COBS News archive

Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) approaches the Sun - UPDATE 2011-12-21
December 21, 2011
Thanks to Jakub Černý we had the chance to works on the FRAM team fits of December 17, 2011. We sorted and stacked the best V-filtered frames, and have done some image processing on it.

Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) approaches the Sun - UPDATE 2011-12-17
December 17, 2011
Surprisingly as it may seem, comet Lovejoy appears to have survived its close encounter with the Sun. Video and images relased by the NASAs Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) caught the comet reemerging on the other side of the Sun after its perihelion.

Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) approaches the Sun - UPDATE
December 16, 2011
Thanks to Karl, new STEREO-B, SECCHI fits dated back to December 13, 2011 are available. In spite of the fact that the image scale factor is a little small, its possible to appreciate the growing of a slight asymmetry of the coma (toward the north-east)

Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) approaches the Sun
December 15, 2011
Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy discovered on Nov. 27.7 his third comet, designated C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy). On our previous post about this comet you can see our follow-up image and animation.

NASAs Deep Impact Spacecraft Eyes the Future
December 08, 2011
NASAs Deep Impact spacecraft completed a 140-second firing of its onboard rocket motors on Thursday, Nov. 24. The rocket burn was performed to keep the venerable comet hunters options open for yet another exploration of a solar system small body.

C/2011 W3 (LOVEJOY) - Kreutz Sungrazing Comet
December 07, 2011
Cbet nr.2930, issued on 2011, December 02, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 13) by Terry Lovejoy on three CCD images obtained each on Nov. 27.7 and 29.7 UT with a Celestron 8 0.20-m f/2.1 Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector (+ QHY9 camera). The new comet has been designated C/2011 W3 (LOVEJOY).

New Comet: P/2011 W2 (RINNER)
December 01, 2011
Cbet nr.2922, issued on 2011, November 29, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 17.9) by Claudine Rinner on CCD images obtained on November 28, 2011 taken with a 0.5-m f/3 reflector located at the Oukaimeden Observatory near Marrakech, Morocco. The new comet has been designated P/2011 W2 (RINNER).

November 30, 2011
Cbet 2923, issued on 2011, November 30, reports that an apparently asteroidal object reported by the Spacewatch survey and designated 2010 UH55 by the Minor Planet Center last year, has been found to show cometary activity. The new designation is P/2010 UH55 (SPACEWATCH).

Recovery of comet 171P/Spahr
October 29, 2011
On October 19.5, 2011 we started an observing session to recover the periodic comet 171P/Spahr. T. B. Spahr (then at University of Arizona, Arizona, USA - now Director, Minor Planet Center) discovered this comet with the 0.41-m f/3 Schmidt telescope in the course of the Catalina Sky Survey on 1998 November 16.39.

New Comet: C/2011 U2 (BRESSI)
October 28, 2011
Cbet nr.2875, issued on 2011, October 26, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 19.4) by Terry H. Bressi on CCD images obtained on September 24, 2011 with the Spacewatch 0.9-m f/3 reflector at Kitt Peak. The new comet has been designated C/2011 U2 (BRESSI).

NASA Says Comet Elenin Gone and Should Be Forgotten
October 27, 2011
Latest indications are this relatively small comet has broken into even smaller, even less significant, chunks of dust and ice. This trail of piffling particles will remain on the same path as the original comet, completing its unexceptional swing through the inner solar system this fall.

Debris cloud of comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin)
October 25, 2011
The big problem imaging the debris of C/2010 X1 (Elenin), is the low S/N of the little cloud it left away. If you want to integrate enough, in order to increase the S/N of yours images, then you face the problem of the trailed stars that are crossing the field, producing an annoying interference with the faint cometary cloud.

Comet Storm in a Nearby Star System
October 23, 2011
NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope has detected signs of icy bodies raining down in an alien solar system. The downpour resembles our own solar system several billion years ago during a period known as the Late Heavy Bombardment, which may have brought water and other life-forming ingredients to Earth.

New Comet: P/2010 TO20 (LINEAR-GRAUER)
October 22, 2011
Cbet nr.2867, issued on 2011, October 21, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 19.1) by A. D. Grauer on CCD images obtained on September 19, 2011 with the Mount Lemmon 1.5-m reflector.

Another recovery attempt on C/2010 X1 (Elenin)
October 21, 2011
Today, we imaged again the field of C/2010 X1 (Elenin) remotely, from the GRAS network (Mayhill station, NM). We used two scopes, nearly simultaneously: the 254mm, f/3.4 reflector + CCD, and the 0.1m, f/5 APO refractor + CCD.

C/2010 X1 (Elenin) post solar conjunction recovery attempt
October 11, 2011
Recently we tried to image C/2010 X1 (Elenin) after its solar conjunction. The observing conditions for this comet are currently quite difficult: very low in the morning sky at twilight, within the zodiacal light pollution.

New Comet: C/2011 S2
October 05, 2011
Cbet nr.2852, issued on 2011, October 02, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 15.7) by R. A. Kowalski on CCD images obtained on September 30, 2011 with the Catalina Sky Surveys 0.68-m Schmidt reflector. The new comet has been designated C/2011 S2.

Bright Sungrazing Comet on October 01, 2011
October 04, 2011
A new bright comet diving into the Sun is visible right now (October 01, 2011) in C3 and C2 images taken by SOHO spacecraft. This object belong to the famous Kreutz-group, a family of sungrazing comets that are named after German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz who first studied them in the details.

Further fragmentation events in 213P/Van Ness
September 23, 2011
Stacking of 9 R-filtered exposures, 120-sec each, obtained remotely, from the Siding Spring-Faulkes Telescope South on 2011, September 20.6, through a 2.0-m f/10.0 Ritchey-Chretien + CCD, shows that fragment b of comet 213P is still visible, albeit very faint and diffuse (m2 about 21.5, coma diameter about 5-arcsec). Fragment b was located about 5.7 arcmin in PA 240 respect the main nuclear condensation of 213P/Van Ness.

New Comet: C/2011 S1 (GIBBS)
September 23, 2011
Cbet nr.2822, issued on 2011, September 21, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 21.2) by A. R. Gibbs on CCD images obtained on September 18, 2011 by Gibbs and S. F. Tornero with the Mt. Lemmon 1.5-m reflector. The new comet has been designated C/2011 S1 (GIBBS).