Subtract one from the Solar System’s total count of comets.
Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner is approaching Earth. On Sept. 10th, it will be 0.39 AU (58 million km) from our planet and almost bright enough to see with the naked eye. Already it is an easy target for backyard telescopes. Last night, Michael Jäger of Weißenkirchen, Austria, caught the 7.7th magnitude comet passing through star cluster Tombaugh
Before NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) started science operations on July 25, 2018, the planet hunter sent back a stunning sequence of serendipitous images showing the motion of a comet. Taken over the course of 17 hours on July 25, these TESS images helped demonstrate the satellite’s ability to collect a prolonged set of stable periodic images covering a broad region of the sky — all critical factors in finding transiting planets orbiting nearby stars.
It looks like Rosetta’s comet was a bit of a tooter. A fart from the comet — which scientists called “a bright plume of dust blowing away … like a fountain” — likely originated from the comet’s insides, maybe from ancient gas vents or unseen ice.
A team of researchers led by an archaeologist from Aiken has found widespread evidence that a large object from outer space, such as a comet or an asteroid, hit the Earth about 12,800 years ago.
New Hubble images have now revealed the object is actually two asteroids.
For the first time, scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have witnessed a massive object with the makeup of a comet being ripped apart and scattered in the atmosphere of a white dwarf, the burned-out remains of a compact star.