Archive for September, 2011

Real facts about comet Elenin

  1. At this moment the comet disintegrated into a large number of small fragments, which we may be able to see with the large telescope at the early October;
  2. The fragments of the comet did not change it path and will be flying by orbit of the comet, i.e., not will come to the Earth closer than 35 000 000 km;
  3. Currently the comet Elenin is not visible on the images from the SOHO and STEREO spacecrafts;
  4. Comet visible on images from the spacecraft STEREO-B (HI-1 camera) is comet 45P / (Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova);
  5. Comet Elenin, even if not disintegrated, do not eclipse the Sun, the density of a comet’s gas envelopes (coma) is negligible and earthly observer would not have noticed this event;
  6. The Earth will not pass through the tail of the comet, because at now it does not exist;
  7. The comet will not cause and couldn’t do any harm to us and our planet.

Will we see a comet Elenin on SOHO images?


Since September 23, the comet Elenin may be visible in the field of view of spacecoronagraph C3, installed on the spacecraft SOHO. As  comet disintegrated or still disintegrating, there is a strong likelihood that we did not see anything or see it, but only after post processing of the original images (I recommend not work with JPG files, to avoid possible artifacts). On images comet will move from left to right, “under” the Sun. It may be seen as a fuzzy, hardly visible cloud. Stay tuned.

MPC statistic for August – September 2011

The new monthly MPC circular released – MPC 75799 – 76268.

ISON-NM statistic for the previous month (August 9 – September 6):

Number of measurements: 12150

Measured objects: 2763

Discovered objects: 45*

Sky coverage: 320 sq. degrees

Observing nights**: 19

* – include NEA – 2011 QY37 and two Jovian trojans – 2011 QJ9, 2011 QQ47

** – include partial nights

The ISON-NM observatory’s second near-earth asteroid

Pearson Prentice Hall, Inc.

August 27th at the ISON-NM Observatory, a new, second near-Earth asteroid was discovered, receiving the designation 2011 QY37. The object belongs to the Amor family and presents no hazard to the Earth. The minimum distance of its orbit to Earth’s is more than 39 million kilometers. The asteroid orbits on a rather extended orbit (eccentricity 0.51), with a period of 3.91 years.

Closest approach to the Earth will happen Sept 25th, when asteroid 2011 QY 37 passes 0.7 a.u. from our planet (104.7 million km). The next few years will be favorable for observing this object. In November 2015 it will reach 18th magnitude at a distance of 0.31 a.u. In January 2020, 2011 QY37 will be a little farther with a brightness of magnitude 18.5.

Although this is a preliminary prediction, the accuracy of the orbit will improve. We will be able to observe this object until the beginning of the next year. After that we will certainly return to this asteroid again.

Remember, our first near-Earth asteroid was discovered Sept. 10, 2010 and received the designation 2010 RN80. In addition, another near-Earth object is a second comet – P/2011 NO1, discovered at the ISON-NM Observatory in July of this year.

The first radio observations of comet Elenin


American radio astronomers report that did not detect any water coming from any remains of comet Elenin. Amy Lovell observed it for 7 hours on Sept 7 using the Green Bank Telescope (it is not yet in the Arecibo declination window) and did not detect any OH line above the noise level of 2.4 mJy. This puts a limit of a few times 10molecules/second on the gas production rate, which is about 100 times less than earlier predictions. This data may confirm disintegration proccess in comet’s nucleus which stareted on mid August. The next radio observations may be carry out on October by Arecibo radio observatory, of course if we will see comet Elenin on images from SOHO spacecraft.

September 2011
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