Surprise: Comet E4 Lovejoy Brightens

Had your fill of binocular comets yet? Thus far this year, we’ve had periodic comets 2P/Encke, 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková and 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák all reach binocular visibility above +10th magnitude as forecasted. Now, we’d like to point out a surprise interloper in the dawn sky that you’re not watching, but should be: Comet C/2017 E4 Lovejoy.

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Catch Comet 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák At Its Best

Miss out on comet 45P Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková? Is Comet 2P Encke too low in the dawn sky for your current latitude? (links) Well the Universe is providing us northerners with another shot at a fine binocular comet, as 41P Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák glides through Ursa Major this week.

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Here’s Something We Never Thought We’d See on a Comet: Shifting Dunes

The Rosetta mission’s close-up views of the curiously-shaped Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko have already changed some long-held ideas about comets. But here’s more: there’s a ‘wind’ blowing across the comet’s surface, creating moving shifting dunes. “The approach to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko by the spacecraft Rosetta has revealed the presence of astonishing dune-like patterns,” wrote Philippe Claudin, of the […]

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