Comet 81/P WIld
Comet 81/P Wild

Comet Wild 2 is a short periodic comet with an orbital period of 6 years. Before its close encounter with Jupiter during September 1974 his orbit was almost circular and had a 43 year period. But the gravitational pull of the giant gas planet made Wild 2 to a member of the inner solar system. In 2004 the comet was target of the NASA mission "Stardust", which took samples of the coma and returned them back to earth. Our image was obtained during a trip to southern france in February 2010 and shows a nice 1 degree long tail.

AstronomyCast

Astronomy Cast

Astronomy Cast takes a fact based journey through the cosmos as it offers listeners weekly discussions on astronomical topics ranging from planets to cosmology.

Comet 2007 W1 (Boattini)

Comet BoattiniComet Boattini is decreasing in brightness as he appears in the morning sky for observers in the norther hemisphere. This image was taken at Guidestar observatory on July 19 with the almost full moon 90 degrees away. The coma diameter is approx. 13' large, but due to heavy moonlight and its low altitude the very diffuse coma could also be not completly visible an much larger. The field of view of the image left is 22x15 arcminutes. An ion tail in south-west direction is clearly visible.
The comet now moves slowly through the constellation Aries at a magnitude of 7-8 and heads away from earth and sun, rapidly fading.
Comet Boattini has a long-periodic orbit that takes him around the sun in 63,000 years and the latest calculations show that it may be its first visit to the inner solar system coming from the Oort Cloud.