COBS News archive

Stardust-NExT: Heading Into the Bonus Round - In Space
February 11, 2011
A bonus round is something one usually associates with the likes of a TV game show, not a pioneering deep space mission.

Stardust Celebrates Twelve Years With Rocket Burn
February 09, 2011
NASAs Stardust spacecraft marked its 12th anniversary in space on Monday, Feb. 7, with a rocket burn to further refine its path toward a Feb. 14 date with a comet.

NASA Stardust Adjusts Flight Path for Comet Meetup
February 02, 2011
Just over two weeks before its flyby of comet Tempel 1, NASAs Stardust spacecraft fired its thrusters to help refine its flight path toward the comet. The Stardust-NExT mission will fly past comet Tempel 1 on Valentines Day (Feb. 14, 2011).

Comet Observing Planner
February 01, 2011
A new Comet Observing Planner tool has been added to the COBS website.

NASAs NEOWISE Completes Scan for Asteroids and Comets
February 01, 2011
NASAs NEOWISE mission has completed its survey of small bodies, asteroids and comets, in our solar system. The missions discoveries of previously unknown objects include 20 comets, more than 33,000 asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, and 134 near-Earth objects (NEOs). The NEOs are asteroids and comets with orbits that come within 45 million kilometers (28 million miles) of Earths path around the sun.

NASA Comet Hunter Spots Its Valentine
January 27, 2011
NASAs Stardust spacecraft has downlinked its first images of comet Tempel 1, the target of a flyby planned for Valentines Day, Feb. 14. The images were taken on Jan. 18 and 19 from a distance of 26.3 million kilometers (16.3 million miles), and 25.4 million kilometers (15.8 million miles) respectively. On Feb. 14, Stardust will fly within about 200 kilometers (124 miles) of the comets nucleus.

NASA Spacecraft prepares for Valentins Day Comet rendezvous
January 21, 2011
NASAs Stardust-NExT spacecraft is nearing a celestial date with comet Tempel 1 at approximately 11:37 p.m. EST, on Feb. 14. The mission will allow scientists for the first time to look for changes on a comets surface that occurred following an orbit around the sun.

New comet C/2011 A3 (Gibbs)
January 18, 2011
Comet C/2011 A3 (Gibbs) was discovered on 2011, Jan. 15.51 by Alex Gibbs (during the course of the Catalina Sky Survey) in four 22-sec exposures taken with the 0.68-m Schmidt on Mt.Bigelow.

Sundiving Comet Storm
January 14, 2011
The sun has just experienced a storm—not of explosive flares and hot plasma, but of icy comets.

A Valentines Day Return to Comet Tempel 1
January 13, 2011
On February 14, 2011, NASAs Stardust-NExT (New Exploration of Tempel 1) mission will encounter Comet Tempel 1, providing a unique opportunity to measure the dust properties of two separate comets (Wild 2 and Tempel 1) with the same instrument for accurate data comparison. The encounter will also provide a comparison between two observations of a single comet, Tempel 1, taken before and after a single orbital pass around the sun.

SOHO Spots 2,000th Comet
December 29, 2010
As people on Earth celebrate the holidays and prepare to ring in the New Year, an ESA/NASA spacecraft has quietly reached its own milestone: on December 26, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) discovered its 2000th comet.

COBS - New analysis feature 2
December 27, 2010
A new feature has been added to COBS analysis page enabling the observer to plot the date of perihelion on the lightcurve graph.

Bright Prospects for Comet Elenin?
December 26, 2010
It does not look like much now — just a 19th-magnitude smudge tucked away in southwestern Virgo — but a newly discovered comet could become something special 10 months from now.

UA Catalina Sky Survey Discovers Possible Extinct Comet
December 24, 2010
The extraterrestrial rock is tumbling through space alongside thousands of similar objects in our solar systems main asteroid belt, roughly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Comet-like appearance of main belt asteroid (596) Scheila
December 19, 2010
S. Larson reports that images of the main-belt minor planet (596) show the object to be in apparent outburst with a comet-like appearance.

COBS - New analysis feature
November 17, 2010
A new feature has been added to COBS analysis page enabling the observer to filter the observation data by observation type.

Comet C/2010 U3 (Boattini)
November 07, 2010
A. Boattini reports his discovery of a faint comet with a moderately diffuse coma that is 6"-7" wide and a central condensation that is about 3"-4" in size on four 30-s co-added CCD exposures taken with the Mt. Lemmon 1.5-m reflector in Arizona.

EPOXI Visits Hartley 2
November 05, 2010
This morning EPOXI, the spacecraft formerly known as Deep Impact, flew within 435 miles (700 km) of the nucleus of Comet 103P/Hartley 2. Images taken during the encounter are being downloaded from the spacecraft throughout the day. A few of the images have been released by the EPOXI team and can be found here.

COMET 2010 V1
November 04, 2010
S. Nakano, Sumoto, Japan, reports the visual discovery of a comet independently by Kaoru Ikeya ...

Unexpected Complex Behaviour in Dust Production of Periodic Comet 103P/Hartley
November 03, 2010
Under the scope of CARA project, comet 103P/Hartley is continuously monitored by a group of dedicated observers, using small and medium size remote telescopes, now available worldwide.