Archive for the ‘Comets’ Category

Comet Hartley 2 Leaves a Bumpy Trail

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

New findings from NEOWISE, the asteroid- and comet-hunting portion of NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, show that comet Hartley 2 leaves a pebbly trail as it laps the sun, dotted with grains as big as golf balls.

Comet could be a stunner (or not)

Friday, June 17th, 2011

A newly discovered comet from the farthest reaches of the solar system could become a sky spectacle in 2013, astronomers say. No guarantees, though.

Hyperactive comet photographed by NASA

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Scientists now have close-up pictures of a hyperactive comet that seems to be spewing water.
Hartley 2 isn’t the only such comet, but it’s the first to be visited by a spacecraft during a flyby, researchers report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

At the Heart of Hartley-2, a New Breed of Comet?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

At the heart of every comet lies a remnant of the dawn of the solar system. Or is that remnants? Astronomers don’t know, but the answer would give them a clearer picture of exactly how comets were born eons ago at the birth of the Solar System.

Comet Theory Comes Crashing to Earth

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Even though they can’t replicate their work, the authors of a controversial scientific theory about a comet impact that caused the Clovis catastrophe refuse to give in to their many critics.

Comet Dive-Bombs Sun During Big Solar Eruption

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

A comet plunged into the sun this week just as a huge eruption exploded from the star’s surface, but the two events are likely not related, NASA scientists say.

Spacewatch: the lovely legacy of comets

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Twice each year we see meteor showers as the Earth ploughs through the stream of dusty particles that escaped from Comet Halley’s nucleus in the distant past

NASA Dawn Spacecraft Reaches Milestone Approaching Asteroid

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has reached its official approach phase to the asteroid Vesta and will begin using cameras for the first time to aid navigation for an expected July 16 orbital encounter. The large asteroid is known as a protoplanet – a celestial body that almost formed into a planet.

NASA Spacecraft Closes in on Comet Tempel 1

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

NASA is about to discover how solar heat devours a comet. “For the first time, we’ll see the same comet before and after its closest approach to the sun,” explains Joe Veverka, principal investigator for NASA’s Stardust-NExT mission.

“Suicide” Comet Storm Hits Sun—Bigger Sun-Kisser Coming?

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

A recent storm of small comets that pelted the sun could herald the coming a much bigger icy visitor, astronomers say.
Since its launch in 1995, NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, orbiter has captured pictures of 2,000 comets as they’ve flown past the sun.

Close encounters of a cometary kind

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

On 4 November 2010 the Deep Impact spacecraft swooped passed hyperactive Comet Hartley 2. Members of the science team spoke to Astronomy Now about the flyby, the comet’s unusual characteristics, and the excitement in the control room as the first images were downloaded.

NASA Spacecraft Sees Cosmic Snow Storm During Comet Encounter

Friday, November 19th, 2010

The EPOXI mission’s recent encounter with comet Hartley 2 provided the first images clear enough for scientists to link jets of dust and gas with specific surface features. NASA and other scientists have begun to analyze the images.

NASA Spacecraft Sees Cosmic Snow Storm During Comet Encounter

Friday, November 19th, 2010

The EPOXI mission’s recent encounter with comet Hartley 2 provided the first images clear enough for scientists to link jets of dust and gas with specific surface features. NASA and other scientists have begun to analyze the images.

COMET PROBE ENCOUNTERED CELESTIAL SNOW STORM

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Particles of ice, some as large as basketballs, were jetting off the surface of Comet Hartley 2, when the probe, now renamed EPOXI, flew by at a relative speed of 27,000 mph on Nov. 4.

Fumes of Dry Ice, Not Water, Are Blasting from Comet

Friday, November 19th, 2010

A comet visited by a NASA spacecraft this month is spewing jets of vaporized dry ice into space, scientists have found.

Newly Discovered Fast-Changing Comet Visible in Small Telescopes

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

A newly discovered comet that has caught the attention of skywatchers around the world appears to be undergoing some dynamic changes.

First Close-up Photos of Comet Hartley 2 Reveal a Space Peanut

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

A NASA spacecraft has beamed back the first close-up photos from its rendezvous with a comet — and the images show an ice ball that looks like a giant chicken drumstick, or perhaps a peanut or bowling pin.

Close Encounters of the Comet Kind: A Brief History

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

When NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft flies to within 435 miles (700 kilometers) of Comet Hartley 2 tomorrow (Nov. 4), it won’t be the first time robotic emissaries from Earth have cozied up to an icy wanderer.

Deep Impact spacecraft readies for comet encounter

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

A NASA spacecraft is about to have another close look at a comet.
Next week, the Deep Impact spacecraft is set to pass within 435 miles of a half-mile-wide comet named Hartley 2. It will use its telescopes and other instruments to examine the surface and record gas outbursts.

Five Things About NASA’s EPOXI Mission

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Here are five quick facts about the EPOXI mission, scheduled to fly by comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4, 2010.
1. High Fives – This is the fifth time humans will see a comet close-up, and the Deep Impact spacecraft flew by Earth for its fifth time on Sunday, June 27, 2010.