Comet Pan-STARRS, which is currently dazzling the night skies in the southern hemisphere, will reach its closest approach to the Earth today, and within the next few days, it will climb above the western horizon for those living in the northern hemisphere.
Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) was discovered in June 2011 using the University of Hawaii’s Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS). Astronomers initially predicted that it would be a very bright comet, but up until last week, it was falling well short of expectations. However, as Pan-STARRS flew past the orbit of Mercury, it brightened significantly, finally living up to the astronomer’s hopes.
The comet became visible Read more…
A newly discovered asteroid the size of a football field will cruise through Earth’s neighborhood this weekend, just days after another space rock made an even closer approach to our planet.
The 330-foot-wide (100 meters) asteroid 2013 ET will miss Earth by 600,000 miles (960,000 kilometers) when it zips by on Saturday (March 9). The space rock flyby will come just days after the 33-foot (10 m) asteroid 2013 EC approached within 230,000 miles (370,000 km) of us early Monday (March 4).
When asteroid 2013 ET passes Earth, it will be at a range equivalent to 2.5 times the distance between the planet and the moon, making it too faint and far away for most stargazers to spot in the night sky. But the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, run by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, will webcast a live telescope view of the space rock’s flyby on Friday (March 8), beginning at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT). You can access the free broadcast here:
There is no danger that 2013 ET will hit Earth, researchers say, just as 2013 EC posed no threat. But their flybys are slightly Read more…
A newly found asteroid, 2013 EC can be seen in the lower left corner of the red box in this image. Screen capture from Virtual Telescope webcast on 3/3/2013.
A newly found asteroid will pass just inside the orbit of the Moon, with its closest approach on March 4, 2013 at 07:35 UTC. Named 2013 EC, the asteroid is about the size of the space rock that exploded over Russia two and a half weeks ago, somewhere between 10-17 meters wide. The asteroid that sparked the Russian meteor is estimated to have been about 17 meters wide when it entered Earth’s atmosphere.
2013 EC was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon Observatory in Arizona on March 2. There is no chance this asteroid will hit Earth.
2013 EC will come within 396,000 kilometers from Earth, (246,000 miles, or around 1.0 lunar distances, 0.0026 AU.
The Moon’s distance from the Earth varies between Read more…
Night turned briefly into day over a wide area in California and Nevada at 5:21:44 a.m. PST on Thursday morning January 17th, creating hopes of another extraterrestrial surprise delivery of meteorites, but this bright fireball did not drop meteorites on the ground. This was a head-on collision with a small perhaps 1-meter sized comet, rather than the glancing blow of a stronger asteroid. The comet matter was almost instantly turned into dust and gas.
Sunnyvale record of the January 17 fireball. The beginning of the meteor trajectory is visible right of the bright flash that originated well below the field of view.
The fireball that lit up the predawn Northern California sky in late January was a small comet that hit Earth head-on when Read more…
An asteroid will come close to the earth on February 15, according to Birla Science Centre here.
“This is the first near-earth asteroid to pass so close to the earth”, said B M Birla Science Centre Director Dr B G Sidharth said in a release here.
The asteroid ’2012 DA 14′ measures about 50 metres and would swoop to about 27,000 km near earth or roughly about one tenth the distance to moon, he said.
For the second time in less than four months, amateur astronomer Gary Hug, of Scranton, has discovered an asteroid that could one day pass close to Earth. The asteroid was found on the evening of Jan. 6 as Hug was searching for another object listed on the NEOCP (Near Earth Object Confirmation Page).
The asteroid discovered by Hug was first noticed on the west edge of the field of vision provided by the camera he had attached to his telescope.
“It was traveling too slow for most satellites but moving about 10 times faster than main belt asteroids,” he explained, noting that main belt asteroids were those found between Mars and Jupiter.
After determining that the asteroid he found wasn’t one that had been seen before, he ran a brief analysis of it and then reported his find to the Minor Planet Center.
“Within 15 minutes, this asteroid was listed on the NEOCP at the Minor Planet Center,” Hug said. “A few hours later, another Read more…
As per a new image provided by the Herschel Space Observatory, it has been revealed that Betelgeuse, one of the star’s in Orion constellation is going to crash in 5,000 years. The information about the same has been provided by the NASA, which has also unveiled that the star is the going to crash with a cosmic wall.
Experts said that the orange-red star is quite a bright star and its collision will definitely prove costly. It has been said so as the star is already started shedding a large amount of its exterior most layer. The shedding was visible in the Hershel’s picture as well.
The picture has also showed the effect of star’s fierce winds. It has been found that the winds have been causing whipping around the nearby space. It has also been seen that the dusty debris lies around the star.
Experts have predicted that it will take 5,000 years for the outer arc of the star to crash. If to talk about the whole star, then it will take approximately 12,500 years. Astronomers said that the star has swelled up and has been shedding a lot of fraction of its outermost layer. This has made sure that its collision will be a supernova explosion. Read more…
This diagram shows the orbit of the exoplanet Fomalhaut b as calculated from recent Hubble Space Telescope observations. The planet follows a highly elliptical orbit that carries it across a wide belt of debris encircling the bright star Fomalhaut. The planet swings as close to its star as 4.6 billion miles, and the outermost point of its orbit is 27 billion miles away from the star. The orbital period is approximately 2,000 years.
Newly released NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of a vast debris disk encircling the nearby star Fomalhaut and a mysterious planet circling it may provide forensic evidence of a titanic planetary disruption in the system.
Astronomers are surprised to find the debris belt is wider than previously known, spanning a Read more…
Researchers using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) have captured new images of a ring of gas and dust seven light-years in diameter surrounding the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and of a neighboring cluster of extremely luminous young stars embedded in dust cocoons.
The images of our galaxy’s circumnuclear ring (CNR) and its neighboring quintuplet cluster (QC) are the subjects of two posters presented this week during the American Astronomical Society’s meeting in Long Beach, Calif. Ryan Lau of Cornell University and his collaborators studied the CNR. Matt Hankins of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway is lead author of the other paper, regarding the QC.
A comet discovered by two Russian astronomers will be visible from Earth next year. Get ready for a once-in-a lifetime light show, says David Whitehouse
At the moment it is a faint object, visible only in sophisticated telescopes as a point of light moving slowly against the background stars. It doesn’t seem much – a frozen chunk of rock and ice – one of many moving in the depths of space. But this one is being tracked with eager anticipation by astronomers from around the world, and in a year everyone could know its name.
Comet Ison could draw millions out into the dark to witness what could be the brightest comet seen in many generations – brighter even than the full Moon.
It was found as a blur on an electronic image of the night sky taken through a telescope at the Kislovodsk Observatory in Russia as part of a project to survey the sky looking for comets and asteroids – chunks of rock and ice that litter space. Astronomers Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok were expecting to use the Read more…