Articles about comet

oumuamua

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

Pic 'Oumuamua, the odd elongated cigar-shaped interstellar object zipping through the Solar System, continues to flummox scientists. What is that thing? At first, there were a group of fantasists who believed it was an alien starship. Those claims were quickly debunked by researchers who classified it as an interstellar asteroid …
Katyanna Quach, 28 Jun 2018
asteroid

NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting, surviving asteroid hits

The US government has published a report detailing how to prepare for the danger of impacts from asteroids that stray too close to Earth in the next ten years. Classified as near-earth objects (NEOs), these are a group of bodies in the Solar System that are less than 1.3 astronomical units – the distance between the Earth and …
Katyanna Quach, 21 Jun 2018
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Comet 67P's cute rubber duck shape perfect for causing eruptions

Scientists have found that the jets of ice and dust wafting from comet 67P are down to the way sunlight beams hits its unique rubber ducky shaped surface. In a paper published in Nature, a group of astronomers studied why the sublimation process was concentrated into jets instead of a homogenous cloud of material. A plume of …
Katyanna Quach, 24 May 2018

Hubble spies most distant comet zipping through Solar System

The Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a picture of the farthest-away inbound comet, at a whopping 1.5 billion miles from Earth. It's a strange find. The comet – codenamed C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS, or K2 for short – has already become active. It is developing a vast 80,000-mile-wide halo of dust as its surface sublimes, despite …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Sep 2017
wow

Has riddle of the 1977 'Wow!' signal finally been cracked? Maybe...

Updated The mystery of the "Wow!" signal, a radio burst recorded from outer space in the 1970s, may been solved. Or not. Not everyone is convinced. The 72-second signal was spotted at 1,420MHz on August 15, 1977 by Astronomer Jerry Ehman at Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope. It was so clear that he scribbled Wow! in the …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jun 2017
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Now THAT'S a landslide victory: Astroboffins snap avalanche on a comet in science first

Pics Scientists have seen a landslide on a comet for the first time ever, it was announced on Tuesday. Images captured by the Rosetta space probe show a 134-metre (439-foot) cliff – nicknamed Aswan – on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko crumbling away to reveal the spotless icy interior hiding under its surface. The …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Mar 2017
Sleeping man on couch with a beer , popcorn and a food-stained vest. Photo by Shutterstock

Retired Philae lander slouches on Comet 67P

The European Space Agency's (ESA) obsolete robotic lander Philae has been spotted lying on its side in the dark depths of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as the Rosetta mission nears completion. The images were snapped on 2 September by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on board the spacecraft, which has orbited the comet within …
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

We'll smash probe into comet 300 million miles away for kicks, er, sorry, ... for science

The European Space Agency (ESA) has set the date for the Rosetta probe's deathday and says that on September 30 the spacecraft will crash into the comet it has been orbiting for nearly two years. With Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko more than 300 million miles from Earth and heading out toward Jupiter, the spacecraft's solar …
Iain Thomson, 1 Jul 2016

Philae comet lander officially dead

Scientists have glumly concluded that the Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is almost certainly dead, and have given up trying to contact the spacecraft. Boffins have been trying to re-establish communications with the lander since July last year, when sporadic transmissions from the comet's surface were cut. …
Lester Haines, 12 Feb 2016
German Aerospace Center depiction of Philae on Comet 67/P

Now we know why Philae phouled up comet landing

Exactly a year ago, mankind's first ever attempt to land on a comet did not go according to plan - and the European Space Agency (ESA) has just released a report explaining why. The Philae lander was carried for 10 years on the Rosetta probe as it built up speed and approached Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. But when it was …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2015

SOHO solar scope spies 3000th 'sungrazer' comet

One Worachate Boonplod of Thailand has been honoured as the person who spotted the 3,000th comet revealed to date by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). The 3,000th comet spotted by SOHO. Pic: NASA Comet 3,000 ahoy. Pic: ESA/NASA SOHO was launched in 1995 to observe the Sun's atmosphere and solar wind. Although …
Lester Haines, 17 Sep 2015
Amateur astronomer Waldemar Skorupa recorded this image from Kahler Asten, in Germany, on November 16, 2013. Credit: Waldemar Skorupa (Kahler Asten, Germany), via spaceweather.com

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

What a shower: METEORS will BLAZE a FIERY TRAIL across our skies

The BBC is pulling its annual trick of promising skygazers a "dazzling display" of Perseid meteors this week, as the Earth passes through the trail of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. Peak meteor activity will be tomorrow night (Wednesday August 12) from around 2300 UK time, and enthusiasts can expect "at least one every few …
Lester Haines, 11 Aug 2015
Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P

ALIEN SLIME SHOCKER: Approaching comet probably NOT inhabited, say boffins

The Rosetta probe's Earth-bound shepherds have sternly stated that suggestions of alien life within comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko - around which the probe is in orbit - are "pure speculation". Let us put aside the conflict humanity will eventually face if and when we do encounter alien life for a later date, and report …
Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P

Dormant ALIEN SLIME LIFE frozen in SPEEDING comet will AWAKEN - boffins

Top astrobiologists say that the approaching comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko could be loaded with slumbering alien organisms capable of living on Earth, which will wake up and become active as the frosty spaceball comes nearer and nearer to the Sun. Dr Max Wallace and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe say that data from the …
Lewis Page, 6 Jul 2015
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, 1 Jul 2015
German Aerospace Center depiction of Philae on Comet 67/P

Kamikaze Rosetta probe to ram comet it's chased for billions of miles

The European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe will continue to study Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko until September 2016 – after which the craft will be sent crashing into the mysterious rock. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko The latest image of the comet from Rosetta The Rosetta mission is at least a decade-old, and it …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2015
67P_Churyumov_Gerasimenko_August_8th

Update - Boffins: COMETS are like FRIED ICE CREAM. Mmm

Boffins working for Caltech and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have created comet-like stuff in a cryostat. Along the way, they've decided that your average comet is kind of like fried ice-cream: squishy on the inside, crusty on the outside, with organic chemicals dusted on top. Both the ESA's Rosetta and NASA's Deep Impact …

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