Re-awakened NASA Probe Discovers First New Comet

Great bit of news. NASA’s recently re-awakened Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) rubbed the sleep from its eyes and promptly discovered a new comet. The Earth-orbiting telescope snagged C/2014 C3 (NEOWISE) on Valentine’s Day when it was about 143 million miles (230 million km) from Earth. Although the comet’s orbit isn’t precisely determined, it appears…
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Jupiter Meets The Moon / Two Comets Pass In The Night / Space Station At Dusk

The moving moon keeps things interesting on a very human time scale, gliding about one outstretched fist to the east every night. Last night ice-crystally clouds made a beautiful lunar halo that nearly but not quite touched Jupiter. Tonight the moon will lie to the right of the brilliant planet, while on Monday the two…
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Comet ISON Update Dec. 7 – Possible Sightings, New Map

Yesterday morning I dressed for subzero chill to look at comets Lovejoy and Nevski, Mars and a faint supernova in the constellation Leo. Although my hour under the stars didn’t lack in astronomical pleasures, I couldn’t help thinking about ISON. This week was supposed to be the start of that comet’s grand entry into the…
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Finally! Clear Skies For Comet ISON – Here’s What I Saw

After a week of vigilance and three false-alarm 5 a.m. wakeups, the sky finally cleared this morning for a good view of Comet ISON. Still, nature wasn’t going to let me off easy. 20 mph winds blew the scope around, the mirror was next to impossible to collimate and the temperature got down to 10…
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Comet ISON Update Nov. 20 – New Maps, Photos And Fresh Hope

We’re in the final stretch! Time for updated maps of Comets ISON and Encke in the remaining days before perihelion or closest approach to the sun. And just for the heck of it, let’s throw in Comet Lovejoy, too. The latest brightness estimate for ISON comes to us from its co-discoverer Vitaly Nevski who estimated…
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