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Icy Travelers
Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust roughly the size of a small town. When a comet's orbit brings it close to the sun, it heats up and spews dust and gases into a giant glowing head larger than most planets. The dust and gases form a tail that stretches away from the sun for millions of kilometers.

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Noctilucent Clouds, Comets, and Meteor Showers
Noctilucent Clouds, Comets, and Meteor Showers
This summer northern skywatchers may be able to see Noctilucent or "Night Shining" Clouds. Also called PMCs (Polar Mesospheric Clouds), these apparitions are a bit of a puzzle for scientists because it is not entirely clear how they form.Read More...
Comet ISON Meteor Shower
Comet ISON Meteor Shower
Anticipation is building as Comet ISON plunges into the inner solar system for a close encounter with the sun in November 2013. Blasted at point-blank range by solar radiation, the sungrazer will likely become one of the finest comets in many years.Read More...
Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars
Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars
A comet is heading for Mars, and there is a chance that it might hit the Red Planet in October 2014. An impact wouldn't necessarily mean the end of NASA's Mars program. But it would transform the program along with Mars itself.Read More...
Sunset Comet
Sunset Comet
For a comet, visiting the sun is risky business. Fierce solar heat vaporizes gases long frozen in the fragile nucleus, breaking up some comets and completely destroying others.Read More...
Prime Time for PANSTARRS
Prime Time for PANSTARRS
This week is prime time for observing this comet. (Next opportunity, the year 108,013 +/- a few hundred or thousand years.)Read More...
A Possible Naked-eye Comet in March
A Possible Naked-eye Comet in March
An Oort Cloud comet could be heading our way now.Read More...
Comet of the Century?
Comet of the Century?
Later this year, "Comet ISON" could blossom into a striking naked eye object visible even in broad daylight.Read More...
50 Years of Robotic Planetary Exploration: Anita Cochran (Assistant Director of the McDonald Observatory and a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Texas at Austin)
Big Sun-Diving Comet Discovered
Big Sun-Diving Comet Discovered
Dr. Tony Phillips reports on his personal website -- spaceweather.com -- about a newly-discovered comet that may buzz the sun next year.Read More...
Impacts Could be Boon for Subterranean Life
Research... at a Glance
Impacts Could be Boon for Subterranean Life
A drilling project into the Chesapeake Bay impact structure has found evidence that the subsurface may become more habitable after a large impactRead More...
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Previous
    1     2     3     4     5    
Next
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Noctilucent Clouds, Comets, and Meteor Showers
Noctilucent Clouds, Comets, and Meteor Showers
This summer northern skywatchers may be able to see Noctilucent or "Night Shining" Clouds. Also called PMCs (Polar Mesospheric Clouds), these apparitions are a bit of a puzzle for scientists because it is not entirely clear how they form.Read More...
Comet ISON Meteor Shower
Comet ISON Meteor Shower
Anticipation is building as Comet ISON plunges into the inner solar system for a close encounter with the sun in November 2013. Blasted at point-blank range by solar radiation, the sungrazer will likely become one of the finest comets in many years.Read More...
Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars
Collision Course? A Comet Heads for Mars
A comet is heading for Mars, and there is a chance that it might hit the Red Planet in October 2014. An impact wouldn't necessarily mean the end of NASA's Mars program. But it would transform the program along with Mars itself.Read More...
Sunset Comet
Sunset Comet
For a comet, visiting the sun is risky business. Fierce solar heat vaporizes gases long frozen in the fragile nucleus, breaking up some comets and completely destroying others.Read More...
Prime Time for PANSTARRS
Prime Time for PANSTARRS
This week is prime time for observing this comet. (Next opportunity, the year 108,013 +/- a few hundred or thousand years.)Read More...
A Possible Naked-eye Comet in March
A Possible Naked-eye Comet in March
An Oort Cloud comet could be heading our way now.Read More...
Comet of the Century?
Comet of the Century?
Later this year, "Comet ISON" could blossom into a striking naked eye object visible even in broad daylight.Read More...
50 Years of Robotic Planetary Exploration: Anita Cochran (Assistant Director of the McDonald Observatory and a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Texas at Austin)
Big Sun-Diving Comet Discovered
Big Sun-Diving Comet Discovered
Dr. Tony Phillips reports on his personal website -- spaceweather.com -- about a newly-discovered comet that may buzz the sun next year.Read More...
Impacts Could be Boon for Subterranean Life
Research... at a Glance
Impacts Could be Boon for Subterranean Life
A drilling project into the Chesapeake Bay impact structure has found evidence that the subsurface may become more habitable after a large impactRead More...
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