Category Archives: comet

Comets as Omens of the Future

Comets have been noticed by ancient civilizations for millenia, and, like many other celestial bodies, were viewed as omens of the future. Comets in particular were considered bad omens. The most famous example is Halley’s Comet, seen in 1066 by the English and theorized to have been an omen for Harold II of England’s death. … Continue reading Comets as Omens of the Future Continue reading Continue reading

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Halley’s Comet

In 2061, Halley’s Comet will return to pass by Earth in 75-year long round trip across the solar system. But what else do we know about this mysterious visitor? Studying the reports of comet sightings in 1531, 1607, and 1682, Edmond Halley deduced that these comets were in fact the same one and that it … Continue reading Halley’s Comet Continue reading Continue reading

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The Comet Time Forgot… Until Now

A stone carving at a major archaeological site suggests a comet struck Earth thousands of years ago and started an ice age. Göbekli Tepe is an archaeological site located in modern-day Turkey.  Built before Stonehenge, it served as an ancient temple site and religious center where multiple people would gather, but it also seemed to have been an astronomy … Continue reading The Comet Time Forgot… Until NowContinue reading Continue reading

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The Hale-Bopp Comet

Comet Hale-Bopp, also known as the The Great Comet of 1997, was a comet that appeared in – you guessed it – 1997. It was first discovered in 1995 by both Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp, after whom it was named. It was first visible in mid 1996, but did not reach its brightest until […]Continue reading Continue reading

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Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

In 1994, one year after its discovery, the fragmented remains of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter’s upper atmosphere in a sequence of 23 large impacts, each releasing the energy equivalent of 25,000 megatons of TNT, more than one million times as much energy as released by the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Orbital analysis … Continue reading Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Continue reading Continue reading

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The Importance of Spectroscopy in Solar System Exploration

While the very existence of visible light allows for the viewing of celestial bodies, not enough credit is oft given to the true capability of light’s full spectrum. Spectroscopy is an imaging and scientific method of measurement that involves the unique spectra that occur when light comes into contact with an object or substance of […]Continue reading Continue reading

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Friday Night Spectacle

Tonight, on this February 10th, there is supposed to be a full moon, a lunar eclipse, and a comet, all of which are supposed to be visible. This month’s full moon is called the “Snow Moon.”  This name came from Native American tradition, in which the full moons of each month bore different names.  However, this full moon … Continue reading Friday Night SpectacleContinue reading Continue reading

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Halley’s Comet

Halley’s Comet is visible from Earth every 75-76 years. It is the only known short-period comet (a comet that has an orbital period of less than 200 years) that is visible to the naked eye. Halley most recently visited the inner parts … Continue reading Continue reading Continue reading

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Where did all the dinosaurs go?

I think one of the more fascinating topics in Earth’s past is the mystery of the dinosaurs. They were here 65 million years ago (for a shockingly long time—if you remember, they were here for almost a week in the “calendar” of the universe!) and then suddenly disappeared. So, what happened to them? It is […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Comet Brightness – Not Related to Test Scores

A comet is an icy Solar System body with very elliptical orbit that takes it close to the Sun on one end and far from the Sun on the other. When it gets close to the Sun it begins to outgas, forming a visible atmosphere called a coma and often also a tail. One noticeable […] Continue reading Continue reading

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