Posts in category

Comet


Comet of the Week: Tebbutt 1861 II

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Comet of the Week: LINEAR C/2001 A2

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Comet of the Week: IRAS-Araki-Alcock 1983d

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Comet of the Week: ATLAS C/2019 Y4

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Perihelion: 1861 June 12.01, q = 0.822 AU  Two of the brighter comets of the latter half of the 19th Century were discovered by an Australian amateur astronomer, John Tebbutt, who for four decades essentially ran a one-man astronomical clearinghouse from his private observatory near Windsor, New South Wales. In addition to numerous astrometric observations …

Perihelion: 2020 June 25.85, q = 0.337 AU  In the early 19th Century the idea that comets might return to the inner solar system on a regular basis was still a bit of a novelty. This had been successfully demonstrated by the British astronomer Edmond Halley when the comet that now bears his name returned …

Perihelion: 2001 May 24.52, q = 0.779 AU  At the beginning of the 21st Century the discovery of comets and near-Earth asteroids was dominated by the first of the comprehensive sky surveys, the LIncoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program run by MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and based at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, that …

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 …

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 …

Perihelion: 44 B.C. May 25.0, q = 0.22 AU  The appearance of a bright comet is certainly a stimulus of important scientific investigations, and, under the right circumstances, in today’s society can also be a focus for popular culture, at least for a while. In more ancient times, however, when comets were still widely considered …