Take A Wonderful Flight Over Mars / 41P Comet Update

An imaginary flight above the real Mars. Click here for the full-screen option – highly recommended! I started my day in orbit around Mars and can’t wait for you to join me. Just click the button and your journey to the Red Planet begins with a close approach to its largest moon, Phobos. The video, titled…
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Comet 41P/T-G-K Tangles With The Great Bear

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak should become bright enough this coming week to see in 10×50 binoculars as it hurries across Ursa Major the Great Bear. 41P returns to Earth’s vicinity every 5.4 years. Some years it plays out that the comet is particularly close to Earth. 2017 is one of them. On March 31-April 1, the comet…
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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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Goodbye Moon! But Will The Green Comet Still Show?

Last week, several people asked about seeing “the comet.” They meant 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova — a mouthful, so the comet made sense. I’d written about 45P in an earlier blog when it was visible in the morning sky just before dawn and after moonset. But last Thursday, moonlight encroached on this fuzzy, spread-out object and pretty much blanked it…
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White Dwarf Rips Into Big Brother Of Halley’s Comet

Like eggs and snowflakes, comets are fragile and subject to breaking. When one swings too close to the our central star, the sun’s combined gravity and searing heat can cause a comet to crumble to pieces. The pieces can further disintegrate into an ever-expanding cloud of gas, water vapor and dust and disperse along the comet’s orbit.…
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