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Trajectory of comet Elenin.
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A comet first discovered just six months ago will be making a visit to the inner solar system soon, but don't expect to be completely dazzled. This comet is a bit of a wimp, NASA says.
Comet Elenin (also known by its astronomical name C/2010 X1), was first detected on Dec. 10, 2010 by Leonid Elenin, an observer in Lyubertsy, Russia, who found the comet while using the remote-controlled ISON-NM observatory near Mayhill, New Mexico.
At the time of its discovery, the comet was about 401 million miles
So-So Prospects for Comet Elenin
Last December, comet-lovers got a bit of an adrenaline rush when they learned that a new object, Comet Elenin (C/2010 X1), might reach naked-eye brightness a week or so after it reaches perihelion on September 10th.
It's still early in the game, but ireports from visual and photographic observers over the past few weeks have tempered expectations somewhat.
Another consideration is that the visual estimates (magnitude 15.3 and 14.9, respectively) are at odds with CCD observations suggesting something no brighter than magnitude 16. Such differences would make sense if Comet Elenin were somewhat diffuse, but everyone agrees that it's strongly condensed and almost stellar in appearance.
But the comet cognoscenti have already started calling it "intrinsically faint," and it's becoming clear that hopes for a nice eyeball-easy showing have dimmed considerably.
Best guesstimates now suggest that Comet Elenin's total brightness might peak near magnitude 6 in mid-September — a nice binocular object — presuming that it survives its dash through perihelion just 45 million miles (0.48 astronomical unit) from the Sun.
Meanwhile, you have my permission to ignore or refute any of the wacky postings about the supposed danger posed by Comet Elenin. All this nonsense seems to have started back in January, when edge-of-reality blogger Laura Knight Jadczyk made provocative warnings — all based on information from a member of her research team who's "an astronomer at a large observatory". (Yea, right.) It's not even worth giving you a link to her ramblings.
Originally posted by Mactire
I don't think it matters if Elenin is wimpy or not. What matters is what does c/2010 x1 have to do with DNA altering viruses and RH- blood?
S&F because a 90lb geek in a fist fight is one thing. A 90lb geek infected with a mutation inducing virus is something else all together. "Wimpy" in appearance maybe.edit on 9-5-2011 by Mactire because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by yourmamaknows
reply to post by srbouska
Could Elenin have been the object that ripped the atmosphere away from Mars?
Well, we guess not. It is "wimpy".