Tag Archives: comet

End of World Conspiracy Theories Just Don’t Stop

I don’t like drawing attention to these kinds of things, but I just wanted to say a few words about this. Take a look at this video. You don’t have to watch all of it, just a bit to get an idea about what this is.

So, they say a “confirmed” 2.5 mile wide comet will hit the Earth between September 15th and 28th this year. Who confirms this? Not anyone I know of. I don’t believe it’s confirmed by anyone. In other words, this is complete male bovine excrement. A big cow patty. Manure. Looking at the description of this video, I see advertisements for the video maker’s book and other things about repenting to Jesus, etc.

On one hand, we have someone who’s trying to scare people into believing this pile of garbage. She (Renee sounds like a woman’s name) wants to encourage all the gullible people to buy her book. It’s all about money. Sounds like a typical evangelist, doesn’t it? “Hey, my loyal followers and those who are scared of death, repent to God and Jesus, and buy my book while you’re at it. It’ll save you from Hell when the world goes kaboom in September!”

On the other hand, this could be someone who has deep connections in world governments and astronomical societies who keep everything secret, because we all know astronomers don’t share their discoveries.  Nah, that can’t be, because astronomers love to share their discoveries. This so called “confirmed” comet would have been announced so long ago and confirmed by many amateur and professional astronomers, that it would be impossible to keep this a secret. With it being so close, a comet like this would likely be easily seen with a telescope if you knew where to find it. It would’ve been shared all over the internet. But guess what? It hasn’t. Therefore, it doesn’t exist.

The world is ending in September? No. Don’t believe this garbage. If you do, you are incredibly gullible.

Good Morning Philae

It’s been seven long months. The Philae lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has finally woken up. Now that the comet is closer to the sun, the lander is able to get enough sunlight for its solar panels to power up. And it’s in good condition. That is absolutely wonderful news!

So, once they reestablish contact and download all the data from Philae to Rosetta, and send it back to Earth, there will be a lot of work to do. What I’m interested in seeing is what the comet looks like from the surface while it’s active. This is something that’s never been seen before.

This is a very exciting time. In addition to Philae waking up, we have Dawn orbiting Ceres and its mysterious white spots and New Horizons approaching Pluto. We’ll finally see what Pluto looks like in less than a month! I can’t wait. I’ll write more about Pluto as New Horizons gets closer.

What are you most excited about?

Rosetta Has Become the First to Orbit a Comet

Rosetta has finally arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This is this year’s solar system encounter, and it should prove to be a very interesting one. The comet is strangely shaped, and the pictures Rosetta has returned are amazing. Later this year, in November, the lander Philae will land on the comet and we’ll have our first view of a comet from the ground.Next year’s great encounters are with the dwarf planets Pluto and Ceres.

This blog post I’m reblogging has a great list of links you can check out.



Image Credit & Copyright: ESA Rosetta Spacecraft.

Not going to spend a lot of time going into details as you would have to be living under a rock to not know the more than 10 year story of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission.  But instead I wanted to offer congratulations and thank all involved with the mission for a great success this morning in becoming the first to ever enter into orbit around a comet.  Yet another great achievement by ESA and its partners.

Aside from the WOW factor this mission has in content and imagery it’s been a real treat to see the world follow along with nervous anticipation as the last few weeks and months unfolded.  The mission however, has only just begun.  They must still land the Philae lander later this year and then ride the comet around the Sun.

As I understand it, the spacecraft…

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Will it Be Possible to See Comet ISON?

I’m beginning to wonder if it’ll even be possible to see comet ISON from where I live.  I live in a city, and it’s certainly not possible to have dark skies here.  I can’t go out to the countryside, as the only countryside around here is inaccessible during the night (no trains), and the view toward ISON is back over the heavily populated Yokohama area.

Right now, ISON is considered to be just visible if you’re in a dark skies area and if you have very good eyesight.  It should brighten, but as it does, it gets closer to the sun.  As it gets closer to the sun, it gets more difficult to see.  NASA is saying that now may be the best time to see it.  It’s kind of disappointing, but that’s the way it goes.

I remember seeing Hyakutake from the car in 1996.  The sky was dark and it was evening.  It was nowhere near the sun at that time.  Very visible.  Hale-Bopp was even better when I saw it in 1997.  It was after sunset, and still light out, and I was on the roof of the Elliott Building at the University of Victoria with my astronomy class.  What a view it was!  It was incredibly visible.  Best comet I’ve ever seen.

Have you ever seen a comet?

A bright comet for 2013

Next year, Comet ISON will pass very closely by the sun and may give us an amazing show.  ISON stands for International Scientific Optical Network.  Usually, comets are named after their discoverers, but it was a pair of astronomers in Russia with a telescope that’s part of ISON.

This comet may turn out to be so bright when it approaches the sun that it’ll be visible in the northern hemisphere as the sun is going down.  I’m hoping for a long tail that’ll be visible for some time after sunset.  There are plenty of articles, but this one shows a photo of Comet Lovejoy in 2011.  Will we see something like this?

I’ve seen a couple of comets before.  The first was Hyakutake in March 1996.  I remember my sister and I going back to Edmonton after visiting our parents when I was in my first year of university, and I could actually see Hyakutake from the car.

But even better was Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997.  I had moved to Victoria to continue studying in university for my physics and astronomy degree, and during an astronomy lab session, we went to the roof of the building to see Hale-Bopp.  It was still somewhat light out, but the comet was incredibly clear.

Next year, we could see yet another bright comet.  I really hope ISON will give us an incredible display.  It’s expected to be bright starting in November 2013.

Will you be watching?  Have you seen any amazing celestial events?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.