Edgar luis Gomez

First of all I would like to know how and when did you began with your passion for astronomy?

I was interested in Astronomy when I was 9-10 years old. I found book about astronomy “Treasures of starry sky”, written by Russian scientist F. Yu. Zigel. But I’m living near giant city – Moscow, that imposes some limits to me. In 2007 I heard about remotely observations. In 2008 I started my observations on Tzec Maun observatory, which provide free access for amateurs around the World. Later, I got access to the 80cm telescope, kindly provided by Michael Schwartz,owner of the observatory Tenagra II. In May 2010 my dream has come true, Intenational Sceintific Optical Network (ISON) launched the operation of first Russian remote observatory in the West. And I started working on it as an observer…

Edgar luis Gomez

Could you explain to us how did you discover the comet?

The discovery of comet is result of huge work. Survey observations on ISON-NM observatory was started on July 13 2010. Each clear night I observe tens of square degrees of starry sky and measure several thousand asteroids, which caught in the field of view of our 18″ telescope. For speed up the images processing, I use our software CLT. Of course discovery of comet is a fortuity, but in this case it’s a “appropriate” fortuity.

Edgar luis Gomez

Does exist any danger for the Earth with the comet?

No, my comet will pass at distance 34 400 000 km from the Earth. For example, minimal distance to another planet of Solar System – Venus is 38 000 000 km. This distance is completely safe for us. Earth may pass through the comet tail, but this event is not dangerous also. In 1910 Earth passed through the Halley’s comet tail and nothing happened.

Edgar luis Gomez

What is the diameter of the core of your Comet?

I can’t exactly answer on this question, I estimate size as 3-4 kilometers in diameter. We can determine size of nucleus by photometry measurements of comet nucleus. But in our case comet is active and they was active when I discovered it. For the rough size estimate I used several images of my comet taken by 2-m Faulkes Telescope North. I tried to exclude influence of coma but this measurements still approximate. If Arecibo will observe my comet, we can determine nucleus size with high accuracy.

Alexander Firsov

Can you explain the relationship of the comet with the planet Nibiru? Or is it a myth?

This topic is now being widely discussed in the West; the virus has not yet gotten to us. Honestly, I do not fully grasp the topic of Nibiru, I have only general isolated information. As I understand it, the close approach of Nibiru to the Earth is supposed to happen in December 2012. My comet will pass by the Earth in October 2011. This disconnect doesn’t phase the Nibiru proponents, and they have rewritten the chronology. In December 2012 the comet will already be far from the Earth, beyond the orbit of Jupiter! Furthermore, Nibiru is a rather massive body; it is a planet. The diameter of the core of the comet is only several kilometers, which in no way approaches that of a planet, to say nothing of the fact that if Nibiru were the size of Jupiter, it would have been visible to the UNAIDED eye LONG AGO. But no one has seen it. Every massive body leaves behind it a “gravitational tail”. It influences other bodies. Celestial mechanics has been understood for a long time, and now we have been able achieve accuracy as never before. We send spacecraft to the edge of the Solar System, where, after many years, the spacecraft reach their goal! Thus traveled the Pioneers and the Voyagers. Now New Horizons also travels there. If Nibiru were nearby, we would have discovered it by its gravitational effect (by the way, that’s how, a tiny pinpoint, Neptune was discovered in the middle of the 19th century!). I continue, my comet is only a comet which will pass near the Earth. It has happened in the past; it will happen in the future. I suggest we simply enjoy the coming spectacle that is totally harmless to the Earth.  To look at the beauty of the Cosmos around us…

Rob Weller

Let me know if this is a mistake, or is your comet going to make what appears to be a 180 degree turn on May 30.

Yes, it does appear to make a sharp turn. It’s a trick of perspective. Remember that the actual path of the comet is in three dimensions around the Sun and you are looking at its movement from the Earth, which also moves around the Sun.
Like all Solar System objects, the comet does move on a curve (a hyperbola), but it is more gradual than that. It looks sharper because we are seeing it “from the side”. To understand how perspective distorts the view, you can use a 3D model of the Solar System such as the Java-based orbital diagram in the JPL Small-Body Database Browser:
Turn off all orbits except the comet’s, set “Center:” to Earth and rotate and zoom the view. You’ll see how the apparent path changes when seen from different angles.

Where I can find current coordinates of comet Elenin?

On this page you can find current orbital elements and daily comet’s ephemerides for the year.


What is the dark strip on images from the camera HI2-B of STEREO-B spacecraft?

It’s just a Earth occulter, like coronagraph it protect images from the stray lighting of bright Earth. Here you can find a detailed description of the HI1 and HI2 instruments.