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Spooky The Dead Comet

In Comets by Brian Koberlein

Today the object 2015 TB145 will make a “close” flyby of Earth. It’s been nicknamed Spooky due to its Halloween arrival date, and we’re already starting to learn a few things about it.

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The Comet That Was Once Two

In Comets by Brian Koberlein

One of the striking features of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is its “rubber duck” shape with two distinct lobes. We now know the ducky comet was once two comets.

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Colors of the Wind

In Comets by Brian Koberlein

Comets don’t have strong magnetic fields, so how do they create a magnetosphere that resists the solar wind?

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Lovejoy

In Comets by Brian Koberlein

This year starts off with a naked eye comet known as Lovejoy (or C/2014 Q2, for those who like to be specific). It’s a long period comet first observed by Terry Lovejoy back in August. The comet isn’t particularly bright, being just within naked-eye range at magnitude 5. But it happens to be near the celestial equator, and even near the constellation Orion, so it is widely observable. Most people will require a small telescope or pair of binoculars to see it, but it isn’t difficult to find.

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A Comet’s Tale

In Comets by Brian Koberlein

Results are starting to come in from the Rosetta mission, including a new article in Science on the composition of water on the comet 67P/C-G. The results support the idea that Earth’s water didn’t come from cometary bombardments.