comets


Extrasolar comets

In 1986, while watching a star some 63 light-years away called Beta Pictoris, French astronomer Anne-Marie Lagrange and her colleagues noticed something deeply strange. They were watching because, two years earlier, other researchers observing the…


Ballooning for comets

The Balloon Observation Platform for Planetary Science (BOPPS) is a high-altitude, stratospheric balloon mission that is planned for launch today to study a number of objects in our solar system, including an Oort cloud comet….


Dat Darn Dark Matter

The path our Solar System takes through the Galaxy may get bumpy at times, and this could affect the number of comets buzzing around Earth. Scientists have uncovered possible evidence of this galactic bumpiness in…


Het not dead Jim, he’s alive!

For 30 years, a large near-Earth asteroid wandered its lone, intrepid path, passing before the scrutinizing eyes of scientists armed with telescopes while keeping something to itself. The object, known as Don Quixote, whose journey…


A trail of meteordust

On 15 February, Earth had its biggest run-in with a cosmic missile for a century when a brilliant meteor exploded over the Siberian city of Chelyabinsk. The brilliant fireball, dubbed a superbolide, appeared literally out…


ISON in the picture (again)

A new series of images from Gemini Observatory shows Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) racing toward an uncomfortably close rendezvous with the Sun. In late November the comet could present a stunning sight in the twilight…