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Week 13


Comet of the Week: Comet Hyakutake C/1996 B2

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Special Topic: “Small Bodies” and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

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MARCH 22, 2016: The tiny Comet PANSTARRS P/2016 BA14 passes just 0.024 AU from Earth, the closest known cometary approach to Earth thus far in the 21st Century and the third-closest known cometary approach to Earth in history. Despite its closeness, it was never brighter than 13th magnitude. This and other close comet approaches to …

Comet Hyakutake C/1996 B2’s Perihelion: 1996 May 1.40, q = 0.230 AU  Following the discovery of Comet Hale-Bopp in mid-1995, the entire world was awaiting its expected good show in 1997. But while we were waiting, another comet came by and provided another stunning show. This object was discovered on January 30, 1996 by a Japanese …

The “visible” light that our eyes see, and that most of our telescopes detect, is only a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The full EM spectrum encompasses everything from the long-wavelength, low-frequency, low-energy radio waves, on down through infrared, then “visible” or optical light, and then into the shorter-wavelength, higher-frequency, and higher-energy ultraviolet, …