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Week 08


Special Topic: Stellar Intruders

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FEBRUARY 17, 1930:  A bright meteor appears in the sky above the midwestern U.S. and falls to the ground near Paragould, Arkansas. With a total mass of 370 kg, the Paragould meteorite, a stony chondrite, is the second-largest meteorite fall seen from and recovered in North America.  FEBRUARY 17, 1996: The Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) …

Comet 3D/Biela 1846 II’s Perihelion: 1846 February 11.49, q = 0.856 AU  The stories of the first two numbered periodic comets, 1P/Halley and 2P/Encke – both of which are future “Comets of the Week” – are well known. The third numbered periodic comet also has an interesting story, but unlike the earlier two, it will likely …

Five weeks ago I devoted the “Special Topics” presentation to the subject of the Oort Cloud, the large spherical cloud of comets that is believed to enshroud the solar system out to distances of several tens of thousands of Astronomical Units. The comets in the Oort Cloud have been there since the forming Jupiter and …