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Tue, 10 Dec 2019
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Comets


Bomb

Broken Comet On Its Way

In 1995, Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 did something unexpected: it fell apart.

For no apparent reason, the comet's nucleus split into at least three "mini-comets" flying single file through space. Astronomers watched with interest, but the view was blurry even through large telescopes. The comet was a hundred and fifty million miles away.

We're about to get a much closer look. In May 2006 the fragments are going to fly past Earth closer than any comet has come in almost eighty years.

Magnify

Alien particles found in 'comet rain' put under microscope at Welsh university

WELSH scientists have been spearheading the hunt for alien life that may have fallen to Earth in a shower of "red rain".

Astrobiologists will today continue to examine traces of matter that poured its blood-red deluge over the Indian state of Kerala for two whole months in 2001.

Meteor

Comet dust build-up? South Korea gets rare yellow snowfall

Seoul - South Koreans were treated to a rare weather phenomenon on Monday when yellow snow fell in the capital and elsewhere across the country.

But the snow -- containing dust or sand from the desert regions of northern China -- could pose a health hazard, the country's meteorological office warned.

"It's tough to say whether it's yellow sand mixed in snow or if it's snow mixed in yellow sand," a met official told Reuters.

A high concentration of the dust particles prompted the weather bureau to issue a yellow dust warning for the second time in three days.

South Korea frequently gets sand or dust storms, but a yellow snow storm is very rare.

Green Light

Green Comet

"Comet Pojmanski (C/2006 A1) has a bright green head," says Chris Schur who took this picture yesterday at dawn from Payson, Arizona.

Meteor

Water ice detected on comet's surface

Scientists have long known that a major ingredient in comets is water ice, but they were unsure whether the ice was contained mainly inside or if it could be found on the surface as well.

A new analysis of data from NASA's Deep Impact mission last year provides the first evidence that water ice can indeed exist on a comet's exterior.

Telescope

UH astronomer finds new comet

University of Hawaii astronomer Fabrizio Bernardi came here from Italy to look for potentially dangerous asteroids.

"But, of course, we see other objects -- stars and comets. This time, the first time, I saw a new comet," the postdoctoral researcher said.

Bernardi was looking at images taken with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea when he noticed an object that was "a bit fuzzy," with a tail estimated at more than 13,000 miles long.