Comets and asteroids

comet encke on soho lasco c3 image at 10 30 march 11 2017

Comet Encke swings around the Sun as seen by solar observatory

For the past couple of days, Comet 2P/Encke is visible through the eyes of ESA/NASA solar observatory SOHO as it swings around the Sun. The comet made its closest approach to the Sun - perihelion - at 02:11 UTC on March 10, 2017. Encke is a periodic comet that...

March 13, 2017

sungrazing comet taking a plunge into the sun

Bright sungrazing comet taking a plunge into the Sun

A new, bright sungrazing comet appeared in SOHO LASCO C3 imagery around 17:40 UTC on March 2, 2017 and his death dive is still visible today, available to be tracked almost in real-time. The comet will hopefully appear in LASCO C2 imagery before it vaporizes. ...

March 03, 2017

Comet 45P Honda Mrkos Pajdusakova

Comet 45P to flyby Earth on February 11, 2017

After more than 5 years, Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, also known as the Green Comet, will make another close approach to Earth. It can be seen using small telescopes, but 45P has lost its tail after it passed the perihelion (closest approach to the Sun)....

February 08, 2017

the OSIRIS REx spacecraft searching for Earth Trojan asteroids

Search party for Earth-Trojans starts in February 2017

The University of Arizona-led OSIRIS-REx mission will utilize the data collected during its two-year long mission to the Bennu asteroid in an attempt to search for elusive Earth-Trojan asteroids. Trojan asteroids accompany the planets during their journey around the...

December 21, 2016

dawn spacecraft asteroid vesta f

Water on asteroid Psyche baffles astronomers

Scientists today are expressing their astonishment over the detection of water-deposits on an asteroid that is thought to be pure metal. The asteroid is called 16 Psyche, and it’s believed to be on of the ten most-massive asteroids in the asteroid belt. Psyche...

November 30, 2016

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Close-up look at disintegrating Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

Hubble Space Telescope has captured one of the sharpest, most detailed observations of a comet breaking apart, which occurred 108 million km (67 million miles) from Earth. Hubble took the images over a three-day span in January 2016 and revealed 25 building-size...

September 16, 2016

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Asteroid 2016 QA2 makes exceptionally close Earth flyby hours after discovery

Asteroid 2016 QA2 made an exceptionally close flyby of our planet at 01:24 UTC on August 28, 2016, just hours after it was discovered. Its estimated size is 34 meters (111.5 feet), between 16 and 52 meters (52 - 170 feet). This is about twice as big as the asteroid...

August 29, 2016


Bright Kreutz sungrazer plunges into the Sun

A new Kreutz family sungrazing comet appeared in SOHO's LASCO C3 coronagraph imagery around 00:40 UTC on August 2, 2016. The comet made its closest approach to the Sun around 05:15 UTC on August 4, becoming one of SOHO's top 10 brightest sungrazers. Its...

August 04, 2016

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Newly discovered asteroid 2016 HO3 is Earth's new quasi-satellite

Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii has discovered Earth's new quasi-satellite. Designated as 2016 HO3, this newly discovered near-Earth object has been our planet's constant companion for almost a century. The asteroid is too...

June 16, 2016


Organic molecules crucial for life found in Rosetta's comet

Scientists analyzing data acquired by ESA's comet chaser Rosetta while orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko have discovered organic molecules regarded as crucial for the origin of life on Earth. The ingredients include the amino acid glycine (C2H5NO2),...

May 31, 2016


Small comet or asteroid impacts Jupiter

Two astronomers have captured images of a small comet or asteroid as it impacted Jupiter at 00:18 UTC on March 17, 2016. The videos of the same event were captured from Austria and Ireland. The object is probably in the tens-of-meters wide range, according to Phil...

March 30, 2016

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Observations of comet P/2016 BA14 while making one of the closest-ever comet flybys of Earth

Astronomers were watching comet Pan-STARRS (P/2016 BA14) on March 22 as it made the third closest-ever comet flyby of Earth in recorded history. At the time of its closest approach, the comet was about 3.6 million km (2.2 million miles) away from the surface of our...

March 25, 2016


'Twin comets' to safely fly past Earth

Two Jupiter-family comets - 252P/LINEAR and P/2016 BA14 (PANSTARRS) - will safely fly past Earth on March 21 and 22, 2016 at a distance of 5.2 million km (3.3 million miles) and 3.5 million km (2.2 million miles), respectively. The two comets have intriguingly...

March 21, 2016


Asteroid 2016 EF195 detected 4 days after very close flyby

Newly discovered asteroid 2016 EF195 made a very close approach to Earth on March 11 and flew by us at 0.08 lunar distances. The closest approach occurred at 04:35 UTC at about 31 565 km (0.000211 AU / 0.08 LD / 19 613 miles) from the surface of our planet. This...

March 18, 2016


Bright spots of Ceres reveal unexpected changes

New observations of the dwarf planet Ceres, made by the HARPS spectrograph at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile show its bright spots become brighter during the day and show other variations, not only those changes related to planet's rotation. The results...

March 16, 2016


Newly discovered asteroid 2016 DV1 to make a very close flyby of Earth on March 3, 2016

A newly discovered asteroid named 2016 DV1 is expected to make a very close flyby of Earth on March 3, 2016. 2016 DV1 is an Apollo class asteroid discovered on February 28, 2016. Its estimated size is between 28 and 62 meters (92 to 203 feet), which is about twice...

March 02, 2016


Asteroid 2013 TX69 to safely pass Earth on March 5

2013 TX68, the small asteroid that flew by our planet two years ago is now coming back again for another flyby on March 5, 2016. This time, the asteroid might make a much closer pass though still at a safe distance. Two years ago, 2013 TX68 flew by Earth at a...

February 04, 2016