Comet of the Week: 3D/Biela 1846 II

Read More

Special Topic: Stellar Intruders

Read More

Special Topic: Centaurs

Read More

Special Topic: Comet observations from space

Read More

FEBRUARY 2, 1106: Sky-watchers around the world see a brilliant comet during the daytime hours. In subsequent days it becomes visible in the evening sky, initially very bright with an extremely long tail, and although it faded rapidly it remained visible until mid-March. The available information is not enough to allow a valid orbit calculation, but …

Comet Tago-Sato-Kosaka 1969g’s Perihelion: 1969 December 21.27, q = 0.473 AU   Everyone fondly remembers their “first.” When it comes to comets, my “first” came exactly 50 years ago on Monday evening, February 2, 1970, when I was 11 years old and in the 6th Grade, and involved a 5th-magnitude fuzzball located close to the 2nd-magnitude star …

All astronomers, be they professional or amateur, or even just casual sky-watchers, have often had to contend with the vagaries of the earth’s atmosphere. Clouds will often get in the way, especially at inopportune times; almost every astronomer can recite stories of important observations that were precluded by cloudy weather. Even if the skies are …

JANUARY 26, 1978: The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) spacecraft is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Throughout its 18 years of operations IUE conducted observations of many astronomical objects, including several comets.  JANUARY 27, 2016: A team of astronomers led by Tabitha Boyajian of Yale University publishes their paper on the star KIC 8462852 – unofficially …

The Daylight Comet of 1910’s Perihelion: 1910 January 17.59, q = 0.129 AU  In early 1910 the entire world – astronomers and lay public alike – awaited the imminent return of Comet 1P/Halley, which had been recovered the previous September and which was already detectable with moderate-sized telescopes. While Halley would go on to put on …

It is now generally accepted that the planets in our solar system formed via the accumulation of smaller bodies dubbed “planetesimals” – which in turn formed from the accumulation of dust grains and (in the outer and thus colder regions) gas molecules – early in its history. Due to the early sun’s rotation the infalling …