COBS NEWS Archive

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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Feb. 06, 2021

New Comet C/2021 B3 (NEOWISE)

CBET 4929 & MPEC 2021-C16, issued on 2021, February 04, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~19) in infrared images obtained during Jan. 22 UT with the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (or NEOWISE; formerly the WISE earth-orbiting satellite). The new comet has been designated C/2021 B3 (NEOWISE).

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Jan. 31, 2021

New Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard)

CBET 4907 & MPEC 2021-A99, issued on 2021, January 10, announce the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~19.5) by Gregory J. Leonard on CCD images taken on Jan. 3.54-3.56 UT with the Mount Lemmon Survey's 1.5-m reflector. The new comet has been designated C/2021 A1 (Leonard).

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Dec. 20, 2020

Recently discovered comet seen during 2020 total solar eclipse

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.

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Dec. 10, 2020

Comet Discovered to Have Its Own Northern Lights

An atmospheric light show previously relegated to planets and Jupiter moons is found on comet using data from ESA's Rosetta spacecraft.

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Oct. 29, 2020

Philae’s second touchdown site discovered at ‘skull-top’ ridge

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.

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