Topic
Comets


Comet 2

New Comet: C/2014 Q3 (BORISOV)

Cbet nr. 3936, issued on 2014, August 24, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~17) by G. Borisov (Observatory MARGO, Nauchnij) on CCD images obtained with a 0.3-m f/1.5 astrograph telescope on 2014, August 22.02. The new comet has been designated C/2014 Q3 (BORISOV).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely on 2014, August 23.4 from H06 (iTelescope network - Mayhill) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + f/4.5 focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet: coma about 7" in diameter elongated toward PA 215 (the comet was about +21 degree above the horizon at the moment of the imaging session).

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
C/2014 Q3 (Borisov)
© Remanzacco Observatory
M.P.E.C. 2014-Q38 assigns the following parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2014 Q3: T 2014 Nov. 19.24; e= 1.0; Peri. = 48.40; q = 1.63; Incl.= 90.49

This is the third comet discovered by Gennady Borisov (previous were C/2013 N4 & C/2013 V2).
Comet 2

Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy discovers new comet

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)
© Alain Maury and Joaquin Fabrega
The fuzzy object at center is new comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy.
It's confirmed! Australian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy just discovered his fifth comet, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). He found it August 17th using a Celestron C8 fitted with a CCD camera at his roll-off roof observatory in Brisbane, Australia.
Mr. Potato

'Buy firewood & coal': MP warns Ukrainians after US, EU get access to national gas pipes

The decision by the Ukrainian parliament to allow companies from the US and EU to co-manage the country's gas pipelines could lead to the country being left with no gas supplies in the coming winter, an MP has warned in an emotional online address.

Nikolay Rudkovsky, an independent MP in Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, believes the law allowing 49 percent of Ukraine's national gas transportation system (GTS) to be managed by foreign companies is a big mistake.

"People, my advice to you is: buy firewood and coal! After the Law on reforming the management system of the united gas transportation system of Ukraine (#4116) was passed today, our country has been left with almost no chances of staying with gas," Rudkovsky said on Facebook, following the Rada session.

"Don't the MPs understand that we are now guaranteed to have a winter with no heating?" he asked.

Comment: With an ice age on the way, this is not the best time for Ukraine to leave itself without any heating for the winter. First the Kiev junta antagonize Russia by refusing to pay their gas bill, then they give 49% control of their pipelines to the US government that is obviously going to act in its own anti-Russian interest rather than the interest of the people of Ukraine. In short, the people of Ukraine and their feckless (un) elected government appear unable to stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Comet 2

New Comet: P/2014 O3 (PanSTARRS)

Discovery Date: July 30, 2014

Magnitude: 20.3 mag

Discoverer: Pan-STARRS 1 telescope (Haleakala)
P/2014 O3
© Aerith Net
Magnitudes Chart
The orbital elements are published on M.P.E.C. 2014-P41.
Comet 2

New Comet: C/2014 OE4 (PanSTARRS)

Discovery Date: July 26, 2014

Magnitude: 20.7 mag

Discoverer: Pan-STARRS 1 telescope (Haleakala)
C/2014 OE4 PanSTARRS
© Aerith Net
Magnitudes Graph
The orbital elements are published on M.P.E.C. 2014-P08.
Stop

Including humans: Scientists say mass extinction may be underway

© www.fredhoogervorst.com
An international team of scientists is warning that Earth may be entering the early stages of another mass extinction event, reports Live Science.

More than 320 land vertebrates have gone extinct since the year 1500 and many of the world's plant and animal species are endangered, says a new study. Up to one-third of all vertebrates are threatened or endangered, the researchers said.

Large land animals, such as elephants, rhinoceroses and polar bears, show the highest rates of decline. They are at particular risk because they tend to have few offspring and low population growth rates. Hunters and poachers also find their fur, meat, tusks or horns to be attractive targets.

Losing a species of large animal can have unexpected effects on the ecosystem and nearby human developments, a process known as defaunation. In an earlier study, researchers isolated patches of land from animals, including zebra, giraffes and elephants. Without the animals, the grass and shrubs grew tall, and the soil became looser. Rodents quickly took over and doubled in numbers, eating the seeds from the plants and living in the patchy soil that was relatively predator-free.

Comment: Mass extinctions have happened before and will happen again soon.

See: Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction! And read Sott's Comets and Catastrophe series here. Something wicked this way comes!

Fireball 3

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Things have to get worse before Congress will take action on climate change

© Chicagonow.com
In an exclusive interview with Salon, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson talked about his role as a scientist, how the media presents scientific breakthroughs, and about how climate change will have to get worse before citizens force their elected representatives to do anything about it.

Tyson explained that he doesn't see himself as an advocate, but as an educator whose job it is to present "emergent scientific consensus," in the hope that the public and policy makers will use it to make informed decisions.

"I'm just trying to get people as fully informed as they can be so that they can make the most informed decisions they can based on their own principles or philosophies or mission statement," Tyson explained. "What concerns me is that I see people making decisions, particularly decisions that might affect policy or governance, that are partly informed, or misinformed, or under-informed."

Tyson notes that during the Cold War, physicists actively advocated for specific policies because those policies were directly related to their work in developing nuclear weapons. When it comes to climate change, he would like to see more climate scientists take the lead instead of an astrophysicist like himself just because he's famous.

Comment:
ABC: Man may need to live in space to survive cometary impacts, global disasters
We live in a cosmic shooting gallery

See also:
Celestial Intentions: Comets and the Horns of Moses

Comet 2

New Comet: C/2014 N3 (NEOWISE)

Cbet nr. 3921, issued on 2014, July 13, announces the discovery of a comet (~ magnitude 17) by the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (or NEOWISE; formerly the WISE satellite) team on images taken with the NEOWISE satellite on 2014, July 04.5. The new comet has been designated C/2014 N3 (NEOWISE).

We performed follow-up measurements of this object, while it was still on the neocp. Stacking of 10 unfiltered exposures, 60-sec each, obtained remotely on 2014, July 09.6 from Q62 (iTelescope network - Siding Spring) through a 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer, shows that this object is a comet: coma about 15" in diameter elongated toward PA 200 (the comet was about +21 degree above the horizon at the moment of the imaging session).

Our confirmation image (click on it for a bigger version)
C/2014 N3 Neowise
© Remanzacco Observatory
M.P.E.C. 2014-N72 assigns the following parabolic orbital elements to comet C/2014 N3: T 2015 Mar. 15.67; e= 1.0; Peri. = 354.49; q = 3.84; Incl.= 61.73.
Comet 2

New Comet: C/2014 M3 (Catalina)

Discovery Date: June 26, 2014

Magnitude: 19.2 mag

Discoverer: R. A. Kowalski (Catalina Sky Survey)
C/2014 M3 (Catalina)
© Aerith Net
Magnitudes Graph
The orbital elements are published on M.P.E.C. 2014-N03.
Comet

New Comet: C/2014 M2 (Christensen)

Discovery Date: June 25, 2014

Magnitude: 19.4 mag

Discoverer: E. J. Christensen (Mount Lemmon)
C/2014 M2 (Christensen)
© Aerith Net
Magnitudes Graph
The orbital elements are published on M.P.E.C. 2014-N02.
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