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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3 Mornings Left To See Comet 45P/H-M-P In Binoculars

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova only just returned to the morning sky and already it’s on a collision course with the moon. Not literally. Only that the moon is waxing toward full this week and will soon enter the morning sky. When it does, all its glorious light will render what would otherwise be a binocular comet invisible. We first…
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Three Dawn Planets On A String

My fingertips are still tender after today’s happy morning. I drove out to the country in hopes of seeing three comets — V2 Johnson, ER61 PANSTARRS and U1 NEOWISE — before dawn. I tracked them all down from an icy road in the –24°F shivery silence, my fingers curled around hand warmer packets inside lined gloves. My hunt…
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