A new animation of the comet Elenin flyby

Comet Elenin from STEREO-B spacecraft on Aug. 3 2011. Comet just passed through Orion’s Belt a few hours ago.

Cropped frames, zoom 2x.

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Diameter of coma of comet Elenin exceeded 200,000 km

GFSC / NASA / L. Elenin

A few hours ago I got the first original comet images in FITS format, taken on August 1 (many thanks to Karl Battams, STEREO team member). Several frames was damaged, but the team believes that will solve this problem at the next session. I stacked all images by the comet movement, this has increase the singnal/noise ratio, see the comet with more “details”.

So, the first results. The comet has grown. Now the diameter of it’s outer coma exceeded 200,000 km! Of course, at this time we have only low resolution images, but they still allow us to estimateits current size. I want to remind you that the outer coma, it’s very discharged gas envelope, not the nucleus itself, estimates of the nucleus size has not changed. On the left picture you can see the comet itself, as well as the angular size of the Sun, if it was located at the same distance as comet. Impressive?

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The first images of the comet Elenin from STEREO-B

GSFC / NASA

A few hours ago, the first images of the comet, obtained with the camera HI2-B of spacecraft STEREO-B, was available. Animation is created from the so-called beacon frames, which used for checking the accuracy of pointing and exposures settings . Original, full size frames will be downloaded to the Earth on August 4. At this time, the comet will appear on the images from HI-1B camera, which has higher resolution. The study of comets on the unique images taken with the STEREO spacecraft has just begun!

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5 hours to closest approach

Closest approach of the comet Elenin and the spacecraft STEREO-B will be exactly in 5 hours, on 12:40 UT. Objects will be pass at a distance of 7,400,196 km of each other. Observations of the comet will begin in less than a day.

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SpaceObs.org online again!

Today my site is online again. While it was working in test mode on the new hosting.

Welcome!

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September 2017
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