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Week 31


Comet of the Week: NEOWISE C/2020 F3

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Special Topic: Terrestrial Impact Craters

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JULY 28, 2014: The Pan-STARRS program in Hawaii discovers the centaur designated as 2014 OG392; it has an orbital period of 42.8 years and will pass perihelion in November 2021 at a heliocentric distance of 10.0 AU. An observational analysis published earlier this year indicates sustained cometary activity, however, this report was published too late …

Perihelion: 2020 July 3.68, q = 0.295 AU  For the second time during the course of “Ice and Stone 2020” I have found it appropriate to swap out my originally intended “Comet of the Week” for a comet currently appearing in our skies. For the past three weeks, Comet NEOWISE has been putting on a …

The “Special Topics” presentation six weeks ago on “Lunar and Planetary Impacts” discussed how the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei noticed craters on the moon the first time he turned his recently-made primitive telescope towards that object. Indeed, almost any kind of optical aid, be this in the form of binoculars or a small telescope, will …