Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Last Chance To See Comet Ikeya-Zhang

Date:
April 2, 2002
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Night owls and early birds can catch a glimpse of Comet Ikeya-Zhang as it passes by Earth in the next few weeks on its four-century journey around the Sun.

Night owls and early birds can catch a glimpse of Comet Ikeya-Zhang as it passes by Earth in the next few weeks on its four-century journey around the Sun.

Related Articles


The comet passed closest to the Sun on March 18th, and is now headed out of the solar system past Earth, passing closest to us (just 37.5 million miles, or 60 million kilometers) on April 29. To see the comet, look low in the western sky during late evening twilight. The comet will get lower and lower on the horizon until April 4; after that it will be visible in the early morning sky in the east.

"The comet is bright enough to see with the naked eye, but having binoculars or even a small telescope will help pinpoint its location," said Dr. Don Yeomans, head of NASA's Near-Earth Objects Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Among the comet-watchers will be Dr. Michael Hicks, a comet scientist from JPL. Hicks will use a telescope to study the dust from Ikeya-Zhang, dust that comes from the very edges of the solar system and has a sharply slanted orbit, compared to the planets. The information he hopes to gather includes the dust particles' size, temperature and composition.

"Comet dust is some of the most pristine material from the solar system's formation," said Hicks. "Studying comets adds another little bit to the puzzle of how the solar system came to be."

Comets, clumps of rock and ice, were made when the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago from the same material that made the planets and Sun. When its orbit takes it far from the Sun, the low temperature of deep space keeps the comet frozen. As the comet comes close to the Sun, it heats up, emitting gases and the dust that reflects the Sun's rays and makes the comet visible from Earth.

Ikeya-Zhang, which was discovered in early February by a Japanese and a Chinese astronomer, was likely seen in 1661 on an earlier journey through the solar system.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Near-Earth Objects program for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. More information is available at http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.jpl.nasa.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Last Chance To See Comet Ikeya-Zhang." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402074258.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2002, April 2). Last Chance To See Comet Ikeya-Zhang. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402074258.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Last Chance To See Comet Ikeya-Zhang." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402074258.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after NASA declared the Kepler spacecraft broken beyond repair, scientists have figured out how to continue getting useful data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins