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Week 50


Special Topic: “Active Asteroids”

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DECEMBER 6, 1997: Jim Scotti with the Spacewatch program in Arizona discovers the Apollo-type asteroid now known as (35396) 1997 XF11. This asteroid created a major stir the following year when orbital calculations indicated a very close approach to Earth would be occurring in October 2028, and even though subsequent calculations with more data moved …

Perihelion: 2013 December 22.73, q = 0.812 AU  I’ve mentioned in some of the previous “Ice and Stone 2020” presentations that, until the appearance of Comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3 earlier this year, the northern hemisphere had not had what could be considered a “Great Comet” in well over two decades. We did have a moderately bright …

Ice And Stone 2020 Week 50 Throughout “Ice and Stone 2020” we have primarily been concerned with the objects we call “comets” and the objects we call “asteroids,” which collectively are “planetesimals” left over from the formation of the solar system. From an observational perspective, “asteroids” are stellar in appearance whereas “comets” are diffuse and …