COBS NEWS Archive

Oct. 26, 2017

Scientists detect comets outside our solar system

Scientists, working closely with amateur astronomers, have spotted the dusty tails of six exocomets -- comets outside our solar system -- orbiting a faint star 800 light years from Earth.

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Oct. 26, 2017

Roseta finds comet plume powered from deep below

Last year, a fountain of dust was spotted streaming from Rosetta's comet, prompting the question: how was it powered? Scientists now suggest the outburst was driven from inside the comet, perhaps released from ancient gas vents or pockets of hidden ice.

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Oct. 25, 2017

Comet mission reveals 'missing link' in our understanding of planet formation

The missing link in our understanding of planet formation has been revealed by the first ever spacecraft to orbit and land on a comet, say scientists.

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Oct. 03, 2017

ALMA and Rosetta detect Freon-40 in space

Observations made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and ESA's Rosetta mission, have revealed the presence of the organohalogen Freon-40 in gas around both an infant star and a comet. Organohalogens are formed by organic processes on Earth, but this is the first ever detection of them in interstellar space. This discovery suggests that organohalogens may not be as good markers of life as had been hoped, but that they may be significant components of the material from which planets form.

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Oct. 02, 2017

Unexpected surprise: A final image from Rosetta

Scientists analysing the final telemetry sent by Rosetta immediately before it shut down on the surface of the comet last year have reconstructed one last image of its touchdown site.

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Sep. 29, 2017

Farthest active inbound comet yet seen

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the farthest active inbound comet ever seen, at a whopping distance of 1.5 billion miles from the Sun (beyond Saturn's orbit). Slightly warmed by the remote Sun, it has already begun to develop an 80,000-mile-wide fuzzy cloud of dust, called a coma, enveloping a tiny, solid nucleus of frozen gas and dust. These observations represent the earliest signs of activity ever seen from a comet entering the solar system's planetary zone for the first time.

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Sep. 21, 2017

Unique type of object discovered in our solar system

Astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and exhibiting comet-like features, including a bright coma and a long tail. This is the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet.

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Sep. 15, 2017

The return of the comet-like exoplanet

Astronomers have focused the Hubble Space Telescope on an exoplanet that had already been seen losing its atmosphere, which forms an enormous cloud of hydrogen, giving the planet the appearance of a giant comet. During earlier observations, it was not possible to cover the whole cloud, whose shape was predicted by numerical simulations. Thanks to these new observations, the scientists have finally been able to confirm the initial predictions.

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Sep. 12, 2017

Does the organic material of comets predate our solar system?

The Rosetta space probe discovered a large amount of organic material in the nucleus of comet 'Chury.' Researchers now advance the theory that this matter has its origin in interstellar space and predates the birth of the solar system.

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Jul. 26, 2017

Large, distant comets more common than previously thought

There are about seven times more long-period comets measuring at least 1 kilometer across than previously predicted, suggests new research. The researchers also found that long-period comets are, on average, nearly twice as large as 'Jupiter family' comets, whose orbits are shaped by Jupiter's gravity and have periods of less than 20 years.

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