intrinsically interesting as they tell us something about the structure and composition of comets, and comet Elenin is a very nice little comet.

    • Ian Musgrave says:

      It’s relevant to astronomers. There’s nothing on any news site about comet C/2009 P1 Garrad, yet it was near to the cluster M71 a few days ago and astronomers world-wide were taking pictures like crazy. Comet break-up is intrinsically interesting as they tell us something about the structure and composition of comets, and comet Elenin is a very nice little comet.

    • Kevin Heider says:

      I have been an admin on the “Comet Elenin – Official Facebook Page” since mid March. I can attest to the needless and excessive fear mongering and made up stories about comet Elenin.

      https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/comet2011/
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibiru_collision

      — Kevin Heider

    • Anonymous says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh11UG1bqKQ&feature=feedf your in trouble if you dont open your eyes

    • John Fleming says:

      … Reason to those in the know was Comet’s make up (HCN) Hydrogen Cyanide; same as with Halley’s Comet. Had the Comet remained intact, passage of Earth through its tail could have been a great concern. When a comet flares to the size of Jupiter, it has significant mass and electric energy. As for the kooks, well most have no scientific clue.

    • John Fleming says:

      … Reason to those in the know was Comet’s make up (HCN) Hydrogen Cyanide; same as with Halley’s Comet. Had the Comet remained intact, passage of Earth through its tail could have been a great concern. When a comet flares to the size of Jupiter, it has significant mass and electric energy. As for the kooks, well most have no scientific clue.

      • WaxyMary says:

        John, are you stating that comet flares create mass and that, additionally, the passage of the comet through space creates enough electric energy to be of any great concern in the eventual disposition for that body?

        The increased outgassing, any solar spalling events, the effects of any electric fields the tenuous gases may be experiencing are of the moot variety.

        These increases in albedo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albedo) for the coma — the bright cloud of particles around the comet — composed of the outgassing volatiles and the many small spalling events have little impact on the final events which are guided by that weakest of all the forces, gravity.

        Is this statement “When a comet flares to the size of Jupiter, it has significant mass and electric energy.” some type of electric universe tie-in because you have lost me here.

        Is there some type of steering being induced into the large coma by the passage of this loosely knit dirty ice ball through the solar magnetic field or are the magnetic fields of the great planets steering our little comet? This is not what you mean I hope. Is the comet some kind of dynamo or is the passage causing some kind of dynamo effect?

        Your other set of statements following here make no sense to me.

        “Reason to those in the know was Comet’s make up (HCN) Hydrogen Cyanide; same as with Halley’s Comet. Had the Comet remained intact, passage of Earth through its tail could have been a great concern.

        You are talking about Elenin here where you have no referent other than ‘the Comet’, correct? The tail was never going to be in any place where the Earth could pass through the tail. The gasses which might be present in the longest, widest, brightest coma are still more of a vacuum than they are an active though weak plasma.

        Mary

        • John Fleming says:

          I am not stating flares are creating mass, you’re inferring that because you don’t understand how a basic fire even continues to burn. It already had enough mass to flare. Like a fire, it merely needed external source heat to ignite (flare). It already possessed its own accelerant (HCN). Wow, are people seriously so stupid they infer such drizzle into others’ comments?

          • WaxyMary says:

            John, your words again have me stymied.

            I do not think the passage of Earth through that portion of space which was occupied months, weeks or even days before by some tenuous portion of the comet’s tail qualifies as the Earth passing through the tail of any comet. We have been engulfed by the active tail of a comet within the last several hundred years by a significant number of comets. We have not had harm occur on those occasions, what’s to worry from any passage of the type you state.

            This is not to say that your words are wrong, I am sure you are correct in thinking the specific tail of Comet Elenin and the Earth will intersect at some point in time and space.

            These intersections happen all the time, for as long as there have been comets I imagine. We call the shooting stars we see from these debris trails by names which describe the radiant they appear to originate from. It would be better and more correct to call them what they are but I think there is no reason to change the ‘location descriptive’ names for the Leonid’s and the Perseid’s to reflect the cometary origins of those swarms of debris in our way on our yearly passage around the sun.

            The gas content of any comet is not to be feared or ballyhooed though. Spread out to the volume and tailing, as the sun directs it, this outgassing material is only of concern for those folks who might be traveling through it unprotected by the vast masses of atmospheric layers the Earth does have.

            Mary -unabashed swarm watcher-

          • John Fleming says:

            If you can answer the following question, then you understand… Is the sun on fire?

          • U says:

            Arguing with commenters, fail.

          • WaxyMary says:

            Actually John, the sun is not on fire nor is it some source of sparks for the ignition of a conflagration pertaining to a comet, which is also not on fire.

            I suggest you return to whatever source of knowledge from which you have gleaned this false data and inspect it with much more rigor before you base your thoughts and derivations on such a shaky foundation.

            Mary -too many minds with so many fails-

          • Anonymous says:

            John, the sun is not on fire. See here for a basic rundown on how our star works:

            http://science.howstuffworks.com/sun2.htm

            When comets flare up, this is almost always a result of a change in the volume of out-gassing. Remember that comets are mostly composed of ices, water, and rock. They are not on fire in any way. See here:

            http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/84/i29/8429notw1.html

        • John Fleming says:

          I never said the flare created mass, you inferred it into my comet because you don’t even understand how a fire continues to burn. So, I’ll explain it to you. Elenin had enough mass and its own fuel source to flare (HCN) when it experienced enough of a heat source from our sun. Other elements within the comet also acted as accelerants and also verified it had enough mass to flare. Think about what flaring means. You strike a match, it flares up/lights up as we say. You are striking (causing heat from friction) to ignite the materials of the match (sulfur) and oxygen is the accelerant. This is basic fires 101. Wow, I cannot believe you inferred such drizzle from my comet and emphatically stated it. This is what I mean people by kooks having no clue about science.

          • WaxyMary says:

            John Fleming, this kook is requesting clarification of the words you have chosen to use and the meanings of the terms and place of the physical science you infer.

            These new words you are using are telling us the comet is on fire, a self sustaining fire in fact, and that the sun is only an initial source of ignition. Do I have that correct, is that what you are stating? I would not want to get this fact wrong or to misstate what you actually mean. Please inform me as to the nature of this fire in the sky, this comet Elenin, to be precise.

            You did state the size of the flare was a significant indicator of the mass of the comet and that additionally, somehow, electric energy is involved When a comet flares to the size of Jupiter, it has significant mass and electric energy. Can you please explain, to those of us reading what you write, exactly what you mean here?

            You additionally ask us to infer the mass from burned byproducts somehow does not drift away from this tiny comet for some reason. Surely some of the outgassing is energetic enough to provide the escape velocity required for some of these small fragments to be blasted faster than the orbital limit of this tiny comet. The article in fact is speculating the comet is breaking apart, not calving though, as I think the correct term to be with a much larger comet. The small size of Comet Elenin does not lend itself to a great deal of calving though, my understanding of the way that term is correctly used would not be allowed re: the description of what is happening to Elenin.

            We have known for many years the source of fire trails (shooting stars) in the upper air is the remnants of spalling and the further breaking of those fragments in the dance and jostle. The meteor swarms the Earth (and other planets as well) experience are sourced from the particle tails of several well know comets.

            Isn’t this outgassing plume only generally weakly gravitationally bound to the comet and although the comet has shed this material, you say it races along with the comet, adding to the mass anew –that mass which you liken to a flare the size of Jupiter. Please tell me is there where the EM field, in your words “…and electrical energy”, is in all of this description. Does that EM field assist the weak gravity of this tiny comet in dragging the spalling, outgassing, particle swarm being shed by the comet along with the comet? I really need to know what you are expressing with these words since I did not seem to have a clear conception from what I read of your response. I try to use the correct terms herein, words like ‘comet’ each time instead of the vague ‘it’ and other vague referents. I hope this helps in assisting understanding rather than causing greater misunderstanding of my viewpoints or those words you have stated.

            Mary -kooky for hire-

          • WaxyMary says:

            John, I have re-read all of your words and can frankly state to you now that you are incorrect n several statements.

            You would have us think that the HCN is both a burning fuel and an active source of toxic material, i.e., un-burned HCN. I am quite sure on the face of it that you can not have these two thoughts correctly stated.

            Which is it, is the HCN consumed as a fuel source and no longer a toxin or is it a toxin only. You can not have it both ways.

            A fire which has several sources of fuel and in this case, the lack of raw oxygen being what it is in the cubic the comet is traversing, precious few sources of oxidizer to initiate, sustain, and in fact expand as you state, the flare of any comet.

            Mary

    • Marion says:

      Oh Dear’ you must be missing at lot. this comet is predicted in The Mayan works. The end of Earth. Bible also speaks of something like it. And then every group on yahoo,talks about it. your missing the bus ! Faith Marion

      • Marion: Elenin might be way too small to be the ‘Wormwood’ of the Bible… just wait a little longer, every prophecy in the Bible ends up coming to pass, so just wait for it: it might just take a little longer (4 to 7 years from now since the antichrist has to appear around that time) and also, it’s going to be a lot more dramatic than this comet which seem quite small after all… Kp.

    • Read more, Demarco. Also, it would behoove you to pay attention to more reliable sources than CNN or to crippled NASA. Finally, brush up on your English and writing skills so you don’t reveal yourself to be such an imbecile!

    • jim bob says:

      “CNN or NASAs site” ARE U SIRIUS, HOW OLD ARE U

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe these so called journalists were drinking the doomsayers koolaid. And now are making
    all this noise. In any event I hope they didn’t sell the farm,condo or house over this. I heard some have already headed for the caves in the Ozarks. How’s that workin for ya. snicker, snicker.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If there is, indeed, a breakup of this comet, the fragments, having different mass and velocity, will stray slightly from the previously calculated orbit of Elenin. Will some be on course to strike the Earth ? No one can predict that at this point…and no one can rule it out…..

  5. Lisa Butler says:

    Richard C. Hoagland
    BULLETIN:

    I will be on “Coast” tonight — LAST two hours — to discuss several MAJOR new developments:

    Our recent, stunning discovery that Elenin is “a TETRAHEDRAL spaceship” … currently sailing ever closer to the sun (see new image — below); NASA’s sudden decision to (temporarily?) “abandon” the International Space Station — beginning in late November — due to “unknown problems” with the Russian Soyuz FB rocket system, ESSENTIAL to sending astronauts and cosmonauts to the Space Station in the wake of the US Space Shuttle program closing down; and, the recent string of bizarre “natural disasters” that have happened from the East to the West Coasts, disasters which have the eerie “signature” of actually being “manmade” ….

    On Elenin:

    Here is the latest Enterprise Elenin imaging (below) — produced from an original NASA STEREO-B satellite video, the latter recorded during Elenin’s recent encounter with a solar CME (coronal mass ejection), August 19th.

    The new image-composite (made from THREE “40-second HI-1 camera frames”) reveals several additional, startling details about Elenin’s now strikingly “tetrahedral shield” (which we discovered only last week) — that is apparently protecting “Elenin the spacecraft” (deep inside this shield) from excess solar radiation.

    The well-known technique of “stacking” independent image frames, to “increase signal and suppress noise,” is an old one — used successfully by professional and amateur astronomers alike. On this composite image, the brighter “knobs” at the apex of each of the three visible tetrahedral vertices can now easily be seen, as well as the striking “rounded symmetry” of each tetrahedral “vertex.”

    The full dimensions of this extraordinary “geometric force structure” now measures more than ~300,000 miles along each edge — more than 1.5 times the distance of Earth from the Moon!

    Needless to say, there is NO QUESTION now regarding the artificial nature of this object/structure; in several hundred years of astronomers observing comets — including, over two decades of satellite imagery specifically to study interactions with the solar wind — such an obviously ARTIFICIAL, GEOMETRIC structure has NEVER BEEN OBSERVED.

    The fact that this astonishing structure is also a precise “tetrahedron” — echoing the deeply “tetrahedral” numbers associated with Elenin’s very trajectory into the inner solar system! — is even more extraordinary. It definitely confirms that the overwhelming “message of Elenin” is–

    “Hyperdimensional Physics!”

    In the next three days, Elenin will encounter its SECOND major CME (according to Leonid Elenin’s official website — http://spaceobs.org/en/tag/comet-elenin/#); at that time, the H1-2 camera on Stereo-B (and maybe on STEREO-A) will be capable of acquiring new images, hopefully gathering even more precise scientific details on this extraordinary GEOMETRIC structure.

    Stay tuned TONIGHT …. :)

  6. Lisa Butler says:

    Richard C. Hoagland
    BULLETIN:

    I will be on “Coast” tonight — LAST two hours — to discuss several MAJOR new developments:

    Our recent, stunning discovery that Elenin is “a TETRAHEDRAL spaceship” … currently sailing ever closer to the sun (see new image — below); NASA’s sudden decision to (temporarily?) “abandon” the International Space Station — beginning in late November — due to “unknown problems” with the Russian Soyuz FB rocket system, ESSENTIAL to sending astronauts and cosmonauts to the Space Station in the wake of the US Space Shuttle program closing down; and, the recent string of bizarre “natural disasters” that have happened from the East to the West Coasts, disasters which have the eerie “signature” of actually being “manmade” ….

    On Elenin:

    Here is the latest Enterprise Elenin imaging (below) — produced from an original NASA STEREO-B satellite video, the latter recorded during Elenin’s recent encounter with a solar CME (coronal mass ejection), August 19th.

    The new image-composite (made from THREE “40-second HI-1 camera frames”) reveals several additional, startling details about Elenin’s now strikingly “tetrahedral shield” (which we discovered only last week) — that is apparently protecting “Elenin the spacecraft” (deep inside this shield) from excess solar radiation.

    The well-known technique of “stacking” independent image frames, to “increase signal and suppress noise,” is an old one — used successfully by professional and amateur astronomers alike. On this composite image, the brighter “knobs” at the apex of each of the three visible tetrahedral vertices can now easily be seen, as well as the striking “rounded symmetry” of each tetrahedral “vertex.”

    The full dimensions of this extraordinary “geometric force structure” now measures more than ~300,000 miles along each edge — more than 1.5 times the distance of Earth from the Moon!

    Needless to say, there is NO QUESTION now regarding the artificial nature of this object/structure; in several hundred years of astronomers observing comets — including, over two decades of satellite imagery specifically to study interactions with the solar wind — such an obviously ARTIFICIAL, GEOMETRIC structure has NEVER BEEN OBSERVED.

    The fact that this astonishing structure is also a precise “tetrahedron” — echoing the deeply “tetrahedral” numbers associated with Elenin’s very trajectory into the inner solar system! — is even more extraordinary. It definitely confirms that the overwhelming “message of Elenin” is–

    “Hyperdimensional Physics!”

    In the next three days, Elenin will encounter its SECOND major CME (according to Leonid Elenin’s official website — http://spaceobs.org/en/tag/comet-elenin/#); at that time, the H1-2 camera on Stereo-B (and maybe on STEREO-A) will be capable of acquiring new images, hopefully gathering even more precise scientific details on this extraordinary GEOMETRIC structure.

    Stay tuned TONIGHT …. :)

  7. Lisa Butler says:

    Nassim Haramein has been talking about tetrahedral physics for a while now…saw this video a few weeks ago:

    http://vimeo.com/25785757

    George Kavassilas says not to buy into it…gigantic fraud…false messiah:

  8. Lisa Butler says:

    Nassim Haramein has been talking about tetrahedral physics for a while now…saw this video a few weeks ago:

    http://vimeo.com/25785757

    George Kavassilas says not to buy into it…gigantic fraud…false messiah:

  9. perma.stoned perma.stoned says:

    news site LOL
    paid for by your tax dollars
    all LIES, no wonder its not on the news

  10. perma.stoned perma.stoned says:

    news site LOL
    paid for by your tax dollars
    all LIES, no wonder its not on the news

  11. kuergun says:

    it is said in five or six different religions or prophesied the the sky would be red with sparks and one spark will divide the waters and it will be the end of man as we know it .. NASA know now that Elenin has broken up it bits and pieces are no longer predicable
    the path will remain the same but for one difference Earth will be the closest gravity and may well pull all these bits toward US!!

  12. kuergun says:

    it is said in five or six different religions or prophesied the the sky would be red with sparks and one spark will divide the waters and it will be the end of man as we know it .. NASA know now that Elenin has broken up it bits and pieces are no longer predicable
    the path will remain the same but for one difference Earth will be the closest gravity and may well pull all these bits toward US!!

  13. Stone Clark says:

    Hpw many comets that have entered our Solar System have been blasted by a CME? I am aware of Encke and Elenin… any others?

  14. Gra Sim says:

    If it breaks up won’t that make going through it’s tail more dangerous ?

    • Kevin Heider says:

      After disintegrating, there will be no tail to pass through.

      Did you know that if you condensed the entire 100 thousand mile long tail of a comet such as Hale-Bopp to the density of water, it would not even fill a swimming pool?
      http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/explore/notsofaq.html#COMET_TAIL

      Any chance of a meteor shower or storm from debris shed by Elenin at perihelion (Tony Dunn 28-April-2011)
      http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/115000-comet-elenin-collision-probability?p=1882252#post1882252

      • Gra Sim says:

        Surely that’s presumption at this stage, it would depend on if there was a sizable chunk left to form another coma would not it ?

        • WaxyMary says:

          @Gra Sim,

          The flareup was evidence of massive outgassing and fragmentation of the comet.

          As to which came first, the fluid pockets outgassing and the remainder of the comet breaking apart at those seams, or the break up and the exposed icy parts adding to the then current outgassing and increasing it we do not conclusively know.

          The simple fact remains though that the level of outgassing which we have seen does not bode well for the comet’s ability to continue to support the coma or even add to it as had been the case to that point.

          The current estimates of remaining icy fluids indicates this will be the only trip for Comet Elenin. Whatever remnant remains will continue on the present course and any which survives may not have the fluid/frozen gases left to spall the rocky remains.

          Mary

          • Gra Sim says:

            Hi again Mary,
            Is it true that Elenin is still in one piece ?
            Cheers

          • WaxyMary says:

            @ Gra Sim,

            The amateur video and the stills from that video still remain the best sources for the speculations re: the breakup of Comet Elenin. Time will indicate the correct answer for this question, why hurry the answer along Gra Sim?

            As to the truth of any matter of speculation, you may be aware of a truth called bounds of error or error bounds mayhaps — any differences within the actual truth vs our speculation will narrow as time proceeds. Is there some reason you have posted a new question to this older article?

            Our concept of an appreciable length of time can vary as does the subject matter to which we relate that time frame. Eons of time for some geological processes and fractions of a second for some of the results of geological functions. Unless I am unaware of some breaking news about Comet Elenin (and as this man named Elenin will surely discover more comets, why we continue to use his name for this one ONLY is beyond my reasoning) there is still no cause for concern.

            The pieces of any breakup are not jetting away in relation to each other so the comet is still loosely bound and shaped by the joint or group EM attractions, weak as they are they are still stronger than gravity for ionized mass releases such as this. The solar wind buffeting the mass after the CME impact might sculpt the residue in an elongated fashion but we can’t tell much since the outgassing is not flaring or changing greatly at this current point.

            You might wish to checkout the site shown below, as several of the myths about this Comet Elenin are both debunked and addressed.

            http://www.2012hoax.org/elenin

            Mary

          • Gra Sim says:

            Why hurry ? what an odd thing to say.
            I asked a simple question after reading an article from a US Naval study I had been lucky enough to read & I wanted what I thought would be an unbiased professional take on but obviously I was in error.
            Why bother being on here with that attitude ? it may pay to remember that you may or may not know a lot about astronomy in “terrestrial terms” but in the grand scheme of things WE ALL know a mere miniscule percentage of what there is to know but still some are intent on trying to appear omniscient.
            By the way I have never given much credence to the whole 2012 theory per se however I am very open to new theories & think it’s great that there are so many people so interested in trying to find answers, after all even you would have to admit that luck has been mankinds greatest ally thus far when it comes to ELEs.
            It would also be very remiss to doubt the magnitude of people who are becoming more aware of their own morality & are seeking answers.
            A real professional worth their salt should always admit if they do not know something otherwise they look naive trying to make up a ligitimate theory which unfortunately detracts from other sciences & people who will openly admit they do not indeed know it all.
            Don’t worry I won’t be bothering you again nor this site, I just hope that one day I can answer you a question but I can assure you it won’t be in the same attitude fueled way.
            I just truly hope you are NOT an educator !

          • WaxyMary says:

            @Gra Sim,

            As I have stressed, repeatedly, there is nothing to fear from Comet Elenin. However, each time someone or myself makes this claim, shows the reasoned thought which backs the claim, someone like you attempts to troll the comment sections.

            The many remarks you have made all seem to point to one pressing bit of business you might have, some hidden agenda, such as your gleeful comments with some hint of dread. Begone troll, for I have known you for a troll with your first question, the way it was worded and the subject matter. Pin the tail on the troll is no fit game.

            Mary -ever the educator, even of uneducatible trolls-

          • Gra Sim says:

            So you’re blind as well as conceited. I never stated I feared Elenin OR even suggested anyone should be so please stick to something that even resembles the truth.
            It’s about time you matured & realised you have a real problem with criticism, not everyone who criticises has a hidden agenda, though I await with baited breath to hear your theory of what my alternate motives truly are.
            It is very interesting to note your reaction considering I initially simply asked a question, not even posed to you, you were indeed the one who interjected.
            Nevertheless your reactiion is a typical response from someone either very insecure in their position OR someone incapable of rational debate who has to lash out at anyone who dare questions the very high position you obviously hold your own importance & opinion.
            I thought the universe was huge but it has nothing on your ego, even so your Royal Highness I will still allow you to cross this trolls bridge albeit begrudgingly in the name of science.

          • WaxyMary says:

            The reply will be in the large section, well below this narrow area.

            Mary

  15. Anonymous says:

    What made this sort of interesting was the slight possibility of viewing with naked-eye.

  16. Renee says:

    Needed a boost from the sun, now headed this way…

  17. Robert says:

    Has it been determined yet that none of the solid masses of the comet have enough momentum to survive the trip around the sun?

  18. Robert says:

    Has it been determined yet that none of the solid masses of the comet have enough momentum to survive the trip around the sun?

    • WaxyMary says:

      @Robert,

      The mass remaining will continue on the trajectory. No momentum has been lost or if you wish, the positional energy for the combined mass is unchanged with any slight lose of energy buried in the statistical noise of our observations.

      As to the question of the fragmented mass surviving the rest of its time within the inner solar system, that is still up for grabs although no one is coming out on the side of complete outgassing and spalling to where the comet no longer exists as an observable object.

      Mary

  19. mark says:

    We will see a uptick in meteorite hits but nothing niburial sorry to say. If such a thing was to happen ( such as a extinction event ) I wouldn’t want to know ahead of time if the outcome was inescapable death or solitary confinement in a cave for years. All the doomsayers are what I call victims of fatalist neurosis syndrome a need to frighten and be frightened, they find purpose we find humor.

  20. mark says:

    Our lives durations are fleeting, if a comet or asteroid causes an extinction event in my life time I would consider myself privileged to witness such a monumental historic event, we all must endure birth and therefore are born of course and we all must endure our own expiration or death, it is the true meaning of life. If you have only fear in the inescapable event of ones demise and have lacked or avoided the development of spiritual awareness or skill there in, you will unfortunately be unprepared to make the final journey and might as well be re-born as a criminal banker parasite controlling countless presidents and senators over time making millions miserable as we will soon see each and everyone of us.
    I hope my last sentence was nonsense I really do. JFK and Dwight D Eisenhower were they last true presidents of our age the rest are Fascist puppets.

    • Qui l'est Jean Galt says:

      your are a funny guy, Mark, but insightful.

    • Val Brooker says:

      How can someone be so grown up and evolved about ones inevitable demise, and completely purile about religious belief. Nobdoy knows anything for a fact what happens to ones conscious awareness after your body has died.

      If you don’t see it with your own eyes or hear it with your own ears, don’t invent it with your small mind and share it with you big mouth.

      • Mike says:

        You are the simpleton with a small mind and a big mouth. Marks ability to perceive what cannot be seen or touched is actually a strength. Not a product of a “small mind”. Artists and scientists alike share this gift. Only dumb animals need to stick their hand in a flame to realize it will burn you.

      • “If you don’t see it with your own eyes or hear it with your own ears” I find that statement of a man with a closed minded personality. You don’t need to see, hear, smell, touch something to know its there. Your mind can see more then you will ever know.

    • Mikel Nix says:

      It was pretty much nonsense. JFK was Narcissitic Sexual Predator who was addicted to hydrocortisone & meth (he ALWAYS traveled w/ a Hollywood dr who mainlined him constantly) which led to a severe drug induced psychosis, and when he wasn’t ordering Secret Service agents to smuggle female East German spies into the Whitehouse, he was focused on nuking Nikita Krushchev. In his drug induced psychosis, he actually believed that a limited nuclear exchange could both, take out the USSR, and assure his superiority to Nikita Krushchev, who intellectually punished him in their 1st summit. Krushchev played him like a cheap violin which infuriated Kennedy, and it was then, that he became tunnel visioned towards launching a nuclear attack.
      If this sounds ridiculous, see the documentary, “Altered Statesman” from the Discovery Channel.
      JFK was a phony in every respect. Even the movie, PT-109 which was a supposidly true account of his “heroic” actions in WW11, was a total lie.
      But you are right about Eisenhower –

  21. mark says:

    I corrected my type-o sorry guys I am tire sick and tired…

  22. Thank goodness the sun shot this thing out of the sky. All the doomsayers were predicting doom and gloom. And it’s closest approach was on sept. 10th, dangerously close to the 10th anniversary of *you know what*! Now nobody can use it to spread fear.

    • The Doc says:

      Closest approach (perihilon) “sun” .482 AU 9/11/2011 solar activity?, Sun-Elenin-Earth alignment 9/26/2011 solar flares at Earth, earthquakes ect,,, ? Closest approach (perigee) Earth .234 AU 10/16/2011 Earthquakes ect. (some reports say NASA buzz room closed down after recalculations reported .0004 AU http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=1964.0 ) We move into past orbital path of Elenin on 11/04/2011 either way 22 million or 22 thousand miles is pretty close following into the path might experience some debris able to penitrate to the Earth’s surface. Just a wating game. Check out the fake photo that NASA has released and claims to be a real one. Remember Elinin is not Nibiru, Nibiru is said to be running 8 AU behind Elinin. Could be what the Hopi indians refered to as the Blue cochina and the Red cochina (Hope I got the spelling right) Do a Google search for “Nibiru_Final_Update.pdf” It is revealed in the Bible that we can know when the time is near we will see the signs just not the exact day or hour and with all the natural distasters we have had recently and the unrest in the middle east. The evil (sexual immorality,greed,power, ect…) has risen to a point to that it was in the days of Noah. I personally see the signs and nothing would supprise me. Keep the faith hold fast to the end trust in Jesus.
      P.S. Did I mention to trust in Jesus.
      Harry

  23. CJ Savvy says:

    Just who the fuck named it Elenin? Spell it backwards and you have Ninele. That’s fucking nine eleven fused together.

    • WaxyMary says:

      @CJ Savvy,

      Just who the fuck named it Elenin? Spell it backwards and you have Ninele. That’s fucking nine eleven fused together.

      Ok, CJ got a few questions for you. The name assigned is a bit of the public record by the way, check it out… also the person who is credited with its discovery pronounces his name a bit differently that you might, check that out as well.

      BTW, Elenin spelled inside out as 2 three character groups is a double palindrome group –does that have any significance in your musings?

      How do you feel about astrology, numerology, snake handling? Is it your normal mode of speaking to employ non-public wordage? Do you consider a theory as something yet to be tested and proved?

      Mary

      • IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says:

        On Wikipedia, automated bots automatically delete ‘edits’ with four-letter swear words from mindless moron editors who think they are clever. Where are the bloody moderators here when you need them?!

      • CJ Savvy says:

        @WaxyMary,
        Actually I meant why the fuck name it Elenin? I know Leonid found it out but why the sinister name? As for the ‘logies’ and snake bit, it’s all crap to me. I thought ‘fuck’ is a public word as in WTF. A theory is just that; a fucking theory, proven by science in one age and debunked in another.

        • WaxyMary says:

          As we all can see from these your current words you have shown an anger management malfunction. You display the background of a conspiratorial individual with some of your phrases. If you are such a nutter please, label yourself as such, it will facilitate the correct discriminatory filters we all possess.

          As to your desire to use expressions such as wtf, and crap, please reign that desire in, save it for those places where such words might make a difference in your comments.

          Mary

          • CJ Savvy says:

            Look, I’m sorry you’re all worked up with my language. I guess I’m wrong to use them here. I didn’t mean to mess with you. Okay, let’s move on then, right?
            Now just tell me if there is real concern for this comet coming along into our space? I’m no conspiracy buff but this ties in a whole lot with the stuff in the Book of Revelation.

          • WaxyMary says:

            @CJ Savvy,

            Let me be brief and to the point, concerns are not uncommon from the vast number of websites, emails, and whatnot all talking about the terrible things in store for us here on Earth from Comet Elenin or something hiding behind it, some dark companion masked by this unremarkable, tiny, icy, comet.

            There is nothing to fear in Comet Elenin. Simple and right to the heart of the matter.

            You really need to think about what you read, such as how this tiny speck mask can an ginormous planet as has been one of the things stated of Comet Elenin.

            You need to re-read the many posts here, this article here where you find these several comments of ours, the posts I have made here, and review your classic high school science class materials. Nowhere in any of these well thought out, logical articles, posts, books will you find any which could explain or condone the pseudo-science which is attributed to this comet. The hoax’s on you, dude.

            As to any book of revelation references you might read I personally tell you –none are true or relevant regarding Comet Elenin.

            Mary

          • WaxyMary says:

            @CJ Savvy,

            Let me be brief and to the point, concerns are not uncommon from the vast number of websites, emails, and whatnot all talking about the terrible things in store for us here on Earth from Comet Elenin or something hiding behind it, some dark companion masked by this unremarkable, tiny, icy, comet.

            There is nothing to fear in Comet Elenin. Simple and right to the heart of the matter.

            You really need to think about what you read, such as how this tiny speck mask can an ginormous planet as has been one of the things stated of Comet Elenin.

            You need to re-read the many posts here, this article here where you find these several comments of ours, the posts I have made here, and review your classic high school science class materials. Nowhere in any of these well thought out, logical articles, posts, books will you find any which could explain or condone the pseudo-science which is attributed to this comet. The hoax’s on you, dude.

            As to any book of revelation references you might read I personally tell you –none are true or relevant regarding Comet Elenin.

            Mary

        • WaxyMary says:

          As we all can see from these your current words you have shown an anger management malfunction. You display the background of a conspiratorial individual with some of your phrases. If you are such a nutter please, label yourself as such, it will facilitate the correct discriminatory filters we all possess.

          As to your desire to use expressions such as wtf, and crap, please reign that desire in, save it for those places where such words might make a difference in your comments.

          Mary

      • The Doc says:

        Sounds like you have a decent IQ. The key to wisdom is knowing that there will always be more to learn. Humility is a desirable character attribute.

  24. CJ Savvy says:

    Just who the fuck named it Elenin? Spell it backwards and you have Ninele. That’s fucking nine eleven fused together.

  25. WaxyMary says:

    @Gra Sim,

    You did not address several of my questions, I would like you to attempt that task, if you would be so kind. If you wish to know which items you have not addressed I will be happy to list them. You will need to state you have no clue to that list before I will undertake your work for you though.

    Oh, and btw, your writing tone has continued to descend to a level I am not comfortable reading. If you can not write without that tone please do not address your comments to myself, they will not be answered.

    As to any statements you have made to the subject of this article and my many replies to you and several other persons making comments which indicate doubt and some amount of dread such as your comments I show below.

    8/31/2011
    If it breaks up won’t that make going through it’s tail more dangerous ?

    9/2/2011
    Surely that’s presumption at this stage, it would depend on if there was a sizable chunk left to form another coma would not it ?

    From there to where you are now and the statements you are anticipated making, by myself, in any future comments you might post I can see only one result. I have already indicated that result in a prior comment.

    Again, I ask, what is your reason for posting to this old thread of comments, to wit, your posting of 9/4/2011 – Hi again Mary, Is it true that Elenin is still in one piece ? Cheers

    Mary

  26. WaxyMary says:

    @Gra Sim,

    You did not address several of my questions, I would like you to attempt that task, if you would be so kind. If you wish to know which items you have not addressed I will be happy to list them. You will need to state you have no clue to that list before I will undertake your work for you though.

    Oh, and btw, your writing tone has continued to descend to a level I am not comfortable reading. If you can not write without that tone please do not address your comments to myself, they will not be answered.

    As to any statements you have made to the subject of this article and my many replies to you and several other persons making comments which indicate doubt and some amount of dread such as your comments I show below.

    8/31/2011
    If it breaks up won’t that make going through it’s tail more dangerous ?

    9/2/2011
    Surely that’s presumption at this stage, it would depend on if there was a sizable chunk left to form another coma would not it ?

    From there to where you are now and the statements you are anticipated making, by myself, in any future comments you might post I can see only one result. I have already indicated that result in a prior comment.

    Again, I ask, what is your reason for posting to this old thread of comments, to wit, your posting of 9/4/2011 – Hi again Mary, Is it true that Elenin is still in one piece ? Cheers

    Mary

  27. WaxyMary says:

    @Gra Sim,

    You did not address several of my questions, I would like you to attempt that task, if you would be so kind. If you wish to know which items you have not addressed I will be happy to list them. You will need to state you have no clue to that list before I will undertake your work for you though.

    Oh, and btw, your writing tone has continued to descend to a level I am not comfortable reading. If you can not write without that tone please do not address your comments to myself, they will not be answered.

    As to any statements you have made to the subject of this article and my many replies to you and several other persons making comments which indicate doubt and some amount of dread such as your comments I show below.

    8/31/2011
    If it breaks up won’t that make going through it’s tail more dangerous ?

    9/2/2011
    Surely that’s presumption at this stage, it would depend on if there was a sizable chunk left to form another coma would not it ?

    From there to where you are now and the statements you are anticipated making, by myself, in any future comments you might post I can see only one result. I have already indicated that result in a prior comment.

    Again, I ask, what is your reason for posting to this old thread of comments, to wit, your posting of 9/4/2011 – Hi again Mary, Is it true that Elenin is still in one piece ? Cheers

    Mary

  28. Joe says:

    Extinction level events are just out of our control…..what could you do but be thankful for what ever time you had……but why would we throw it all away on our own with so much hatred and greed……greed man it rots the bones…..corruption within is dragging us all to the brink of collapse….we have to keep going and cut the funding off to embedded “gangsta’s” in the American system…..skim skim skim skim it’s what they do and they do it to the point of treason….pull back the reigns on the Federal Government….no more …..that’s enough already

    • WaxyMary says:

      @Joe,

      True words in the main, but do you personally think this is an ELE would be my question. The reason I ask is just this, your comments address this article about how Comet Elenin could be disintegrating as if it was irrelevant since ELE are out of our control.

      If that was not your origin then I beg your pardon, if it was where you were coming from then, truly, you need to get some of the tools in your box sharpened.

      Mary

    • WaxyMary says:

      @Joe,

      True words in the main, but do you personally think this is an ELE would be my question. The reason I ask is just this, your comments address this article about how Comet Elenin could be disintegrating as if it was irrelevant since ELE are out of our control.

      If that was not your origin then I beg your pardon, if it was where you were coming from then, truly, you need to get some of the tools in your box sharpened.

      Mary

    • WaxyMary says:

      @Joe,

      True words in the main, but do you personally think this is an ELE would be my question. The reason I ask is just this, your comments address this article about how Comet Elenin could be disintegrating as if it was irrelevant since ELE are out of our control.

      If that was not your origin then I beg your pardon, if it was where you were coming from then, truly, you need to get some of the tools in your box sharpened.

      Mary

    • WaxyMary says:

      @Joe,

      True words in the main, but do you personally think this is an ELE would be my question. The reason I ask is just this, your comments address this article about how Comet Elenin could be disintegrating as if it was irrelevant since ELE are out of our control.

      If that was not your origin then I beg your pardon, if it was where you were coming from then, truly, you need to get some of the tools in your box sharpened.

      Mary

    • The Doc says:

      Selfish/selfcentered FEAR is the primary cause of our defects of character —
      Pride, Anger, Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Envy, Sloth FAITH obliterates fear through LOVE and unselfish service and sacrafice to our brothers and sisters

  29. angela galani says:

    Take a look here first:

    http://www.astrovox.gr/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14875

    There is a video from a scientist

  30. pogpog says:

    Actually comet Elenin’s trajectory is far from hitting Earth, in fact so far away that you can’t even see it on a naked eye when it enters perihelion. Only humans has the desires to falsify events that could literally destroys peaceful minds & lives. Don’t trust sites and other blogs that is not accredited to NASA. ELE stands for Enjoy Life Enjoy, not that extinction level event.

  31. pogpog says:

    Actually comet Elenin’s trajectory is far from hitting Earth, in fact so far away that you can’t even see it on a naked eye when it enters perihelion. Only humans has the desires to falsify events that could literally destroys peaceful minds & lives. Don’t trust sites and other blogs that is not accredited to NASA. ELE stands for Enjoy Life Enjoy, not that extinction level event.

  32. pogpog says:

    funny why my comment was deleted…thanks by the way.

  33. pogpog says:

    funny why my comment was deleted…thanks by the way.

  34. The Doc says:

    Forgot to add in http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=elenin&orb=1
    note solution date near bottom
    solution date : 2011-Sep-09 15:50:23

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