COBS News archive

ESA to Launch Comet Interceptor Mission in 2028
June 22, 2019
With Comet Interceptor, ESA plans to meet a comet on its first trip into the inner solar system. The mission was selected Wednesday after a fast-track proposal process and will be developed on a rapid (for ESA) timeline, with a launch planned for 2028. Congratulations to the Comet Interceptor team on their selection!

ESA's new mission to intercept a Comet
June 20, 2019
'Comet Interceptor' has been selected as ESA's new fast-class mission in its Cosmic Vision Programme. Comprising three spacecraft, it will be the first to visit a truly pristine comet or other interstellar object that is only just starting its journey into the inner Solar System.

Comet inspires chemistry for making breathable oxygen on Mars
May 30, 2019
Researchers have demonstrated a new reaction for generating oxygen that could help humans explore the universe and perhaps even fight climate change at home.

Comet Provides New Clues to Origins of Earth's Oceans
May 25, 2019
The mystery of why Earth has so much water, allowing our "blue marble" to support an astounding array of life, is clearer with new research into comets. Comets are like snowballs of rock, dust, ice, and other frozen chemicals that vaporize as they get closer to the Sun, producing the tails seen in images. A new study reveals that the water in many comets may share a common origin with Earth's oceans, reinforcing the idea that comets played a key role in bringing water to our planet billions of years ago.

A family of comets reopens the debate about the origin of Earth's water
May 25, 2019
Researchers have found that one family of comets, the hyperactive comets, contains water similar to terrestrial water.

Three exocomets discovered around the star Beta Pictoris
May 23, 2019
Three extrasolar comets have been discovered around the star Beta Pictoris, 63 light years away, by the University of Innsbruck. Analysis of data from the current NASA mission TESS by Sebastian Zieba and Konstanze Zwintz from the Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics, together with colleagues from Leiden University and the University of Warwick has revealed the extrasolar objects.

New Comet C/2019 J1 (Lemmon)
May 15, 2019
CBET 4625 & MPEC 2019-J122, issued on 2019, May 12, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17.5) in the course of the "Mt. Lemmon Survey" (G96), in images taken on 2019, May 04 with a 1.5-m reflector + 10K CCD. This object was reported as a comet by R. A. Kowalski and D. Rankin (G96, May 4). The new comet has been designated C/2019 J1 (Lemmon).

Comet cat
April 23, 2019
From a distance of five million kilometres to within 20 metres, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft captured images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from all angles.

Tiny fragment of a comet found inside a meteorite
April 16, 2019
Astronomers have made a surprising discovery that gives clues to how solar system formed.

Comets & Asteroids - Summary for Jan & Feb 2019
April 02, 2019
During the 2-month period January through February 2019, 14 new comets were discovered. Moreover inner main-belt minor planet (6478) GAULT developed a lengthening tail or trail.

Hubble watches spun-up asteroid coming apart
March 29, 2019
A small asteroid has been caught in the process of spinning so fast it's throwing off material, according to new data.

COBS Maintenance: Switch to hosted services
January 15, 2019
In the recent days, COBS website was moved to a new server.

MU69 appears as a bi-lobed baby comet in latest New Horizons images
January 03, 2019
The tiny world 2014 MU69 is far behind New Horizons now and no longer visible to its cameras. Now, New Horizons’ task is to return its precious data to Earth. The process will take 20 months, but the best images should all arrive between now and the end of February. Some early ones have come down from the spacecraft in the hours since the flyby. These are not the best we will get, but they already show us much about MU69: this is probably what comets look like, before they become comets.

New Comet C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto)
December 21, 2018
CBET 4588 & MPEC 2018-Y52, issued on 2018, Dec. 20, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~12) by M. Iwamoto (MPC code 872) in images taken on 2018 Dec 18.8. The new comet has been designated C/2018 Y1 (Iwamoto).

Hubble Takes a Close Look at the Brightest Comet of the Year
December 21, 2018
On December 13th, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope photographed comet 46P/Wirtanen, a periodic comet that orbits the Sun once every 5.4 years.

Rosetta witnesses birth of baby bow shock around Comet
December 21, 2018
A new study reveals that, contrary to first impressions, Rosetta did detect signs of an infant bow shock at the comet it explored for two years – the first ever seen forming anywhere in the Solar System.

December Comet brings back Rosetta memories
December 15, 2018
A special visitor is crossing the sky: Comet 46P/Wirtanen, sighted with telescopes and binoculars in recent weeks, is on the way to its closest approach to Earth this weekend, when it might become visible to the naked eye.

See a Passing Comet This Sunday
December 15, 2018
On Sunday, Dec. 16, the comet known as 46P/Wirtanen will make one of the 10 closest comet flybys of Earth in 70 years, and you may even be able to see it without a telescope.

A hyperactive comet is approaching Earth
November 29, 2018
Small but hyperactive Comet 46P/Wirtanen is approaching Earth and could soon become visible to the naked eye. On Dec. 16th, the kilometer-wide ball of dirty ice will be less than 11.5 million km away--making it one of the 10 closest-approaching comets of the Space Age. It already looks magnificent through amateur telescopes.

NASA learns more about interstellar visitor 'Oumuamua
November 16, 2018
The first known interstellar object to visit our solar system -- named 'Oumuamua -- was detected in October 2017 by Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope. But it was too faint for NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to detect when it looked more than two months after the object's closest approach to Earth in early September. That 'non-detection' puts a new limit on how large the strange object can be, astronomers now report.