The Christmas sky last year was lit up by an extraordinarily powerful and mysteriously long-lasting explosion in space that scientists now suggest was a comet smacking into a dense star or a peculiar supernova death.
According to NASA scientists the wimpy comet Elenin, which vaulted into the public spotlight as a so-called harbinger of doom, has met its own demise, and its remains won’t be back for 12,000 years.
Astronomers were able to detect a cloud of dust particles that remained after the destruction of the first Russian comet known as comet Elenin or C/2010 X1.
German satellite plunged to Earth on October 22 after languishing in a dead orbit for more than a decade, but officials do not yet know where it fell.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope studied a nearby bright star called Eta Corvi, which is located approximately 60 light-years away in the northern sky, and found signs that comets could be pelting the alien system.
According to researchers study using the Herschel space telescope show that Comet Hartley 2 contains water more like that found on Earth than all the comets we know about.
If you watch between midnight and dawn on Friday, October 21, or Saturday, October 22, 2011, you should see some meteors in the Orionid meteor shower.
An exceptionally bright comet headed toward the sun and disintegrated on October 2, 2011. Moments later a large coronal mass ejection (CME) blew off the other side of the sun, making for this captivating movie from the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).
In the beginning of its detection comet Elenin received quite a bit of attention from astronomers because its orbit would take it quite close to Earth, within 22 million miles (35 million kilometers), on October 16, 2011.