IAUC nr.9206, issued on 2011, May 05, announced the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (discovery magnitude 19.7) by Alex R. Gibbs on CCD images taken on April 26.3 with the Mt. Lemmon 1.5-m reflector. Gibbs suspected that this object might show slight cometary appearance.
You may have heard the news: Comet Elenin is coming to the inner-solar system this fall. Comet Elenin (also known by its astronomical name C/2010 X1), was first detected on Dec. 10, 2010 by Leonid Elenin, an observer in Lyubertsy, Russia, who made the discovery remotely using the ISON-NM observatory near Mayhill, New Mexico.
It seems the past couple of years have seen a bright Comet McNaught and this year is no different. The 58th comet discovery by Rob McNaught and 74th from Siding Spring Observatory, C/2011 C1 was first seen on February 10th of this year.
For the first time, scientists have found convincing evidence for the presence of liquid water in a comet, shattering the current paradigm that comets never get warm enough to melt the ice that makes up the bulk of their material.
At 33 minutes after 4 p.m. PDT today, NASAs Stardust spacecraft finished its last transmission to Earth. The transmission came on the heels of the venerable spacecrafts final rocket burn, which was designed to provide insight into how much fuel remained aboard after its encounter with comet Tempel 1 in February.
NASAs Stardust spacecraft returned new images of a comet showing a scar resulting from the 2005 Deep Impact mission. The images also showed the comet has a fragile and weak nucleus.
Mission controllers at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., have begun receiving the first of 72 anticipated images of comet Tempel 1 taken by NASAs Stardust spacecraft.
C/2011 C1 is the 58th comet found by Robert H. McNaught, the most prolific comet discoverer of all time. It was discovered on 2011, Feb. 10.71 with the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt telescope + CCD during the course of the Siding Spring Survey (E12).
Just one year before its Feb. 14 encounter with comet Tempel 1, NASAs Stardust spacecraft performed the largest rocket burn of its extended life. With the spacecraft on the opposite side of the solar system and beyond the orbit of Mars, the comet hunters rockets fired for 22 minutes and 53 seconds, changing the spacecrafts speed by 24 meters per second (54 mph).
Mission controllers at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., watched as data downlinked from the Stardust spacecraft indicated it completed its closest approach with comet Tempel 1. An hour after closest approach, the spacecraft turned to point its large, high-gain antenna at Earth.