COBS NEWS Archive

Apr. 09, 2021

Exploring comet thermal history: Burnt-out comet covered with talcum powder

The world's first ground-based observations of the bare nucleus of a comet nearing the end of its active life revealed that the nucleus has a diameter of 800 meters and is covered with large grains of phyllosilicate; on Earth large grains of phyllosilicate are commonly available as talcum powder. This discovery provides clues to piece together the history of how this comet evolved into its current burnt-out state.

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Apr. 09, 2021

New Comet C/2019 U5 (PANSTARRS)

CBET 4953 & MPEC 2021-G80, issued on 2021, April 07, announce that an apparently asteroidal object (magnitude ~21.0) discovered on CCD images obtained with the F51 Pan-STARRS 1 survey's 1.8m Ritchey-Chretien on 2019, October 22.22 and designated A/2019 U5 (cf. MPEC 2019-V10) has been found to show cometary appearance by other CCD observers over the past half year. The new comet has been designated C/2019 U5 (PANSTARRS).

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Apr. 01, 2021

First interstellar comet may be the most pristine ever found

New observations indicate that the rogue comet 2I/Borisov, which is only the second and most recently detected interstellar visitor to our Solar System, is one of the most pristine ever observed. Astronomers suspect that the comet most likely never passed close to a star, making it an undisturbed relic of the cloud of gas and dust it formed from.

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Mar. 27, 2021

New Comet C/2020 F7 (Lemmon)

CBET 4949 & MPEC 2021-F110, issued on 2021, March 25, announce that an apparently asteroidal object (magnitude ~21.0) discovered on CCD images obtained with the Mt. Lemmon Survey's 1.5-m reflector on 2020 Mar. 22 and designated A/2020 F7 (cf. MPEC 2020-G78) has been found to show cometary appearance by numerous other CCD observers over the past half year. The new comet has been designated C/2020 F7 (Lemmon).

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Mar. 26, 2021

FLI Camera type keys

In order to unify the camera type abbreviation keys of all FLI camera models, we have added some additional camera type keys.

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Mar. 23, 2021

New Comet C/2021 D2 (ZTF)

CBET 4948 & MPEC 2021-F67, issued on 2021, March 22, announce the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (magnitude ~19.5) on CCD images taken on Feb. 19.5 UT & Mar. 09-5 with the 1.2-m Schmidt telescope at Palomar in the course of the "Zwicky Transient Facility" (ZTF) search program (the object was reported twice by the ZTF survey team as two different objects) . This object has been found to show cometary appearance by CCD astrometrists elsewhere. The new comet has been designated C/2021 D2 (ZTF).

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Mar. 07, 2021

Comet Catalina suggests comets delivered carbon to rocky planets

Comet Catalina is helping explain more about our own origins as it becomes apparent that comets like Catalina could have been an essential source of carbon on planets like Earth and Mars during the early formation of the solar system.

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Mar. 02, 2021

New Comet C/2021 C4 (ATLAS)

CBET 4937 & MPEC 2021-D113, issued on 2021, February 26, announce the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (magnitude ~19) on CCD images taken on Feb. 12.6 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. This object has been found to show cometary appearance by CCD astrometrists elsewhere after the object was posted on the Minor Planet Center's PCCP webpage due to its orbit. The new comet has been designated C/2021 C4 (ATLAS).

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Feb. 26, 2021

Comet makes a pit stop near Jupiter's asteroids

After traveling several billion miles toward the Sun, a wayward young comet-like object orbiting among the giant planets has found a temporary parking place along the way. The object has settled near a family of captured ancient asteroids, called Trojans, that are orbiting the Sun alongside Jupiter. This is the first time a comet-like object has been spotted near the Trojan population.

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Feb. 15, 2021

The comet that killed the dinosaurs

Scientists have put forth a new theory that could explain the origin and journey of the comet that killed the Chicxulub impactor and others like it.

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