Posts tagged comet
...the aftermath of a cometary collision would be a scientific smorgasbord. If we ever needed to be “pushed” to send a manned mission to the surface of Mars, I can think of no better time than in the years after a massive comet strike.
While in its new higher elliptical orbit, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter may be trying to conserve fuel but it’s certainly not holding back on the amazing images!
The shot above — actually a mosaic of 8 separate images taken during 4 consecutive orbits — shows Giordano Bruno, a 21-km (13-mile) wide crater that may be the result of a comet or asteroid impact 10 million years ago. To us, that’s a long time — longer than humans have walked on Earth. But to a 4.5 billion-year-old Moon, that’s just yesterday!
See the full size zoomable mosaic here.
Astronomers using the Faulkes Telescope are first to re-image the comet before its Rosetta spacecraft meet-up in 2014.
With an obvious death wish, Comet Lovejoy is on a rather unfortunate voyage; it’s falling toward the sun.
Known as a Kreutz Sungrazing comet, or simply a “sungrazer,” C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) was discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy on Nov. 27, 2011.
It is expected to be closest to the sun RIGHT ABOUT NOW!!!