Archive for March 14th, 2011

NASA is interested in observing comet Elenin with its space telescopes

NASA

As I wrote earlier, comet C/2010 X1, near perihelion, will be easily visible in images of the space coronagraph SOHO. As Karl Battams of the Naval Research Laboratory told me, they plan to conduct special observations with 4 different filters. In addition, they are evaluating the technical possibility of pointing the spacecraft STEREO-B toward the comet at the time of its close encounter at the end of July-beginning of August. Closest approach will be July 31st at 13:00 UT. The distance between the objects will be only 7.4 million km (0.04956  a.u.) The spacecraft may pass through the dust and ion tails of the comet. This second option presents greater danger to the spacecraft. Let’s hope that these observations will take place and that they will be successful, and the spacecraft will continue its work without any problems in its Sun-synchronous orbit.

March 2011
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