As people on Earth celebrate the holidays and prepare to ring in the New Year, an ESA/NASA spacecraft has quietly reached its own milestone: on December 26, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) discovered its 2000th comet.
A new feature has been added to COBS analysis page enabling the observer to plot the date of perihelion on the lightcurve graph.
It does not look like much now — just a 19th-magnitude smudge tucked away in southwestern Virgo — but a newly discovered comet could become something special 10 months from now.
The extraterrestrial rock is tumbling through space alongside thousands of similar objects in our solar systems main asteroid belt, roughly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
S. Larson reports that images of the main-belt minor planet (596) show the object to be in apparent outburst with a comet-like appearance.
A new feature has been added to COBS analysis page enabling the observer to filter the observation data by observation type.
A. Boattini reports his discovery of a faint comet with a moderately diffuse coma that is 6"-7" wide and a central condensation that is about 3"-4" in size on four 30-s co-added CCD exposures taken with the Mt. Lemmon 1.5-m reflector in Arizona.
This morning EPOXI, the spacecraft formerly known as Deep Impact, flew within 435 miles (700 km) of the nucleus of Comet 103P/Hartley 2. Images taken during the encounter are being downloaded from the spacecraft throughout the day. A few of the images have been released by the EPOXI team and can be found here.
S. Nakano, Sumoto, Japan, reports the visual discovery of a comet independently by Kaoru Ikeya ...
Under the scope of CARA project, comet 103P/Hartley is continuously monitored by a group of dedicated observers, using small and medium size remote telescopes, now available worldwide.