Scientists pursue research through observation, experimentation and modeling. They strive for all of these pieces to fit together, but sometimes finding the unexpected is even more exciting. That's what happened recently to a researcher who studies comets, asteroids and planetary formation and was part of a team that published a study focused on the comet 174P/Echeclus. It didn't behave the way the team was expecting.
CCD photometry of comet still remains as a very difficult work, especially for most wanted total coma magnitudes, compatible with visual observations. Also the usual problem is creating of proper ICQ coded line of observation. To help observers with this, I programmed an application - tool for comet observers, which is now in testing - beta phase.
CBET nr. 4397, issued on 2017, June 01, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17) by the "Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) Team on CCD exposures taken on May 26.5 with the ATLAS 0.5-m f/2.0 Schmidt telescope at Haleakala. The new comet has been designated C/2017 K4 (ATLAS).
Due to a COBS servers system upgrade, we will have some website downtime on Wednesday 17.05.2017.
Comets are some of the most interesting objects in the solar system. Water that filled the ancient oceans of Earth might have been delivered by comets. And there is growing evidence that many comets (as well as some primitive asteroids) contain molecules key to life. NASA has sent space probes to travel hundreds of millions of miles to study these icy interlopers from the outer solar system.
Images returned from the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission indicate the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a very active place during its most recent trip through the solar system, says a new study.
COBS now includes the option to select Astrometrica version 4.10 and comphot photometry software when submitting CCD observations.
Thierry Noel has reported that Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is showing a second component in images taken remotely from Chile (Observers: A. Maury, B. Sandness, T. Noel). Follow-up images taken by Andre Debackere using the Las Cumbres Observatory 1.0-m telescope at Siding Spring, Australia and measured by Richard Miles show that the main comet is accompanied by a much brighter secondary component surrounded by a faint coma.
For the first time, scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have witnessed a massive object with the makeup of a comet being ripped apart and scattered in the atmosphere of a white dwarf, the burned-out remains of a compact star. The object has a chemical composition similar to Halley's Comet, but it is 100,000 times more massive and has a much higher amount of water. It is also rich in the elements essential for life, including nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and sulfur.
In September 2015, a team of astronomers successfully observed the entire hydrogen coma of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, using the LAICA telescope onboard the PROCYON spacecraft. They also succeeded in obtaining the absolute rate of water discharge from the comet. Through our observations, we were able to test the coma models for the comet for the first time. This result is the first scientific achievement by a micro spacecraft for deep space exploration.