Comet of the Week: 9P/Tempel 1

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Special Topic: Past Spacecraft Missions

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Special Topic: The Tunguska Event and Other Recent Impacts

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Special Topic: Orbits and Future Returns

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JUNE 7, 2013: A team led by Dutch astronomer Nienke van der Marel announces their discovery of a planet-forming – and comet-forming – disk of material surrounding the young star Oph-IRS 48 in the constellation Ophiuchus, using data obtained with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile. An ALMA image of this disk …

Perihelion: 2022 December 19.67, q = 1.797 AU  I’ve hinted in some of the earlier presentations of “Ice and Stone 2020” that, for the past few years, we have been in a slow period when it comes to bright comets. Indeed, for “Great Comets” – discussed in a previous “Special Topics” presentation – the most …

Although they may not be as big a presence in our overall human culture and literature as the moon and the other planets of our solar system are, the “small bodies” of our solar system are nevertheless present. There a number of misperceptions about them, perhaps more so than there are for the planets.  Consider, …

MAY 31, 2020: Comet ATLAS C/2019 Y4 will pass through perihelion at a heliocentric distance of 0.25 AU. A previous “Comet of the Week,” Comet ATLAS initially showed potential for becoming a bright object, but it now appears to have all but disintegrated as it has approached perihelion. It is traveling in the same orbit …

C/1998 K10’s Perihelion: 1998 June 1.88, q = 0.006 AU C/1998 K11’s Perihelion: 1998 June 2.06, q = 0.005 AU  Various previous “Ice and Stone 2020” presentations have discussed the impact that the joint NASA/ESA SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) mission – and in particular the onboard LASCO C2 and C3 coronagraphs – has had …

For many people, one of the most fascinating periods of Earth’s natural history is the Mesozoic Era, which spanned from roughly 252 million years ago to 66 million years ago. This period of time is often called the “Age of Dinosaurs,” and indeed these large reptiles were the dominant animals on Earth for well over …