Posts Tagged ‘Comet Elenin’

Comet Elenin disintegrated

L. Elenin / ISON-NM Observatory

Based on the first images of the comet Elenin after its exit from the conjunction with the Sun, we can tell what comet mostly disintegrated. Maybe we can still observe  swarm of comet’s debris. On the left you can see possible position of this “cloud”. Brightness of this object does not exceed 18m, which means what now, magnitude of the comet is lower then predicted on 12m. Hopefully in the near future debris of the comet will be observed on a large telescopes, and perhaps we’ll see some details of this “cloud”. Currently the comet is very low above the horizon and I observed it in nautical twilight, but comet will quickly ascend on the Northern skies, but it’s further observations may be hampered by the full Moon….

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.

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.

Countdown to perihelion

Perihelion passed.

May 2017
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