Comets

Once Upon a Time There Was a Spacecraft Called Rosetta…

by Jason Major July 21, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter …and that time is now! ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft is just over a mere two weeks away from its arrival at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (which has recently surprised everyone with its binary “rubber duckie” shape) and the excitement continues to grow — and […]

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Rosetta Zooms Toward an Extraordinary Comet

by Bob King July 17, 2014

I thought the photos earlier this week were amazing.  This little movie, made of 36 ‘smoothed’ or interpolated images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, takes it to the next level, showing the comet’s complex shape even more clearly as Rosetta nudges ever closer to its target. Some have likened it to a duck, a boot and even a […]

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ISON Stopped Making Dust Just Before It Passed By The Sun And Disintegrated

by Elizabeth Howell July 17, 2014

Last year’s Thanksgiving adventure for astronomers happened when Comet ISON passed within 1.2 million kilometres (750,000 miles) of the Sun. While many people were hoping the comet would stick around and produce a good show, the comet disintegrated despite a brief flare-up shortly after passing perihelion. Scientists have just modelled the production of dust on […]

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Rosetta’s Lander Facing An Unexpected Comet Shape: A Double Nucleus

by Elizabeth Howell July 15, 2014

A view of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s nucleus, appearing to show a double binary. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA It appears that Rosetta’s comet has a double nucleus. A video from the spacecraft speeding towards Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko shows what looks two lobes touching each other, which could send a small wrinkle in the plans to land […]

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Comet Jacques Is Back! Joins Venus and Mercury at Dawn

by Bob King July 12, 2014

Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques has returned! Before it disappeared in the solar glow this spring, the comet reached magnitude +6, the naked eye limit. Now it’s back at dawn, rising higher each morning as it treks toward darker skies. Just days after its July 2 perihelion, the fuzzball will be in conjunction with the planet Venus tomorrow […]

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