Comets TOP STORY

Solar Orbiter Catches A Second Comet By The Tail

© ESA

comet ATLAS

For the second time in its mission so far, the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft has flown through the tail of a comet.


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Comets TOP STORIES

NRL's SoloHi Catches Stunning Views Of 'Christmas Comet' Leonard Flyby

© NASA

Mars Imaged by Hubble

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory evaluate early data the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter spacecraft sent back to Earth as it observes comet Leonard, a mass of space dust, rock and ice just over half a mile across (1 kilometer) as it heads inbound to the sun.

Comets' Heads Can Be Green, But Never Their Tails. We Finally Know Why

Comets' Heads Can Be Green, But Never Their Tails. We Finally Know Why

Every so often, the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud throw galactic snowballs made up of ice, dust and rocks our way: 4.6-billion-year-old leftovers from the formation of the solar system.


Views of Comet Leonard from Two Sun-Watching Spacecraft

Views of Comet Leonard from Two Sun-Watching Spacecraft

When Comet Leonard, a mass of space dust, rock and ice about a half-mile (1 kilometer) wide, makes its closest pass of the Sun on Jan. 3, 2022, it will be a journey 40,000 years in the making.


The Largest Comet Ever Observed Was Active At Near-record Distance

The Largest Comet Ever Observed Was Active At Near-record Distance

UMD astronomers discovered that comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is among the most distant active comets from the sun, providing key information about its composition.


Vast Patches Of Glassy Rock In Chilean Desert Likely Created By Ancient Exploding Comet

Vast Patches Of Glassy Rock In Chilean Desert Likely Created By Ancient Exploding Comet

Around 12,000 years ago, something scorched a vast swath of the Atacama Desert in Chile with heat so intense that it turned the sandy soil into widespread slabs of silicate glass.


To Watch A Comet Form, A Spacecraft Could Tag Along For A Journey Toward The Sun

To Watch A Comet Form, A Spacecraft Could Tag Along For A Journey Toward The Sun

Deep in the solar system, between Jupiter and Neptune, lurk thousands of small chunks of ice and rock.


Interstellar Comets Like Borisov May Not Be All That Rare

Interstellar Comets Like Borisov May Not Be All That Rare

In 2019, astronomers spotted something incredible in our backyard: a rogue comet from another star system. Named Borisov, the icy snowball traveled 110,000 miles per hour and marked the first and only interstellar comet ever detected by humans.


Comet Atlas May Have Been a Blast From the Past

Comet Atlas May Have Been a Blast From the Past

It's suspected that about 5,000 years ago a comet swept within 23 million miles of the Sun, closer than the innermost planet Mercury. The comet might have been a spectacular sight to civilizations across Eurasia and North Africa at the end of the Stone Age.


The Dusty Remains Of Comet ATLAS

The Dusty Remains Of Comet ATLAS

A serendipitous flythrough of the tail of a disintegrated comet has offered scientists a unique opportunity to study these remarkable structures, in new research presented today at the National Astronomy Meeting 2021.


Giant Comet Found in Outer Solar System by Dark Energy Survey

Giant Comet Found in Outer Solar System by Dark Energy Survey

A giant comet from the outskirts of our Solar System has been discovered in 6 years of data from the Dark Energy Survey.


Rare 4000-Year Comets Can Cause Meteor Showers on Earth

Rare 4000-Year Comets Can Cause Meteor Showers on Earth

Comets that circle the Sun in very elongated orbits spread their debris so thin along their orbit or eject it out of the solar system altogether that their meteor showers are hard to detect.


A Burnt-out Comet Is Covered With Talcum Powder

A Burnt-out Comet Is Covered With Talcum Powder

The world's first ground-based observations of the bare nucleus of a comet nearing the end of its active life revealed that the nucleus has a diameter of 800 meters and is covered with large grains of phyllosilicate; on Earth large grains of phyllosilicate are commonly available as talcum powder.


First Interstellar Comet May Be The Most Pristine Ever Found

First Interstellar Comet May Be The Most Pristine Ever Found

New observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) indicate that the rogue comet 2I/Borisov, which is only the second and most recently detected interstellar visitor to our Solar System, is one of the most pristine ever observed.


Comet Makes A Pit Stop Near Jupiter's Asteroids

Comet Makes A Pit Stop Near Jupiter's Asteroids

After traveling several billion miles toward the Sun, a wayward young comet-like object orbiting among the giant planets has found a temporary parking place along the way.


Recently Discovered Comet Seen During 2020 Total Solar Eclipse

Recently Discovered Comet Seen During 2020 Total Solar Eclipse

As Chile and Argentina witnessed the total solar eclipse on Dec. 14, 2020, unbeknownst to skywatchers, a little tiny speck was flying past the Sun -- a recently discovered comet.


Comet 2019 LD2 (ATLAS) Found to Be Actively Transitioning

Comet 2019 LD2 (ATLAS) Found to Be Actively Transitioning

A comet discovered last year is offering scientists new insights into how these objects "turn on" and evolve, as it actually transitions out of the Centaur population and into the Jupiter family of comets (JFCs), according to a paper by Planetary Science Institute Research Scientist Jordan Steckloff.


Ancient Ice on Rosetta's Comet 'Fluffier Than Cappuccino Froth'

Ancient Ice on Rosetta's Comet 'Fluffier Than Cappuccino Froth'

After years of detective work, scientists working on the European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta mission have now been able to locate where the Philae lander made its second and penultimate contact with the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014, before finally coming to a halt 30 metres away.



More top stories from January.