New findings from NEOWISE, the asteroid- and comet-hunting portion of NASAs Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, show that comet Hartley 2 leaves a pebbly trail as it laps the sun, dotted with grains as big as golf balls.
IAUC nr.9220, issued on 2011, July 07, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 17.9) by R. H. McNaught with the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring, on images obtained on 2011, July 04.46. The new comet has been designated C/2011 N2 (McNAUGHT).
IAUC nr.9219, issued on 2011, July 07, announces that an apparently asteroidal object (discovery magnitude 19.9) reported by Ignacio de la Cueva, Ibiza, Spain (from exposures taken by J. L. Ortiz, P. Santos-Sanz, N. Morales, and himself with a 0.40-m f/3.7 reflector at San Pedro de Atacama, Chile) was found to show cometary appearance after initial posting on the Minor Planet Center NEOCP webpage. The new comet has been designated P/2011 N1
A new bright comet diving into the Sun is visible right now in C3 and C2 images taken by SOHO spacecraft.
IAUC nr.9218, issued on 2011, June 25, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 18.6) by the LINEAR survey with a 1.0-m f/2.15 reflector + CCD, on images obtained on 2011, June 22.4. The new comet has been designated C/2011 M1 (LINEAR)
Nearly one year ago, a repurposed NASA spacecraft flew by the comet Hartley 2. As a result, a multitude of high-resolution images were gathered over 50 days that allow scientists to understand the nature of the comets surface and its hidden interior.
Comet Hartley 2 hyperactive state, as studied by NASAs EPOXI mission, is detailed in a new paper published in this weeks issue of the journal Science.
IAUC nr.9215, issued on 2011, June 08, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 19.4) on four CCD images taken with the 1.8-m Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at Haleakala, on images obtained on 2011, June 6.4. The new comet has been designated C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS).
The final command placing ESAs Rosetta comet-chaser into deep-space hibernation was sent June 8, 2011. With virtually all systems shut down, the probe will now coast for 31 months until waking up in 2014 for arrival at its comet destination.
C/1680 V1, also called the Great Comet of 1680, Kirchs Comet, and Newtons Comet, has the distinction of being the first comet discovered by telescope. Discovered by Gottfried Kirch on 14 November 1680, New Style, it became one of the brightest comets of the 17th century (reputedly visible even in daytime) and was noted for its spectacularly long tail.