Comet Elenin on Sept. 14, 2011. Image and annotated chart by Michael Mattiazzo. Used by permission

Comet Elenin is Now Fading Away

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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As far as Comet Elenin goes, the only chance of impending doom is for the comet itself: it is disintegrating and quickly fading away. Australian amateur astronomer Michael Mattiazzo has been monitoring this comet’s trip toward perihelion (closest point in its orbit to the Sun), which occurred on September 10, 2011, and he says Comet Elenin has likely has not survived. The image above was taken by Mattiazzo on today (Sept. 14) and it is barely visible as a disintegrating smudge.

Comet Elenin – the comet that has created a hoopla of completely nonsensical, non-scientific doomsday predictions — faded dramatically after being hit by a solar flare on August 20, as we reported earlier. Subsequent images revealed a spreading, diffuse coma. It will likely continue to fade and become more diffuse.

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 was closest to the Sun on Sept. 10.

“On the night of August 19th, I estimated the brightness of comet Elenin as magnitude 8.1 and it was on target for naked eye observability in September,” Mattiazzo wrote on his website, Southern Comets. “On the following night of the 20th, the comet had faded dramatically by half a magnitude and appeared more diffuse. This was a sign of impending doom for comet Elenin.”

Elenin is at about magnitude 10 now, and fading as it is in the process of disintegrating.

It failed to recover, (you can see a series of images taken between August 19 and September 11 on Mattiazzo’s website), with the comet’s the nucleus taking on an elongated appearance with progressive fading.

Comet Elenin on Sept. 11, 2011. 20x10second exposures taken with a C11 SCT and Starlight Express MX7c CCD imager. Credit: Michael Mattiazzo. Used by permission

“Such acts of disruption are all too common for small comets that have close encounters with the Sun,” Mattiazzo said.

One of the most spectacular examples of a comet breaking apart occurred in July 2000 when comet C/1999 S4 LINEAR disintegrated and several observatories had a good view of the action.

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

Elenin is now nearly in an inferior solar conjunction, where it will be directly between the Earth and the Sun (so we won’t be able to see it due to the brightness of the Sun). Another amateur astronomer from Australia, Ian Musgrave, says it is doubtful that it will be bright enough to see in the cameras from the Sun-orbiting SOHO spacecraft, and that we will probably have to wait until October when the comet moves away from the Sun for powerful Earth-based telescopes to try and find if any of the comet survives.

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68 Responses

  1. Chew Tansy says:

    The nonsense won’t completely die until sometime in October when some of the nuts are predicting doom. The next Doomsday in the near future is Sep. 26 because that’s when the Sun, Elenin, and the Earth are aligned. Something about a magnetic portal and a gravity trench…

  2. Chew Tansy says:

    The nonsense won’t completely die until sometime in October when some of the nuts are predicting doom. The next Doomsday in the near future is Sep. 26 because that’s when the Sun, Elenin, and the Earth are aligned. Something about a magnetic portal and a gravity trench…

  3. Chew Tansy says:

    The nonsense won’t completely die until sometime in October when some of the nuts are predicting doom. The next Doomsday in the near future is Sep. 26 because that’s when the Sun, Elenin, and the Earth are aligned. Something about a magnetic portal and a gravity trench…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cheers for alien invaders who rule our world government that they decided to save us all and disintegrate our doom – comet Elenin C/2010 X1!

  5. Justin says:

    i dont understand, at spaceobs they posted a link to this pic clearly showing elenin and its huge tail today….
    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/REPROCESSING/Completed/2011/c2/20110914/20110914_0936_c2_1024.jpg

    • Anonymous says:

      If that was a current pic, wouldn’t the comet be headed away from the sun?…Elenin has already passed perihelion. Right?……

    • Anonymous says:

      If that was a current pic, wouldn’t the comet be headed away from the sun?…Elenin has already passed perihelion. Right?……

      • Justin says:

        well if this picture was taken by stereo behind, it would look as if the comet is headed towards the sun but in all actuality the comet is behind the sun headed away from it.

      • scowie says:

        You cant tell from a static picture which direction a comet is travelling. The tail of a comet always points away from the sun irrespective of which direction it is travelling in.

        When a comet is travelling away from the sun, it’s tail is ahead of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Conspiracy theorists would probably call this cover up lol

      • squidgeny says:

        The annotated chart at the top of the article has a clear picture of Sputnik. More evidence, if any was needed, that the commies caused 9/11 using the mayan calendar to predict JFK being shot by the fake moon landing in the tunnel that caused princess Diana to die from chemtrails.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow, you swayed me.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not Elenin, its a new comet discovered by SOHO.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not Elenin. It’s a new comet discovered by SOHO.

    • cameron clark says:

      Thats not Elenin, go to http://www.spaceweather.com to see full story!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I think Nancy means Elenin is in inferior conjuntion and is passing between the Earth and Sun.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think Nancy means Elenin is in inferior conjuntion and is passing between the Earth and Sun.

  8. Hussein Said says:

    i hope this this is true and there will not be major events comming

  9. I find this information quite reassuring. But, aren’t there any professional astronomers out there who live outside Australia? I would like an opinion from someone thus designated!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Relative to us it’s Behind the Sun????????

    Were supposed to listen to an amateur who doesn’t know where it is, or is purposely lying to make it sound like they are undoubtedly right.Not very good options, Universe Today should really get some proofreaders employed.

    I think i’ll stick with NASA JPL on this one.

    Very Very poor article that only helps to fuel the fire of conspiracy with its Grade school errors.

    Hang your head NANCY ATKINSON, if you don’t understand it don’t write about it and dont take sides!

    Jeesssshhh!

    • Anonymous says:

      In future, I suggest you keep your comments to yourself as apparently you don’t know very much about the orbitals of cometary bodies. I suggest that you should take a basic astronomy course somewhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      In future, I suggest you keep your comments to yourself as apparently you don’t know very much about the orbitals of cometary bodies. I suggest that you should take a basic astronomy course somewhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      buzz, you could only dream of having nancy’s rep.

  11. Anonymous says:

    BUMMER! I was really hoping to see this comet.. it would have been #46 for me.

    Short story subject: A Sci-Fi fantasy: An interstellar interloper enters our solar system. This ‘ship’ is coated with water ice composed of what is determined to be Ice XI, begins to shed it’s ‘radiation shielding’ and appears as a disintegrating cometary body to telescopes here on Earth. Several days later a mysterious duo of fireballs is seen over the southwestern US. Shortly thereafter a ship off the East Coast witnesses a vapour trail across the sky which impacts the ocean. A week later, all electronic transmission worldwide ceases….

    You supply the ending.

    This FANTASY will no doubt start a panic somewhere? I include it as an experiment to see just how far rumor will travel. That is the real story…..

    • This ‘ship’ is coated with water ice composed of what is determined to be Ice XI
      —–
      Busy, busy, busy.

      • Anonymous says:

        From wikipedia: An orthorhombic, low-temperature equilibrium form of hexagonal ice. It is ferroelectric. Ice XI is considered the most stable configuration of ice Ih. The natural transformation process is very slow and ice XI has been found in Antarctic ice 100 to 10,000 years old. That study indicated that the temperature below which ice XI forms is ?36 °C (240 K).

        -OR-

        http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/ferroice.htm

    • Anonymous says:

      It was only a matter of time, that this needed interception has come to pass. The Planet of the Flies repetitive close encounters with our power transports has left them no choice. The cyanide based composition to what their planets call “comets” is necessary for optimum quantum computing that allows their sun to transfer energy using a form of entanglement through our elliptic transports.
      Under normal circumstances, we would negotiate an exchange. Having completed centuries of monitoring using our Human Observation Recovery Umbra Satellite, we fear the savagery is too well ingrained. sINCEr being marrooned into their sister stars orbit millenia ago while on a nearby transit, their planet left our star system, unable to escape the gravity after an unknown force tempory set off course our dwarf home stAR.

    • Craig & Lisa Thomas says:

      I dont know about the rest of you but there is this HUGE planet just above the sun as it sets that we have seen with the naked eye, bigger than the moon with crayers visible……Wake up!!!! stop believing the lies of this fallen world. God is sending us signs in the heavens and the earth. There is a judgement coming on this earth because of our sin. Jesus Christ took that judgement on Himself already so we could be brought back to a right relationship with God. Repent of your sin, believe that Jesus took your penalty on the cross, he rose again on the third day to give us new life by His Spirit, and He is coming back for Those who have asked Him into their hearts by faith.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let me guess… you like Rick Perry for president? Right?

        Crayers? Yah sure… Don’t you mean crayons? Remember – don’t eat your crayons, they’ll make you stupid.

  12. Belita William says:

    Wow…did you ever stop and think its not disinigrating,,,but changing…if it is a carbon star like some think it is,,,it wouldnt EVEN be seen.. unless you use an infared telescope…at any rate ANY thing with an orbit of 10,000 years would have to be a big and dangerous object…our ancestors are trying to warn us, but we just wont listen….

    • john smith says:

      We’ve already witnessed many long period comets over the years and none of them have been “dangerous”.Tell me Belita,just what is it exactly that you’re expecting from this comet?

      • Anonymous says:

        To Belita’s point-does anyone want to take a crack at the neutron star variant theory as Elenin? There was a great post here (on universetoday.com) by Fraser Cain on June 2, 2006 titled “Neutron Star With A Tail Like A Comet”.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Even if this comet was slowing down and headed our way-atmosphere burn up would leave little of the comet and earth would be fine-I guess the comet has reduced to 1.5k diameter by now.Phew I can sleep soundly now.

  14. Anonymous says:

    EU troll alert!

  15. Anonymous says:

    WOW Doomsday?? Who ever said anything about doomsday? just youtube and YOU! Seriously saying the same thing day after day and quoting an amateur from Australia wont make it reality and its funny that the top articles keep pointing back to you.
    This is absolutely irresponsible and you know it and I suspect all your doing is selling ads. People are scared and worried and are not stupid. Its the largest disinformation campaign and media blackout in history and all your doing is publishing without facts. Just look at telescope data for yourself. Its free — they wont charge you I promise. You might try EVIDENCE next time. Oh no media blackout? — go to ANY major media newspaper [UN (via IAWN) members] in the world and try to search for elenin or “c/2010 x1” But maybe its me.

  16. Anonymous says:

    WOW Doomsday?? Who ever said anything about doomsday? just youtube and YOU! Seriously saying the same thing day after day and quoting an amateur from Australia wont make it reality and its funny that the top articles keep pointing back to you.
    This is absolutely irresponsible and you know it and I suspect all your doing is selling ads. People are scared and worried and are not stupid. Its the largest disinformation campaign and media blackout in history and all your doing is publishing without facts. Just look at telescope data for yourself. Its free — they wont charge you I promise. You might try EVIDENCE next time. Oh no media blackout? — go to ANY major media newspaper [UN (via IAWN) members] in the world and try to search for elenin or “c/2010 x1” But maybe its me.

  17. Anonymous says:

    WOW Doomsday?? Who ever said anything about doomsday? just youtube and YOU! Seriously saying the same thing day after day and quoting an amateur from Australia wont make it reality and its funny that the top articles keep pointing back to you.
    This is absolutely irresponsible and you know it and I suspect all your doing is selling ads. People are scared and worried and are not stupid. Its the largest disinformation campaign and media blackout in history and all your doing is publishing without facts. Just look at telescope data for yourself. Its free — they wont charge you I promise. You might try EVIDENCE next time. Oh no media blackout? — go to ANY major media newspaper [UN (via IAWN) members] in the world and try to search for elenin or “c/2010 x1” But maybe its me.

  18. Anonymous says:

    So what happens in November when Earth actually moves through the tail or remnants of this comet? Will there be any chance of a meteor shower? I would assume that even though the commet has broken up there is a chance that large portions will remain and may even slow down a bit. October 16th may be the closest earth would come to what was originally one large comet. However, we may be in for a firestorm as we pass through it’s actual remains.

    Anyone have an umbrella? ; )

    • Anonymous says:

      Someone looked into the possibility of meteor shower from Elenin over on the BAUT forum last April: http://bautforum.com/showthread.php/115000-comet-elenin-collision-probability?p=1882252#post1882252

      The prospects look pretty poor for any meteor activity, and despite the breakup, the odds of a detectable naked-eye shower (>2-5 meteors/hr) are still very slim. Possibly a few bolides, but no meteorite danger from Elenin.

    • Anonymous says:

      APPARENTLY EVEN THE TAIL WILL NOT PASS THROUGH THE EARTH AS PREDICTED BY SOME.eVEN IF IT DID THE AFFECT ON EARTH WOULD BE MINIMAL AND NO BIG DEAL

    • Anonymous says:

      APPARENTLY EVEN THE TAIL WILL NOT PASS THROUGH THE EARTH AS PREDICTED BY SOME.eVEN IF IT DID THE AFFECT ON EARTH WOULD BE MINIMAL AND NO BIG DEAL

    • Ariel Rudolph says:

      There will be a meteor shower in November just as there is every year….
      This will have nothing to do with C/2010 X1 (Elenin) / Nibiru / PlanetX but is known as the Leonides. This meteor shower comes out of the constellation Leo. These meteoroids are as remnant of the breakup of the comet the comet Tempel-Tuttle.

  19. Timothy Price says:

    As the comet has gone into its “aerosol” condition, what are the possibilities that the
    fine mist, possibly containing multiple DNA forms, will settle into earth’s atmosphere?
    Do we cross into its trail?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please educate me on the Elenin as a neutron star variant theory? Is this possible? I posted this a day or so ago and it appears to have been deleted, along with a similar question from Belita. I truly appreciate the educated responses on this site. Thanks.

    • Ossy Igwilo says:

      comet elenin is from the constellation of leo.check lord daniel page for update on comet elenin on facebook

  21. Anonymous says:

    Can someone please educate me on the Elenin as a neutron star variant theory? Is this possible? I posted this a day or so ago and it appears to have been deleted, along with a similar question from Belita. I truly appreciate the educated responses on this site. Thanks.

  22. GothiqueDeath13 says:

    Dammit! I WANTED to “die” as some said we would… HAHAHAHAAAA! sorry losers! It turns out earth lives another day… Then comes a 5 ton sattelite, and 10/21/11, then 12/21/12, and others soon to come…. HELLO!? Since the world is ending… I better start that band now….

  23. kristy schweinfurth says:

    All I can say is take that you Dooms Day You -tuber’s now they look like “BOOB -Tuber’s”.LOL. Thank God for people like you that believe in facts and not trying to lie or play mean pranks on people. Unfortunately, there are to many gullible American’s out there… my roommate is one of them. Maybe this will help wake him up a little.

  24. James says:

    Well how do you explain the fact its been visible for the last few clear nights over NZ? I saw it and 2 other comets or maybe it in 3 pieces and with the naked eye. Left of the sun 20 minutes or so before sunset tonight, Sept 20th. Large as life you might say

    • Anonymous says:

      If Elenin was a naked-eye object, as you claim, there would be photos of it (clearly showing it’s naked-eye status) all over the internet, not to mention reports from experienced comet observers heralding an unexpected increase in brightness and a call for further observations. Professional astronomers (and NASA) would be most interested too!

      I await photo confirmation of a “naked-eye” Comet Elenin taken around Sept. 20.

  25. Vizer Ptc says:

    wow BTW i did make some photos like this but in Photoshop you may like my work 🙂
    http://depositfiles.com/en/files/jhzbjf637?redirect

  26. noworris says:

    Your link to photographs of Elenin takes me to a site http://members.westnet.com.au/mmatti/sc.htm with a section about the comet but there is only one old photograph of it. I am an interested observer not of the “doom and gloom” crowd who are getting rich selling survival gear by the way.
    In the section marked “Current Comets” only Elenin is listed. According to other websites there are several comets in or close to our solar system so if this is being used here as reputable information I have to say it is incomplete.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I doubt we’ve seen the last of this comet (if it is a comet). Keep your eyes to the skys….

    • Anonymous says:

      So what else would it be?

      Brown dwarves are about the size of Jupiter if I remember correctly. We would see this already. Also if it had a huge mass it would have effected Saturn when it passed by it. Guess what, it didn’t affect Saturn at all.

      The comet is not orbiting a rogue planet or anything else, since we’d be able to pretty easily tell by it rotating around something.

      Nothing is hiding in its tail, well because the tail always points away from the sun therefore it would be pretty easy to tell if something were hiding behind it.

  28. Ossy Igwilo says:

    EVERYONE VISIT LORD DANIEL PAGE ON FACEBOOK HE HAS THE ANSWER TO THE MISSION OF STAR ELENIN FROM LEO AND ITS EFFECT ON THE EARTH,IT IS NOT FADING AWAY IT IS NEAR THE SUN AND DARKNESS APPROACHES SOON.

  29. Anonymous says:

    but wait…What about Elenins tetrahedral SHIELD!!! According to one of the better known masters of all things conspiratorial It is either a ship or a TIME capsule that we sent to ourselves 13,000 yrs ago! I reddit on da intardnet so I knows it must be da truth!! AND dis particular Master of all things wouldn’t make this stuff up! I mean why would he? He is supposed to be doing some conference this Friday and has said that he will reveal all his proof, if you can’t attend in person all ya gotta do is sign up and pay a small non-refundable fee to be able to live stream the event! I think the ticket price is $19.50 ….!!!

  30. Steve Bergman says:

    No doubt what really happened is that the CIA activated the secret laser weapon they had put on SDO to blow Elenin up while no one could see. Either that, or the UFO’s zapped it.

    And it is a sad reflection upon the general state of affairs on the Internet that I feel I need to make it clear that the above was a joke. :-/

  31. me me says:

    Hey dumby it has not come yet and is bigger than comet …so what BS now ???

  32. Anonymous says:

    The top photos are not even comparable photos. They cannot be used to compare Elenin’s position.

  33. Anonymous says:

    you know, its so easy to sit back in our arm chairs and be fatalistic, or to pretend that we know so much that we can just poke fun at others who may get a little too excited over things like comet elenin, or to poke fun at a poor roommate that concerns themselves enough to wonder what if anything all the scaremongering is really all about when it comes to NEO’s like elenin.what all of you so called big brains and opportunistic fun pokers are failing to realize is the fact that the darn thing is scheduled and factored to come within twenty million miles or so of the only planet we have. That is a hairsbreadth in all of the vastness of space.And we should keep an eye on this so called non entity because all it would take is one fairly large piece of it to impact in the pacific to wipe out life as we know it. Sure, it seems to be breaking up.Yes, it is losing some apparent magnitude as it approaches perihelion. All comets do, due to the increased dissipation rate as it approaches the star. But the thing we should really be concerned about is what is goingto happen to the calves when they come around perihelion and begin to experience decay or transition in their trajectories. Lets hope it really is a near miss, and not a surprise that we really dont want or need. All of you who poke fun at others who dont know as much or may be a little weaker minded or emotion prone just might be in for a hard permanent lesson in humility respect for a universe that can turn deadly in a heartbeat. Heres to hoping we all make it through the trajectory of elenins debris field intact!

    • Anonymous says:

      — All of you who poke fun at others who dont know as much or may be a little weaker minded or emotion prone just might be in for a hard permanent lesson in humility respect for a universe that can turn deadly in a heartbeat. —

      Wahaha, yeah we saw the alignment of Elenin that would put the Earth for 3 whole days in global darkness and have world wide 10+ earth quakes and Volcano’s and tsunamis and and and…. And on top of that we also had a Super Moon alignment or something like that. And all we got was this lousy 5.4 magnitude Earth quake and a 3 days of boredom.

      Maybe you should come back to reality.
      Any wild claim of comet Elenin was already doomed to failure big time. And you even don’t have to be smart to see that one coming, just a teeny weenie bit of physics knowledge. Stuff you learn when you are 15 in school.

  34. Anonymous says:

    If only so many people could get as excited about the recent evidence that neutrinos can travel faster than light and that the fabric of space is not even in all directions, but I guess cringing in your cave is a better survival trait than going outside to look at the pretty lights.

  35. FERNANDO says:

    come on, you doomsday mongers, have your say. where are the alignment earthquakes you fatfully sold to the public? Hide your faces now. what a shame

  36. dashty falah says:

    That’s not the first time that they say THE WORLD WILL GONNA END!! don’t you have some thing else to do except making people think of the end of the world?! live your life because nobody knows when it will ends.

  37. The Doc says:

    There is a lot of information out there, some fact some fiction yet enough facts to raise my antennas. Something is up even if Elenin is just a decoy, solar system planetary unrest most noticable Earth of course. I have faith in the Bible and it does seem that we are in the end times. Keep the Faith, stay on the narrow path, put God first, Love and serve His children. See what Happens?

  38. Anonymous says:

    I don’t care what an amateur astronomer like Michael Mattiazzo thinks, I want to hear what professional astronomers have to say!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Can somebody tell me what would happen if Elenin had come within 20 million miles of the earth before heading towards the sun? And lets say that there was an alignment during around that time as well?

    Please leave out the conspiracy theorist jibes, it’s stupid. We all know governments, co-orperations and armed forces always tell the truth.

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