15 Apr 2004
Space Weather News for April 15, 2004
Newly-discovered Comet Bradfield (C/2004 F4) is plunging toward the sun. At closest approach on April 17th it will be well inside the orbit of Mercury. Comets that get so close to the sun can become very bright and, sometimes, they break apart.
The sun's glare will hide the encounter from observers on Earth, but not from the orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Coronagraphs onboard SOHO are able to block the glare and reveal sungrazing comets. Comet Bradfield will enter SOHO's field of view on April 16th.? Visit Spaceweather.com to view the images.
In the weeks ahead, sky watchers will be able to see some comets for themselves: Comet NEAT (C/2001 Q4), Comet LINEAR (C/2002 T7) and, if it survives its flyby of the sun, Comet Bradfield.? Details and sky maps are available at Spaceweather.com.