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.

Close approach of 2002 NY40

Asteroid 2002 NY40 was discovered in the moring hours of July 14, 2002 at the Lincoln Laboratory ETS in New Mexico (LINEAR). The NEA reached its closest approach to earth on August 18, at 09:52 MESZ with a minimum distance of 0.0035238 AE. This equals to 540000 km or 1.3 times the distance to the moon. With an apparent motion of 4 arcminutes per minute the approximately 800 meter sized astoroid traveled through the constellations of Sagitta, Cygnus and Lyra in the night of August 17./18.

At that time the Guidestar Observatory was not yet existent and the Vixen VC200 and a Starlight MX916 CCD camera was set up on my home balcony. With 1-second-exposures the following sequence was recorded. Animation (3.5 MB)

2002 NY40

Gif-Animation (3.5 Mb)
Date: 18.8.2002, 00:36:36 UT - 00:40:48 UT
VC200L, f/9 mit StarlightXpress MX916, 2x2
60 x 1sec, Weinheim - 49.548 N, 8.6660 E