Articles about Comet


Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen

The European Space Agency has selected a site for the Rosetta space probe's lander, which is attempting to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The region – labelled Site J – lies at the top of the rock, which is unevenly shaped and measures about 4km across at its widest point. The Rosetta craft is now within 30km of …
Jasper Hamill, 15 Sep 2014
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Failed would-be COMET saviour now FAILS to save his own biz

A creditors' meeting has been called for Lewisons Wholesale, an electrical retailer run by Clive Coombes, the man that tried and failed to resurrect the brand name of fallen UK High Street giant Comet. As revealed by the Register last month, Lewisons Wholesale was struggling to remain afloat and had notched up eight County Court …
Paul Kunert, 15 Dec 2014

On Nov 12, a human-made space lab will try to HARPOON a COMET and land on it

Pic The European Space Agency (ESA) has officially set the date for its Rosetta probe's Philae lander to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The craft will harpoon and set down on the high-speed cosmic rock on November 12. Rosetta comet landing spot ESA hoping for a safe touchdown The Rosetta space probe is orbiting …
Iain Thomson, 16 Oct 2014
Agilkia landing site on November 6


The European Space Agency is at the eve of one of its most ambitious projects: the passive landing of a small scientific craft on the surface of a comet that’s hurtling through space at over 60,000kmph. Your El Reg correspondent will be reporting from the ESA control centre at Darmstadt, Germany, bringing you the story as it …
Philae ROLIS view of the comet landing site from 3km

BOUNCY BOUNCY: Comet probot Philae landed TWICE

Pic ESA scientists are still a bit baffled about just how they managed to land their Philae probe on the surface of Comet 67P after the craft's harpoons failed to fire into the rock. And they think it’s possible Philae landed not once, but twice. It's the first time ever humanity has set down on a comet – and this one's 500 million …
Rosetta on its Mars flyby

ESA readies Rosetta for next year's comet touchdown

More than nine years after its launch, and after a long deep-sleep, the ESA's Rosetta comet-hunter is soon to be woken up for a November 2014 rendezvous with comet comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. ESA officials will be watching the clock after 10:00 GMT on January 20, waiting to receive the signals that will tell them Rosetta …

Comet-chasing Rosetta spies SWEATY prey

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta comet-chaser has clocked 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko "releasing the equivalent of two small glasses of water into space every second" - enough to " fill an Olympic-size swimming pool in about 100 days". Graphic showing rate of water vapour outgassing from the comet It's going to take a …
Lester Haines, 01 Jul 2014
SOHO images showing a trail around the Sun, which may be the remains of Comet Ison

NASA pic: DOOMED ice Comet ISON literally had snowball's chance in hell

Photo NASA reckons only a little bit of plucky Comet ISON survived a close encounter with the Sun – and judging by this space photo, we're not surprised. After reaching its perihelion during Thanksgiving, the iceball failed to reappear, at least according to the agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which captured the portion of space …
Lester Haines, 29 Nov 2013
Agilkia landing site on November 6

'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P

The ESA has succeeded in humanity’s first ever attempt to land a man-made probe on a comet after Philae touched down on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. “Yes, yes, YES!” said Andrea Accamazzo, Rosetta flight director. “We see the lander sitting on the ground!” After a tense build-up, the European Space Agency’s …
Comet ISON (Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona)

RIP Comet ISON: ???-2013. We hardly knew ye

Comet ISON plunged towards the Sun today and didn't emerge to tell the tale. That's the verdict from NASA and Comet-watchers. Here's a NASA video of the comet's last few thousand kilometres of life. Watch Video Doesn't look encouraging, does it? NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was rigged up to spot the comet if it …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2013

We sent a probe SIX BILLION km to measure temperature of a COMET doing 135,000 km/h

The comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta has got close enough to its target to start getting temperature readings. The results show that comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko isn't the snowball some boffins were expecting. Between 13 and 21 July Rosetta moved within 5,000 kilometers of the rapidly spinning comet and used its visible, …
Iain Thomson, 02 Aug 2014
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

SCORE: Rosetta probe hits orbit of duck-shaped comet

Watch live After a 10-year-long chase of the pleasingly duck-shaped "67P", the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe has become the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet. Watch live streaming video from eurospaceagency at “After 10 years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, …

Astounding: We're about to stick a probe in orbit of a COMET

Pic The European Space Agency will be on tenterhooks tonight as the Rosetta space probe reaches its final destination and begins the burn sequence that will put a man-made spacecraft in orbit around a comet for the first time. After a much-delayed launch in 2004, Rosetta has spent the last ten years chasing through the solar system …
Iain Thomson, 06 Aug 2014
Solar flare from sunspot AR1339

WATCH LIVE: Comet ISON DESTROYED by Sun, NASA brains fear

Live video It's being billed as an epic battle between two cosmic forces - and The Reg is pleased to point our readers to a free ringside seat. In the live NASA feed below, you be able to watch the nail-biting moments before and after the 2km wide Comet Ison reaches its closest point of approach to the Sun at 18:44 GMT (13:44 Eastern, 10: …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Nov 2013
Comet ISON (Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona)

Fun-killing fireshow-flunking ZOMBIE COMET ISON only LOOKED alive

The images that appeared to capture the resurrection of Comet ISON have turned out to be nothing more than a few snaps of the space rock's ghost, as it has continued to fade from view. After the comet seemingly came back from the dead after sputtering out just prior to perihelion*, astroboffins are now coming to the conclusion …
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

COMET lander DRILL CLIFFHANGER as last dregs of power used

The Philae team has opted to use what could be the last of the comet-catching lander’s power to deploy its drill, in the hopes of collecting the chemical analysis that could answer fundamental questions about life on Earth. Artist In a nail-biting cliffhanger end to the lander's story, the plucky probot’s protuberance had …

COMET ISON's sun dive climax: RENDEZVOUS with DESTINY

Vid - Updated NASA has released a nifty video of Comet Ison as it makes its way inexorably towards its closest encounter with the Sun in just over three hours now at 18:44 GMT, 28 November. STEREO image of Ison approaching the Sun. Pic: NASA Made up of pictures from the Heliospheric Imager of the agency's STEREO-A (Solar Terrestrial …
Lester Haines, 27 Nov 2013

First pics: Comet-chaser Rosetta hurtles towards icy prey, camera in hand

Pic + vid The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has sent back the first two aligned images of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the comet it has been chasing for ten years and nearly 800 million kilometres. Rosetta comet picture - wide angle Wide angle, tiny target ... that spec is what the ESA is trying to land on The Rosetta mission …
Iain Thomson, 28 Mar 2014

Basically RUBBISH 'COMET of the Century' ISON snapped by HiRISE in Mars orbit

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter circling high above the red planet has taken a break from its normal assignment of staring down at the ochre world beneath to get some snaps of Comet ISON as it passes by en route to the inner solar system. Not going to set the world on fire. Or even the sky Despite the fact that the orbiter …
Lewis Page, 04 Oct 2013
Comet ISON


.GIF Retired teacher Bruce Mellin in the US has snapped a few shots of comet ISON on its way towards its potential doom or glory at solar perihelion later this month. Comet ISON Using the Harvard-Smithsonian MicroObservatory's "Donald" remote robo telescope in Arizona, Mellin grabbed some low-res images of the comet, which the …

Top comet-watcher pens ISON's emotional obituary

Comet-connoisseur Karl Battams of the Naval Research Laboratory has released a heartfelt – and more than a little tongue-in-cheek – eulogy for Comet C/2012 S1, aka ISON, which suffered a fiery death last Thursday when it was roasted, toasted, melted, and smelted by our merciless Sun. Comet ISON 'This is how comet C/2012 S1 ( …
Rik Myslewski, 02 Dec 2013

Burnt-out Comet's VC backers are looking for more cash

The private equity firm involved in Comet's costly crash is back in the market and trying to convince financiers to part with hundreds of millions for a new investment fund. Henry Jackson, boss of OpCapita, the venture capitalist which paid £2 for the British retailer in November 2011 before sending it down in flames a year …
Paul Kunert, 11 Nov 2013
NASA composite image of a solar coronal mass ejection event in 2002

Our Sun menaces comet 'of the century' ISON with FIERY DESTRUCTION

Skygazers are nervously awaiting the outcome of Comet Ison's impending close encounter with the Sun, which could put paid to hopes that the icy ball will put on a jaw-dropping display across the night sky. Ison is due to swing round the Sun on 28 November, coming within a mere 1.16 million km of the star's surface. Last week, a …
Lester Haines, 25 Nov 2013

Rosetta comet chaser due to wake up for final rendezvous on Monday

Scientists at the European Space Agency and NASA are facing a nervous weekend as the Rosetta spacecraft prepares to power up after three years of hibernation on Monday morning. Rosetta Rosetta could unlock the language of cometary life The billion-Euro spacecraft, launched in 2004, is approaching comet 67P/Churyumov- …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jan 2014

COMET DIAMONDS from SPACE found in Libya's glass desert

A team of scientists from the University of the Witwatersrand have discovered the first evidence of a comet's impact on Earth – a small black pebble filled with diamonds. comet Frying tonight... "Comets always visit our skies – they're these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust – but never before in history has material …
Iain Thomson, 08 Oct 2013
Amateur astronomer Waldemar Skorupa recorded this image from Kahler Asten, in Germany, on November 16, 2013. Credit: Waldemar Skorupa (Kahler Asten, Germany), via

LOOK UP! Comet ISON could EXPLODE in our skies – astronomers

Comet ISON could break up into itty-bitty pieces long before it gets closer to the Sun, selfishly denying us all the opportunity to see it shine brightly in the night sky. The comet is currently visible in the predawn sky, but it may not be there for long if astroboffins from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research …

Comet ISON perhaps NOT GARBAGE after all - glows GREEN in latest snaps

The highly anticipated Comet ISON, which earlier this month was dubbed not "visually pleasing" by the NASA astroboffins who snapped it with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, has had its portrait taken again as it wends its way towards its rendezvous with the Sun. The result this time was far more impressive. Comet ISON (Credit: …
Rik Myslewski, 22 Oct 2013
Spitzer pics of comet ISON 500m km from the Sun

Thanksgiving ROAST in SPAAACE: Comet ISON faces FIERY SUN DEATH

On November 28, while many Americans will be sitting down to roast turkey and all the trimmings, Comet ISON faces being slowly cooked to death as it passes within a million miles of the Sun's surface. Now a top expert says the cosmic snowball has a less than fifty-fifty chance of surviving the encounter. "It's going to get …
Iain Thomson, 26 Nov 2013

ESA rejoices as comet-chasing Rosetta probe wakes from 3-year nap

The European Space Agency (ESA) doesn't usually have the atmosphere of a soccer stadium, but a very belated ping-back that showed the Rosetta comet-chasing spacecraft to be back in business moved normally reserved boffins to wild exuberance. "We got it!" roared Rosetta project scientist Matt Taylor, punching the air with glee on …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jan 2014
Spitzer pics of comet ISON 500m km from the Sun

Comet ISON seen eructating 300,000km-long methane and CO2 BELCH

Comet ISON, the keenly awaited "comet of the century" candidate, is already blasting out huge amounts of gas and dust despite being half a billion kilometres away from the Sun, according to the latest images from NASA's Spitzer space telescope. Spitzer pics of comet ISON 500m km from the Sun The space rock is due to pass …
Amateur astronomer Waldemar Skorupa recorded this image from Kahler Asten, in Germany, on November 16, 2013. Credit: Waldemar Skorupa (Kahler Asten, Germany), via

'Schrödinger's Comet' ISON LIVES (or DOESN'T) after Thanksgiving solar roast

Global mourning for the fiery death of Comet ISON on its nearest pass to the Sun may have been a bit premature, as boffins now reckon that a small part of the space rock could have survived its brush with death. Youtube Video Keep watching for what may be a debris trail... or the surviving comet Comet ISON was due to hit its …
Comet sinkhole

Rosetta spots potholes IN SPAAACE: Someone call the galactic council

The Rosetta probe, currently in orbit around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has spotted what appear to be massive sinkholes on the comet's surface that are thought to be caused by the cosmic snowball melting in the Sun's rays. Comet sinkhole map The comet's holier than Pope Francis (click to enlarge) The holes, some of …
Iain Thomson, 01 Jul 2015
Square Group new premises

Comet brand yanked from its grave: Tycoon vows to open EIGHTY new stores

Electronics retail entrepreneur Clive Coombes is trying to revive the Comet brand name by launching 80 stores over the next two years - and is looking for foolhardy brave investors to support him. In his blog, written in the third person, Coombes, who tried but failed to buy Comet from administrator Deloitte, revealed he has …
Paul Kunert, 19 Aug 2013
iPad Photos app

Hey, Apple! We can land a probe on a comet, but we can't have a 12.9in iPad 'until mid-2015'?

Apple has delayed plans to tout a fabled 12.9-inch iPad, if you are inclined to believe the latest round of speculation. Analyst house KGI Research (via AppleInsider) said the MaxiPad will be pushed back from the first quarter to the second quarter of 2015. It's claimed Apple's assembly lines and component suppliers have been …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Nov 2014

Bolton biz kingpin tables '7 figure' offer for Comet website

The future of Comet's stores hangs in the balance: but the business brain behind Appliances Online has tabled a million pound plus bid for the website part of the drain-circling retailer. As previously revealed, Dixons and Maplins are understood to have expressed interest in only a handful of Comet stores as administrator …
Paul Kunert, 23 Nov 2012

Cawing retail vultures circle dying Comet, might rip some chunks off

Both bricks-and-mortar and web-based traders are looking to pick through the bones of sickened retail outfit Comet. The receivers Deloitte landed at Comet's doorstep on 2 November to take over operations and have set about cutting costs and finding buyers for the business, which is likely to be broken up. According to sources …
Paul Kunert, 14 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

NASA deep space probe sends back video of 'Comet of the Century'

NASA's Deep Impact probe has sent back images of comet Ison as it heads inexorably towards a close fly-past of the Sun later this year. The spacecraft snapped the comet from a whopping 793 million kilometres with its Medium-Resolution Imager over a 36-hour period on 17 and 18 January, allowing NASA to stitch together this time- …
Lester Haines, 06 Feb 2013
Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P

Sun's out, guns out: Plucky Philae probot WAKES UP ... hits 'snooze'

The Philae lander has woken from hibernation for the first time since its 60-hour, energy-draining mission on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last November, scientists at the European Space Agency confirmed today. Signals from the probe reached the ESA at its ops HQ in Darmstadt late last night. Philae, whose contact went dark …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jun 2015
Amateur astronomer Waldemar Skorupa recorded this image from Kahler Asten, in Germany, on November 16, 2013. Credit: Waldemar Skorupa (Kahler Asten, Germany), via

Snowball spud gun shows comets could have seeded Earth with life

Scientists have been speculating for years now that comets might have seeded life on Earth, but a Japanese team has performed an experiment that shows it's a valid possibility. Dr Haruna Sugahara from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in Yokohama, and Dr Koichi Mimura from Nagoya University built …
Iain Thomson, 18 Aug 2015

Comet confesses: The receivers are among us even now

Comet has finally confirmed that administrative receivers will be landing on its door step early next week. It is understood that Deloitte will review the options for the ailing retailer which include selling it as a going concern, scaling it back or liquidating it. A spinner at the chain told The Channel: "Comet Group Limited …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2012

Bargain! Desperate Comet SLASHES price of £4,400 iPod Nano

Pic Comet has generously slashed 97 per cent off the price of an Apple iPod Nano, touting the pocket-stroker at £129 rather than an eye-watering, er, £4,444. Until now the chain's clearance sale may not have impressed deal-hungry shoppers, but this saving was sadly too good to be true. The photo below shows a standard Nano model on …
Paul Kunert, 09 Nov 2012
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Taxpayers to cough for Comet staff redundo

The last stores of the once mighty High Street giant Comet are to close by tomorrow but the saga looks set to continue, with taxpayers potentially having to step in to cover redundancy costs. Administrative receiver Deloitte, called in by the ailing retailer's parent Hailey Acquisitions Ltd on 2 November, had been holding talks …
Paul Kunert, 17 Dec 2012
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Cashless Comet to close 41 stores, axe 500 jobs

Collapsed electricals retailer Comet is to shutter 41 stores over the next fortnight, administrator Deloitte has confirmed. So far Dixons Retail and Maplin are among the rivals circling the fallen retailer, although it appears the two are interested in just a handful of stores. As a result the closing down process began at 27 …
Paul Kunert, 19 Nov 2012

Cash-strapped Comet sheds ANOTHER 735 staff

Penniless Comet handed P45s to 735 workers in a second round of cuts across the business today, administrator Deloitte has confirmed. The list of casualties includes 603 employees in the home delivery network, which operates 12 UK hubs and will continue with a skeletal staff, and 132 head office and support roles. The cull, the …
Paul Kunert, 19 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Golden Leonids shower down as Earth rolls through comet's tail

Vids Amateur astronomers were out in force over the weekend to snap pics of The Leonids, an annual spectacular meteor shower. The Leonids stream down every year in mid-November. They are debris from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which visits the inner solar system every 33 years and leaves a stream of dusty space rocks called meteoroids …

Comet administrator Deloitte triggers ejector seats under 330 staff

Comet administrator Deloitte has swung the axe for the first time since it was brought in to take control of operations with 330 support staff getting the chop. Biz advisory outfit Deloitte confirmed 99 staff at the Rickmansworth HQ, 53 from the operation in Hull and 42 in the call centre in Clevedon were told of their fate on …
Paul Kunert, 12 Nov 2012

Deloitte in the saddle at Comet, seeking stability - and a buyer

Deloitte said its first task as Comet's administrative receiver is to steady the ship and then seek anyone interested buying an ailing veteran retailer, hamstrung by huge overheads and facing fierce competition from leaner online rivals. Good luck with that. After days of industry chatter, Comet finally called in the receivers …
Paul Kunert, 05 Nov 2012

Ailing Comet at last prayers: Cawing of accountants and VCs fills air

Beleaguered bricks and mortar retailer Comet is lurching toward administration with Deloite understood to be waiting in the wings. Parent Kesa Electricals offloaded Comet to OpCapita in November 2011 for a nominal fee of £2 but it was forced to hand over a £63m dowry for working capital purposes and retain the pension scheme. …
Paul Kunert, 01 Nov 2012
Santa Claus on his laptop

Santa brings Dixons £31m profits as ghost of Comet is laid to rest

Christmas has come early for the bosses of Dixons Retail Group, which has announced an encouraging boost in profits and sales. Dixons, which also owns Currys and PC World, said its sales were up thanks to steady cutting of less profitable subsidiaries. In the UK and Ireland, operating profits surged up to £31.4m, five times the …
Team Register, 17 Dec 2013

Comet train set for SMASH, staff can only hope to be in right carriage

Penniless Comet's network of UK stores is on the brink of break up as staff enter a "collective consultation" over potential redundancies. In a letter to the electrical chain's workers, administrator Deloitte warned that if it is unable to sell the business as a going concern, it will be forced to flog bits and pieces to …
Paul Kunert, 15 Nov 2012