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Originally posted by PennyQ
2....Who cares when it lines up between us and the sun???
if a "Deep Impact" situation were to happen, they WOULD NOT warn us, period.
Such a breakup of small comets passing near the Sun is not rare, and in that is nothing surprising. I note that this is a breakup, not an explosion. All the pieces continue to move on the comet’s trajectory. The large fragments are likely to continue to disintegrate into smaller ones.
Overall, the most scientifically interesting thing is the breakup scenario, but unfortunately right now the comet is not visible to the largest telescopes or even the Hubble Space Telescope because of its close angular distance from the Sun (small elongation). On the other hand, amateur astronomers, awaiting this comet which might have been visible to the unaided eye, will now not see it, at least visually in their telescopes and binoculars. We will wait for Sept. 23rd when the comet is due to appear in the field of view of the SOHO space coronagraph. Any result will tell us what we can expect at the beginning of October when the comet once again should appear in the pre-dawn sky. We will wait. The end of this story is near…