Comets and asteroids

tst

Once in a lifetime: Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) shines bright, joins the ISS and noctilucent clouds - observing tips, live show

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) has survived its close encounter with the Sun and is currently observable from the northern hemisphere with the naked eye. To receive this celestial gift, get up before dawn, look to the NNE and see it before the Sun takes over, or wait a...

July 08, 2020

neowise july 2020 6 2

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) now seen by naked eye, set to make closest approach to Earth on July 23

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) is set to make its closest approach to Earth on July 23, 2020, when it will pass at a distance of 0.69 AU. Some experienced observers under clear skies have already reported spotting the comet with the naked eye. The comet was discovered on...

July 07, 2020

SOHO 4000 june 15 2020 2

SOHO discovers its 4 000th comet

A citizen scientist from Europe discovered SOHO's 4 000th comet in the spacecraft's 25-year history. SOHO -- Solar and Heliospheric Observatory -- jointly operated by NASA and ESA since 1995. The comet was discovered on June 15, 2020, and is currently...

June 17, 2020

solar orbiter passing through the tail of comet atlas

STEREO-A records Solar Orbiter crossing the ion tail of Comet ATLAS

ESA's Solar Orbiter spacecraft passed through the ion tail of Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) on May 31 and June 1, 2020, and through its dust tail on June 6. This is the 7th space mission to fly through the tail of a comet, and the first one whose upcoming crossing was...

June 07, 2020

comet may 27 2020

'First-of-its-kind' cross between asteroid and comet discovered near Jupiter's orbit

Astronomers at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy (UH IfA) have spotted a new asteroid with a comet-like tail moving in the same orbit as Jupiter. These objects are usually called Trojan asteroids, but this one was described to be the first one...

May 31, 2020

asteroid ryugu may 16 2020 2

Hayabusa-2 reveals more secrets about the dynamic history of asteroid Ryugu

Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa-2 has reported new observations of Ryugu, revealing more secrets about the object's remarkable history-- particularly signs of a close encounter with the Sun. Hayabusa-2 launched in December 2014 and reached Ryugu in 2018. In...

May 19, 2020

comet swan may 2 2020 damian peach

Powerful outburst from Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN)

Astronomers monitoring Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) spotted a powerful outburst from the comet on May 5. Such outbursts usually indicate a fragmentation, but scientists are hopeful that this could just be a volatile comet. The comet is approaching Earth and the Sun-- its...

May 08, 2020

osiris rex may 6 2020 ft img

OSIRIS-REx succeeds in sampling rehearsal, taking a step closer to asteroid Bennu

NASA's OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) has successfully descended down to just 75 m (246 feet) above the surface asteroid Bennu in a risky rehearsal to prepare the spacecraft before it collects...

May 07, 2020

comet c2020 f8 swan by damian peach f

Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) rapidly brightening, now visible to naked eye

Approaching Comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) has become bright enough that it is already visible to the naked eye. As of 14:30 UTC on April 30, 2020, the comet is 115 million km (71 million miles) away from Earth, with a magnitude of 6.0. The comet appears like a bright fuzz...

April 30, 2020

atlas fragments april 29 2020

Hubble telescope captures comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) crumbling into 25 pieces

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest view of Comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS disintegrating into pieces. About 30 fragments were identified on April 20, but just three days later on April 23, the telescope spotted only 25. "Their appearance...

April 29, 2020

asteroid 1998 OR2

Large asteroid 1998 OR2 to flyby Earth at 16.36 LD on April 29

A large asteroid designated 1998 OR2 is expected to flyby Earth at 16.36 LD / 0.04205 AU (6.2 million km / 3.9 million miles) at 09:56 UTC on April 29, 2020. 1998 OR2 was discovered at Haleakala in Hawaii on July 24, 1998, by NASA and the Jet Propulsion...

April 26, 2020

interstellar asteroid april 24 2020

First interstellar asteroid population discovered

A new study has identified the first known permanent set of asteroids originating from outside our solar system. These are believed to have been captured from other stars billions of years ago, orbiting the Sun in disguise ever since. The findings came more than two...

April 24, 2020

comet atlas april 16 2020 ft img

Tracking down the comets - C/2020 F8 (SWAN), C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) and C/2017 T2 (PanSTARRS)

Although Comet Atlas (C/2019 Y4) continues fading and fragmenting, newly-found comet C/2020 F8 (SWAN) has been found to be brightening firmly. Meanwhile, C/2017 T2 (PanSTARRS) is holding steady at 8th magnitude and a new Comet Atlas -- C/2019 Y1 -- discovered on...

April 17, 2020

atlas ft img april 12 2020

Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) disintegrates, at least three fragments recorded

Newly-discovered comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) has broken up before its much-anticipated show, with at least three fragments observed on Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12, 2020. ATLAS was discovered on December 28, 2019, in the constellation of Ursa Major. Over the...

April 13, 2020

atlas march 26 2020 5 ft img

Approaching comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) rapidly brightening-- may be visible to naked eye soon

A newly-discovered comet named C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) is now crossing the orbit of Mars as it makes its way toward the Sun. The object has been brightening so rapidly since its discovery on December 28, 2019, that some astronomers believe it will be visible to the naked...

March 26, 2020

fireball belgium march 18 2020 ft img

Bright fireball over Belgium, meteorites possible

A bright fireball exploded over Belgium at 02:04 UTC on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The International Meteor Organization (IMO) received 6 reports from eyewitnesses including those in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany. According to IMO, the meteoroid entered...

March 24, 2020

abu hureyra location

Researchers find more evidence of catastrophic cosmic impact 12 800 years ago

A group of researchers discovered more evidence of a catastrophic cosmic impact around 12 800 years ago that possibly caused the total destruction of Abu Hureyra in Syria. The site is believed to be one of the first towns on Earth where hunter-gatherers and nomads...

March 09, 2020