COBS News archive

Great Comet of 1680
June 08, 2011
C/1680 V1, also called the Great Comet of 1680, Kirchs Comet, and Newtons Comet, has the distinction of being the first comet discovered by telescope. Discovered by Gottfried Kirch on 14 November 1680, New Style, it became one of the brightest comets of the 17th century (reputedly visible even in daytime) and was noted for its spectacularly long tail.

New Comet: C/2011 L3 (McNAUGHT)
June 08, 2011
IAUC nr.9214, issued on 2011, June 06, announces the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 16.3) by Robert H. McNaught through the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt + CCD at Siding Spring, on images obtained on 2011, June 3.7. The new comet has been designated C/2011 L3 (McNAUGHT).

Outburst of 174P/Echeclus
June 03, 2011
After reading on the [Comets-ml] forum about a possible outburst of centaur 174P/Echeclus, we performed some follow-up remotely, from the Tzec Maun Observatory (near Moorook, Australia).

New comet C/2011 K1 (Schwartz-Holvorcem)
June 01, 2011
C/2011 K1 (Schwartz-Holvorcem) was discovered on 2011, May 26.25 by M. Schwartz and P. Holvorcem with the 0.41-m f/3.75 astrograph + CCD from Tenagra Observatory, Arizona, USA.

New comet P/2011 JB15 (Spacewatch-Boattini)
June 01, 2011
P/2011 JB15 (Spacewatch-Boattini) was originally discovered as an asteroid by Spacewatch team using the 0.90-m f/3 reflector + CCD from Kitt Peak, Arizona – USA, on 2011, May 8 and 12, and designated by the Minor Planet Center 2011 JB15.

New Comet: C/2011 J3 (LINEAR)
May 25, 2011
IAUC nr.9209, issued on 2011, May 20, announced the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 19.7) by the LINEAR survey through their 1.0-m f/2.15 reflector + CCD, on images obtained on 2011, May 14.3 The new comet has been designated C/2011 J3 (LINEAR).

Researchers gain new insights into Comet Hartley 2
May 18, 2011
A tumbling comet nucleus with a changing rotational rate has been observed for the first time, according to a new paper by a Planetary Science Institute researcher.

Bright Sungrazing Comet on May 10-11, 2011
May 17, 2011
A new bright comet diving into the Sun has been discovered on May. 09 by amateur astronomer Sergey Shurpakov using the images taken by SOHO spacecraft.

New Comet: C/2011 J2 (LINEAR)
May 12, 2011
CBET nr.2714, issued on 2011, May 07, announced the discovery of a new comet (discovery magnitude 19.7) by the LINEAR survey through their 1.0-m f/2.15 reflector + CCD, on images obtained on 2011, May 04.2 The new comet has been designated C/2011 J2 (LINEAR).

New Comet: C/2011 H1 (Lemmon)
May 11, 2011
IAUC nr.9206, issued on 2011, May 05, announced the discovery of an apparently asteroidal object (discovery magnitude 19.7) by Alex R. Gibbs on CCD images taken on April 26.3 with the Mt. Lemmon 1.5-m reflector. Gibbs suspected that this object might show slight cometary appearance.

Comet Elenin: Preview of a Coming Attraction
May 05, 2011
You may have heard the news: Comet Elenin is coming to the inner-solar system this fall. Comet Elenin (also known by its astronomical name C/2010 X1), was first detected on Dec. 10, 2010 by Leonid Elenin, an observer in Lyubertsy, Russia, who made the discovery remotely using the ISON-NM observatory near Mayhill, New Mexico.

C/2011 C1 (McNaught)
April 20, 2011
It seems the past couple of years have seen a bright Comet McNaught and this year is no different. The 58th comet discovery by Rob McNaught and 74th from Siding Spring Observatory, C/2011 C1 was first seen on February 10th of this year.

Frozen Comets Watery Past: Discovery Challenges Paradigm of Comets as Dirty Snowballs Frozen in Time
April 07, 2011
For the first time, scientists have found convincing evidence for the presence of liquid water in a comet, shattering the current paradigm that comets never get warm enough to melt the ice that makes up the bulk of their material.

NASAs Venerable Comet Hunter Wraps Up Mission
March 25, 2011
At 33 minutes after 4 p.m. PDT today, NASAs Stardust spacecraft finished its last transmission to Earth. The transmission came on the heels of the venerable spacecrafts final rocket burn, which was designed to provide insight into how much fuel remained aboard after its encounter with comet Tempel 1 in February.

NASA Releases Images of Man-Made Crater on Comet
February 16, 2011
NASAs Stardust spacecraft returned new images of a comet showing a scar resulting from the 2005 Deep Impact mission. The images also showed the comet has a fragile and weak nucleus.

Comet Hunters First Images on the Ground
February 16, 2011
Mission controllers at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., have begun receiving the first of 72 anticipated images of comet Tempel 1 taken by NASAs Stardust spacecraft.

New bright comet C/2011 C1 (Mcnaught)
February 15, 2011
C/2011 C1 is the 58th comet found by Robert H. McNaught, the most prolific comet discoverer of all time. It was discovered on 2011, Feb. 10.71 with the 0.5-m Uppsala Schmidt telescope + CCD during the course of the Siding Spring Survey (E12).

The Two Faces of Tempel 1
February 15, 2011
Just one year before its Feb. 14 encounter with comet Tempel 1, NASAs Stardust spacecraft performed the largest rocket burn of its extended life. With the spacecraft on the opposite side of the solar system and beyond the orbit of Mars, the comet hunters rockets fired for 22 minutes and 53 seconds, changing the spacecrafts speed by 24 meters per second (54 mph).

NASAs Stardust Spacecraft Completes Comet Flyby
February 15, 2011
Mission controllers at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., watched as data downlinked from the Stardust spacecraft indicated it completed its closest approach with comet Tempel 1. An hour after closest approach, the spacecraft turned to point its large, high-gain antenna at Earth.

NASAs Stardust-NExT: Valentines Night Comet Flyby
February 14, 2011
NASAs Stardust-NExT mission spacecraft is within a quarter-million miles (402,336 kilometers) of its quarry, comet Tempel 1, which it will fly by tonight. The spacecraft is cutting the distance with the comet at a rate of about 10.9 kilometers per second (6.77 miles per second or 24,000 mph).