COBS News archive

Recently discovered comet seen during 2020 total solar eclipse
December 20, 2020
As Chile and Argentina witnessed the total solar eclipse on Dec. 14, 2020, unbeknownst to skywatchers, a little tiny speck was flying past the Sun -- a recently discovered comet.

Comet Discovered to Have Its Own Northern Lights 2020-12-10
December 10, 2020
An atmospheric light show previously relegated to planets and Jupiter moons is found on comet using data from ESA's Rosetta spacecraft.

Philae’s second touchdown site discovered at ‘skull-top’ ridge
October 29, 2020
After years of detective work, the second touchdown site of Rosetta’s Philae lander has been located on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in a site that resembles the shape of a skull. Philae left its imprint in billions-of-years-old ice, revealing that the comet’s icy interior is softer than cappuccino froth.

QHYCCD Camera type keys
September 22, 2020
In order to unify the camera type abbreviation keys of all QHYCCD camera models, we had to change some of the currently used camera type keys.

Comet discovered to have its own northern lights 2020-09-21
September 21, 2020
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has its own far-ultraviolet aurora, data reveal. It is the first time such electromagnetic emissions in the far-ultraviolet have been documented on a celestial object other than a planet or moon.

New Comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus)
September 21, 2020
CBET 4885 & MPEC 2020-S119, issued on 2020, September 20, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18.5) by Nicolas Erasmus (South African Astronomical Observatory), in four 30-s CCD images taken in 5" seeing on Sept. 17.6 UT with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program. The new comet has been designated C/2020 S3 (Erasmus).

Rainbow comet with a heart of sponge
September 07, 2020
A permeable heart with a hardened facade –the resting place of Rosetta’s lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is revealing more about the interior of the 'rubber duck' shaped-body looping around the Sun.

Hubble snaps close-up of celebrity comet NEOWISE
August 22, 2020
Whether it’s a surprise asteroid, colorful aurora or a heart-stopping eclipse, the landscape of the night sky is constantly changing. When a new visitor appears in view, it’s guaranteed to grab the attention of professional astronomers and casual sky gazers alike. Well, consider the Hubble Space Telescope the paparazzi of the sky, as it’s managed to snap the closest images yet of the sky’s latest visitor to make headlines, comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), after it passed by the Sun. Comet NEOWISE is considered the brightest comet visible from the Northern Hemisphere since 1997’s Hale-Bopp. It’s estimated to be traveling at a whopping 40 miles per second, or 144,000 miles per hour. The comet’s closest approach to the Sun took place on July 3 and it’s now heading back to the outer parts of the solar system, not to pass through again for another 7,000 years or so.

New Comet C/2020 O2 (Amaral)
August 03, 2020
CBET 4822 & MPEC 2020-P10, issued on 2020, August 02, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18) by Leonardo S. Amaral (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) on three 60-s CCD exposures taken on July 23 with a 0.3-m f/4 reflector. The new comet has been designated C/2020 O2 (Amaral).

Comet NEOWISE Sizzles as It Slides by the Sun, Providing a Treat for Observers
July 11, 2020
Catch the comet in the morning sky until July 11, after which you can find it just after sunset until mid-August.

A Comet Visitor and a Pretty Metal Moon
July 10, 2020
Want to see a comet? If you live in the northern hemisphere, use binoculars to look low in the northeastern sky before sunrise for comet NEOWISE—formally C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE).

4,000th comet discovered by ESA and NASA Solar Observatory
June 19, 2020
On June 15, 2020, a citizen scientist spotted a never-before-seen comet in data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO -- the 4,000th comet discovery in the spacecraft's 25-year history.

ZWO ASI Camera type keys
June 08, 2020
In order to unify the camera type abbreviation keys of all ZWO ASI camera models, we had to change some of the currently used camera type keys.

New Comet C/2020 K7 (PANSTARRS)
June 04, 2020
CBET 4790 & MPEC 2020-L09, issued on 2020, June 02, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~20) in four 45-s w-band CCD images obtained with the Pan-STARRS1 1.8-m Ritchey-Chretien reflector at Haleakala. The new comet has been designated C/2020 K7 (PANSTARRS).

Solar Orbiter to pass through the tails of Comet ATLAS
May 31, 2020
ESA's Solar Orbiter will cross through the tails of Comet ATLAS during the next few days. Although the recently launched spacecraft was not due to be taking science data at this time, mission experts have worked to ensure that the four most relevant instruments will be switched on during the unique encounter.

New Comet C/2020 K3 (Leonard)
May 26, 2020
CBET 4782 & MPEC 2020-K159, issued on 2020, May 25, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18) by G. J. Leonard on images taken on May 22 UT with the Catalina Sky Survey's 0.68-m Schmidt reflector. The new comet has been designated C/2020 K3 (Leonard).

New Comet P/2019 LM4 (Palomar)
May 17, 2020
CBET 4775 & MPEC 2020-J68, issued on 2020, May 14, announce that an apparently asteroidal object discovered on images taken at Palomar on 2019 June 4 and 7 with the 1.2-m f/2.4 Schmidt telescope (and given the minor-planet designation 2019 LM_4 when published on MPS 1001527, along with observations made elsewhere on June 8) has been re-discovered showing cometary appearance at two other observatories. The new comet has been designated P/2019 LM4 (Palomar).

New comet discovered by solar observatory
May 14, 2020
In late May and early June, Earthlings may be able to glimpse Comet SWAN. The comet is currently faintly visible to the unaided eye in the Southern Hemisphere just before sunrise. The new comet was first spotted in April 2020, by an amateur astronomer named Michael Mattiazzo using data from the SOHO satellite.

New Comet C/2020 J1 (SONEAR)
May 08, 2020
CBET 4769 & MPEC 2020-J37, issued on 2020, May 04, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17) on images taken with a 0.28-m f/2.2 astrograph of the "Southern Observatory for Near Earth Research" (SONEAR) at Oliveira, Brazil, on May 1 . The new comet has been designated C/2020 J1 (SONEAR).

New Comet C/2020 H6 (ATLAS)
May 08, 2020
CBET 4768 & MPEC 2020-J23, issued on 2020, May 03, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18.5) on individual images from taken on Apr. 22 UT with a 0.5-m f/2 Schmidt reflector at Haleakala, Hawaii, in the course of the "Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System" (ATLAS) search program. The new comet has been designated C/2020 H6 (ATLAS).