Rubber Ducky II — Radar Reveals Spinning, Twin-Lobed Comet

When the first close range photos of Rosetta’s Comet started coming in, a few of us joked it looked just like one of those rubber ducks we played with as kids in the bathtub. Only this duck was made of porous ice and dust and 2.5 miles (4 km) wide, though I suspect it would…
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One Last Christmas Present — Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

I hope you’re having a warm and wonderful holiday today. Perhaps you’ve already opened your gifts. If so, I’ve got some good news. Christmas isn’t over yet. One package remains to be opened the next clear night — an evening sky comet named 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova. Why the long name? It was discovered by three people all about the…
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See Comet 252P/LINEAR When It Flies By Earth

252P/LINEAR is headed north! This comet has been in the news lately because it quickly brightened from near obscurity to naked eye visibility in just a week’s time. Why the sudden change? It’s on its way to a close but perfectly safe flyby of Earth tomorrow, when it will miss the planet by 14 times…
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Comet Catalina Blasts Through The Big Dipper, Says Adios!

Comet Catalina, currently the brightest comet in the sky, will be gliding across the Big Dipper this week and next as it heads toward its closest approach to Earth on January 17th at a distance of 67.4 million miles (108.4 million km). It’s about magnitude 6.5 or a bit below the naked eye limit, but visible as…
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Swooning For The Moon And Comet Catalina

The moon’s been killer beautiful the past couple mornings. As the waning crescent has grown ever slender, the earthshine has become ever more amazing. Earthshine is the faint illumination filling out the remainder of the lunar disk caused by sunlight reflected from the Earth to the moon and back. I hate to see the crescent go —…
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