COBS NEWS Archive

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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Sep. 22, 2020

QHYCCD Camera type keys

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.

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Sep. 21, 2020

Comet discovered to have its own northern lights

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.

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Sep. 21, 2020

New Comet C/2020 S3 (Erasmus)

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).

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Sep. 07, 2020

Rainbow comet with a heart of sponge

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.

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Aug. 22, 2020

Hubble snaps close-up of celebrity comet NEOWISE

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.

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