Credit: ESA/Rosetta

Meet Kenneth And Juliette, The Comet Carbon Duo

Most of us really don’t care for dust. It’s something to blow off, swipe away with your hand or vacuum up. But dust is where it’s at when it comes to Rosetta’s Comet. By studying what’s in the tiny particles that vaporize off the comet, scientists have made a marvelous discovery. Two particles, playfully named…
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Philae Found In Final Hour! Comet Probe Slumbers In Boulder’s Shadow

We found our comet lander! Tipped over on its side and looking forlorn but still intact, Philae was discovered wedged into a dark crack on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko this weekend, less than a month before the end of the Rosetta mission. The images were taken on Sept. 2 by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera as the orbiter came…
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Credit: NASA

Sun Zaps Potentially Bright Comet

What might have turned into a bright comet in the evening sky instead crashed into the sun. Before it passed, the comet shone at around magnitude -0.5 —  brighter than Vega or Arcturus. Astronomers identified the spectacular, one-time visitor as a piece of a long-ago, much larger comet that also passed very near the sun and…
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Rosetta Comet Mission To End In Dramatic Crash Landing

Even as we scrunch closer to our laptops in anticipation of Juno’s arrival at Jupiter tomorrow, another mission will soon be concluding. After two years in close company with a dusty comet, the Rosetta mission will end in dramatic fashion with a planned crash landing on the comet’s surface on September 30. Hard to believe it’s…
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Use this map to help you track comet 252P/LINEAR through June. The position is shown for 5 a.m. local Daylight Saving Time with the comet's position marked every 3 days. Stars are labeled with their Greek letters and numbers and plotted to magnitude +7.5. Saturn and Mars' positions are for early April.  All the Greek lettered stars are bright enough to see with the naked eye. Created with Chris Marriott's SkyMap

No Foolin’, We Might Get Aurora Tonight / Comet 252P Still Bright

I’d love to write about a big aurora coming April Fools night just to kid around. Unfortunately, I can’t do that because there really is a chance for northern lights tonight. A recent coronal hole opened up and allowed a stream of particles loose in Earth’s direction that’s expected to impact tonight. Space weather experts…
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