Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




IRON AND ICE
Comet Pan-STARRS Marches Across the Sky
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 04, 2014


NASA's NEOWISE mission captured a series of infrared images of comet C/2012 K1 -- also referred to as comet Pan-STARRS -- as it swept across our skies in May 2014. For a larger version of this image please go here.

NASA's NEOWISE mission captured a series of pictures of comet C/2012 K1 -- also known as comet Pan-STARRS -- as it swept across our skies in May 2014. The comet is named after the astronomical survey project called the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii, which discovered the icy visitor in May 2012.

Comet Pan-STARRS hails from the outer fringes of our solar system, from a vast and distant reservoir of comets called the Oort cloud.

The comet is relatively close to us -- it was only about 143 million miles (230 million kilometers) from Earth when this picture was taken. It is seen passing a much more distant spiral galaxy, called NGC 3726, which is about 55 million light-years from Earth, or 2 trillion times farther away than the comet.

Two tails can be seen lagging behind the head of the comet. The bigger tail is easy to see and is comprised of gas and smaller particles. A fainter, more southern tail, which is hard to spot in this image, may be comprised of larger, more dispersed grains of dust.

Comet Pan-STARRS is on its way around the sun, with its closest approach to the sun occurring in late August. It was visible to viewers in the northern hemisphere through most of June. In the fall, after the comet swings back around the sun, it may be visible to southern hemisphere viewers using small telescopes.

The image was made from data collected by the two infrared channels on board the NEOWISE spacecraft, with the longer-wavelength channel (centered at 4.5 microns) mapped to red and the shorter-wavelength channel (3.4 microns) mapped to cyan. The comet appears brighter in the longer wavelength band, suggesting that the comet may be producing significant quantities of carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.

Originally called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the NEOWISE spacecraft was put into hibernation in 2011 after its primary mission was completed. In September 2013, it was reactivated, renamed NEOWISE and assigned a new mission to assist NASA's efforts to identify the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects. NEOWISE is also characterizing previously known asteroids and comets to better understand their sizes and compositions.

.


Related Links
NEOWISE
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





IRON AND ICE
Rosetta's comet: expect the unexpected
Paris (ESA) Jun 24, 2014
An image snapped earlier this month by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft shows its target comet has quietened, demonstrating the unpredictable nature of these enigmatic objects. The picture was captured on 4 June by Rosetta's scientific camera, and is the most recent full-resolution image from the narrow-angle sensor. It has been used to help fine-tune Rosetta's navigation towards comet 67P/Churyumov-Ger ... read more


IRON AND ICE
NASA LRO's Moon As Art Collection Is Revealed

Solar photons drive water off the moon

55-year old dark side of the moon mystery solved

New evidence supporting moon formation via collision of 2 planets

IRON AND ICE
NASA's 'flying saucer' tests new Mars-landing technology

Aluminum-Bearing Site on Mars Draws NASA Visitor

Mars Curiosity Rover Marks First Martian Year with Mission Successes

Curiosity celebrates one-year Martian anniversary

IRON AND ICE
Orion's parachutes help it land safely after 10-second free fall

Orion Parachute Test Hits No Snags

Elon Musk plans to take people to Mars within 10 years

Moon to see first tourists by 2017, single roundtrip ticket costs $150 mln

IRON AND ICE
Chinese lunar rover alive but weak

China's Jade Rabbit moon rover 'alive but struggling'

Chinese space team survives on worm diet for 105 days

Moon rover Yutu comes closer to public

IRON AND ICE
Space station astronauts wager friendly bet on USA vs. Germany match

Last European space truck set for July 24 launch

A Laser Message from Space

D-Day for the International Space Station

IRON AND ICE
SpaceX to launch six satellites all at once

Arianespace A World Leader In The Satellite Launch Market

Airbus Group and Safran To Join Forces in Launcher Activities

European satellite chief says industry faces challenges

IRON AND ICE
Mega-Earth in Draco Smashes Notions of Planetary Formation

Kepler space telescope ready to start new hunt for exoplanets

Astronomers Confounded By Massive Rocky World

Two planets orbit nearby ancient star

IRON AND ICE
A step closer to bio-printing transplantable tissues and organs

New NIST metamaterial gives light a one-way ticket

EU rubbishes waste in drive for Green growth

Ghost writing the whip




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.