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Comet Atlas

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Comet Atlas

Old 31st Mar 2020, 07:14
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Comet Atlas

And the clear skies should make it brighter......

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/c...-sky-8bwblcfgs


Comet of a generation set to light up the night sky

A comet speeding towards the inner solar system could become one of the brightest objects in the night sky, promising the most dramatic display of its kind in decades.

Astronomers believe that Comet Atlas, which in one month has grown 4,000 times brighter than when it was first spotted, has the potential to become “the comet of a generation” if it maintains its composition. “It’s definitely a promising comet,” Daniel Brown, an astronomy expert at Nottingham Trent University, said yesterday. “It’s pushing towards a level that by the end of April could look really, really stunning.”

The comet was discovered by astronomers at the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (Atlas) at the University of Hawaii, which scans the sky for near-Earth objects and calculates whether they could pose a hazard to our planet. The comet is not a danger to Earth: it will breeze past at a distance of about 72 million miles. On its way, it could rival Venus, the second brightest object in the night sky after the moon........

Atlas could become visible to the naked eye during the first weeks of April and, if it does not fizzle as it closes in on the sun, will be at its most brilliant by the end of May. Optimism as to its potential is driven by the fact that it is following the orbit of the Great Comet of 1843, which had a tail twice as long as the distance from the Earth to the sun.

Comets can be notoriously erratic, however. David Levy, a Canadian astronomer who co-discovered the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet in 1993, wrote: “Comets are like cats. They have tails and they do whatever they want.”......


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Old 31st Mar 2020, 07:38
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The are also portents of doom
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 07:55
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“Comets are like cats. They have tails and they do whatever they want.”......
Very true, beware of popular newspapers, their comet predictions and some of their "go to" astronomy experts..

There's a more considered and balanced view here:

“Comet ATLAS continues to brighten much faster than expected,” says Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC. “Some predictions for its peak brightness now border on the absurd.”..........no one expected the show to start this soon. More than 2 months before perihelion (closest approach to the sun), Comet ATLAS is already “heating up.” The worldwide Comet Observation Database shows it jumping from magnitude +17 in early February to +8 in mid-March–a 4000-fold increase in brightness. It could become visible to the naked eye in early April..........

“Right now the comet is releasing huge amounts of its frozen volatiles (gases),” says Battams. “That’s why it’s brightening so fast.”........

Can ATLAS sustain this crazy pace? If it has a big nucleus with large stores of frozen gas, then yes; we could get a very bright comet. Otherwise, Comet ATLAS might “run out of gas”, crumbling and fading as it approaches the sun......Battams is not optimistic, though: “My personal intuition is that Comet ATLAS is over-achieving, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it start to fade rapidly and possibly even disintegrate before reaching the sun,” he says.
https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2020...than-expected/

Would be nice though if the best case predictions turn out to be correct and we get another Hale-Bopp or better...that one was spectacular and doom free.

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Old 31st Mar 2020, 08:08
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With the current clear atmosphere it could be a good 'un.
Anyone noticed how big and bright Venus is in the evening at this time?
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 08:15
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Hope it really is a good one, I have only ever seen Hale Bopp and didn't really get a good view of it.

Anyone noticed how big and bright Venus is in the evening at this time?
It is - yet for some reason the ISS seems quite subdued each time I've seen it in the last few days.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 08:21
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Originally Posted by RedhillPhil View Post
With the current clear atmosphere it could be a good 'un.
Anyone noticed how big and bright Venus is in the evening at this time?
which has primarily nothing to do with the 'current clear sky', just its position in relation to the sun and earth...
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 08:42
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Originally Posted by Bergerie1 View Post
The are also portents of doom
Q. What do you give a planet with fires, floods, famine, war, plagues and pestilence?

A. A flamin' comet!

Starting to become biblical.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 08:59
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Starting to become biblical


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Old 31st Mar 2020, 11:19
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Originally Posted by wiggy View Post
Very true, beware of popular newspapers, their comet predictions and some of their "go to" astronomy experts..

There's a more considered and balanced view here:



https://spaceweatherarchive.com/2020...than-expected/

Would be nice though if the best case predictions turn out to be correct and we get another Hale-Bopp or better...that one was spectacular and doom free.
True, but, sadly in these current times, a gift from the Gods you might say for headlines in certain rags, .... ".Earth on course to be hit by death Comet ! " "Millions to die as terror comet plunges towards Earth !" " Comet predicted by Mother Shipton to destroy Earth ! "...fir future headlines, please read the front pages of the Excess / Mail and Sun.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 12:51
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That fourth rider is clearly Pestilence, bringing us a fatal global outbreak of Gyppo Tummy.
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 13:24
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That 4th one is someone else



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Old 31st Mar 2020, 14:22
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Originally Posted by Bergerie1 View Post
They are also portents of doom

It must be running late..
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 14:26
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The way things are running a the moment, do you think we will all wake up blind the morning after, with her at number 42's dahlias walking down the street sucking the life out of postmen?
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Old 31st Mar 2020, 19:53
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As an aside, I hope this time no cultists get the idea that it's time to top themselves for some obscure reason given to them by their guru....
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Old 1st Apr 2020, 12:41
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Comets can be notoriously erotic" - for a certain kind of people
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Old 7th Apr 2020, 11:41
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Comet Atlas Might be Breaking Apart..
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Old 7th Apr 2020, 18:58
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I think it's because of 5G.
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Old 7th Apr 2020, 23:04
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Sometime in the first quarter of 65, I was heading from Gatwick to Jersey on a beautiful night. Right in front of us was the clearest view of a comet imaginable. Utterly stunning. We were in a DC3, so plenty of time to be awestruck.

Anyone able to tell me name, and perhaps probable date. I didn't make note of it in my logbook.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 03:59
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Ikeya-Seki?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_Ikeya%E2%80%93Seki

Was driving interstate for my wedding 27-3-1970 stopped to refuel in the middle of the night and a comet was to be seen, comet Bennett, its closest point to earth occurred 26-3-1970. Have wondered since was it a portent of the future?

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Old 8th Apr 2020, 20:51
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Comet Atlas is flattening the curve.

Huzza!
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