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.


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 Linear 2002T7

Comet C2002T7

Shortly after moonrise on October 17, after completing our astrometric measurements of three minor planets, we were able to shoot some more images of Comet 2002 T7 Linear. This one was discovered on October 14, 2002 by the professional survey LINEAR (Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research) at a brightness of mag 17.5. Chances are good that 2002 T7 will become an interesting object at least for binoculars in the spring of 2004 in the morning dawn. Unitl January 2004 it should be well placed for observers in the constellations Triangulum and Pisces. But from February on its visibility from the northern hemisphere will deteriorate. The comet will then set only 3 hours after the sun. On April 23, 2004 the comet reaches perihelion. After that 2002 T7 Linear is only visible from the southern hemisphere. Presently at this writing it reaches a brightness of 11 magnitudes. We try to follow his development till the end of this year - if weather permits.