Celestial And enter the comet....

IronMan 2

Contributing Member
"A comet five times the size of Jupiter..."

Bloody Daily Mail, misleading sensationalism, much? And SO MANY ADS!!!

Thomas Paine

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Be sure to see the movie night of the comet for survival hints.

Yeah but don't forget turn the tables get real friendly with a cute canadian soap opera actress in a suitable shielded room, and oh yeah lock the door when you send her for coffee the next morning, or be gone before she gets back. We must learn our lessons from 80's sci fi flicks right guys? It's such a drag when your "companion" from the night before goes zombie.


Pura Vida in my garden
Lots of good info here, too much to post, but for those sky watchers.

A recently discovered comet is getting the attention of astronomers and sky enthusiasts as it’s become brighter than expected in the last few days. Astronomers using the ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) in Hawaii discovered Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) on December 28, 2019. As of mid-late March, it shines at about the brightness of an 8th-magnitude star – not visible to the eye yet – but within reach of medium-sized telescopes in dark skies. The comet is currently crossing Mars’ orbit and is approaching the inner solar system. As it gets closer to us, it’ll get brighter still. You’ll find charts for observers at the bottom of this post.

Comet ATLAS should become bright enough to be easily visible in binoculars, and perhaps bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye from dark sky locations.

Just know that comets are notoriously erratic and inherently unpredictable! We will have to wait to see how Comet
ATLAS performs.


Contributing Member
The size of the comet also reminds me of the movie Melancholia where a planet came into the solar system and collided with earth.


Contributing Member
Not sure if this was mentioned, but came across a link to Wikipedia. This lead to ATLAS...which stands for Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS). Interesting choice for the name of C19/Atlas.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
I'm starting to think folks should be required to pass a basic science quiz just to access this thread! The comet nucleus is likely only a few miles in size, the comet coma is what is allegedly bigger than Jupiter, and the comet tail is what stretches way the hell out behind the comet on the inbound leg of the orbit. The tail generally points away from the Sun such that the tail will actually be in front of the comet on the outward bound leg of the orbit. The coma is typically made up of gases and particles that have escaped from the nucleus as it slowly heats up when it gets closer to the Sun. There's very little danger of any serious impact from anything located in the coma … it looks far more solid from Earth than is the actual case and is really very probably only a few molecules per cubic mile of space (but the coma takes up a lot of cubic miles of space). The tail, now, that can actually have larger chunks in it, and has been pointed out earlier in this thread old comet tails are what produce some of Earth's regular annual meteor showers, like the Perseids and Leonids. Even then, each "falling star" is typically no bigger than a sand- or rice-sized particle, with the really bright trails caused by objects perhaps the size of a pea.


Senior nut
Yes, the big dipper is empty in this view. Polaris marks the end of the little dipper's handle.
Thank you.

So all I gotta do is find the big dipper then follow the handle that almost points at the comet? And will it look green? Or blue?

Wait is Ursa Minor the small dipper? And if so one can follow that handle and it will point at the comet?

Think I can find the little dipper, just gotta wait for clear night sky.

Thanks again for your posts.
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Veteran Member
Thank you.

So all I gotta do is find the big dipper then follow the handle that almost points at the comet? And will it look green? Or blue?

Wait is Ursa Minor the small dipper? And if so one can follow that handle and it will point at the comet?

Think I can find the little dipper, just gotta wait for clear night sky.

Thanks again for your posts.
This early unless you know EXACTLY where to look with binoculars or a small telescope it's doubtful you will see it.

I'm going to start looking end of April after sunset. Venus and Capella will be your best guide posts. It will be a straight line from them about the same distance. Look for a green fuzzy smudge.



Veteran Member
Bright Comet ATLAS could blaze into view this month

By Joe Rao

Already visible in telescopes and high-power binoculars, the comet may be bright enough to see with the naked eye by the end of April.

There has been a lot of talk in recent days on social media regarding the approach of a new comet that could possibly evolve into a spectacular sight in the coming weeks ahead.

The comet has been christened "ATLAS" which is an acronym for Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System ("ATLAS"); a robotic astronomical survey and early warning system based in Hawaii, optimized for detecting smaller near-Earth objects a few weeks to a few days before they impact Earth.

But besides finding asteroids, ATLAS has also found more than half a dozen comets. The one that everyone is currently interested in is classified at C/2019 Y4.

video 1:06 min
Comet 2019 Y4 (ATLAS) may become very bright - See its orbit

Where to look and when
From now through April 10, those who try searching out for the comet are going to be handicapped by the presence of the moon, which will turn full on April 7. The moon's dazzling light is going to make a sighting of this dim, wispy object all that more difficult.

C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) is predicted to become bright enough to see with unaided eyes in May. If this holds true, and comets are notoriously unpredictable, the comet should be observable in binoculars during April, too. The moonless nights surrounding the weekend of Saturday, April 18 are the best in April month for finding it. Once the sky has darkened, face northwest, and sweep your binoculars inside the large triangle formed by the bright star Capella, dimmer Polaris, and the Big Dipper. The comet's path during April (red line with date/time labels) will be downwards between Capella and Polaris. In binoculars, the comet should appear as faint, fuzzy grey patch, and elongated due to a developed tail (simulated view inset). Once you've located it, a backyard telescope might also show a hint of green, a characteristic color of these icy visitors. (Image credit: Starry Night)

On a positive note, its path through the constellations will continue to be very favorable for Northern Hemisphere observers as it will remain circumpolar — always remaining above the horizon. As darkness falls, it will be positioned more than halfway up in the north-northwest sky. The comet currently resides within the boundaries of Camelopardalis, the giraffe — a rather dim, shapeless star pattern. There it will stay right on through April.

For the technically inclined, I have calculated an ephemeris below — a table giving the positions of Comet ATLAS at five-day intervals through the balance of April on into May. Observers can use it to plot the projected path of Comet Atlas on a star chart or atlas. The coordinate positions provided will also be useful for those who own a "smart" or "GoTo" telescope (one that can locate and track objects as they move across the night sky).

Each date listed corresponds to 8 p.m. EDT (1200 GMT). Distances from the sun and Earth are given in millions of miles. Magnitudes have been determined based on a light curve determined by comet expert Seiichi Yoshida. As of April 4: Orbital velocity, 57,200 M.P.H. (92,000 km/hr.). Linear diameter of comet coma: 267,800 miles (430,900 km). Ephemeris generated exclusively for Space.com by Joe Rao. (Image credit: Joe Rao/Space.com)

As to how bright Comet ATLAS may get, I have followed the predicted light curve of Japanese comet expert Seiichi Yoshida, which is posted on his "Visual Comets in the Future" website. His values suggest that ATLAS might become faintly visible to the unaided eye by the end of April or beginning of May. By mid-May, the comet might reach second magnitude — as bright as Polaris, the North Star. During the final week of May, as the comet disappears into the glare of the setting sun, it possibly could attain first magnitude or brighter.

But we must stress caution: comets are notoriously unpredictable. We can only guess how bright it will get and how long its prospective tail might be. If we are lucky, we might have a conveniently visible comet in the western evening twilight by mid-May. However, I personally don't think it will rank with spectacular comets of the recent past like Comet McNaught (2007) or Hale-Bopp (1997), but hopefully it will evolve into a noteworthy object.

Then again, it could also disappoint. We're just going to have to wait and see.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing comet photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, you can send images and comments in to spacephotos@futurenet.com.

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Veteran Member

Comet ATLAS probably won't be visible from Earth with the naked eye now as astronomers think it's disintegrating
By Aristos Georgiou On 4/8/20 at 11:12 AM EDT

4-5 minutes

The comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) has been fading in brightness in the past few days as it approaches the sun, sparking concerns that it could be disintegrating.

The object, which was only discovered on December 29, 2019, has garnered a lot of attention recently, with many in the astronomy community hoping that it would become the brightest comet for more than 20 years.

However, observations conducted in the last few days have indicated the comet may be in trouble on its journey towards our star, somewhat dashing hopes that it might be visible with the naked eye from Earth's Northern Hemisphere by the second half of May.

"[C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS)] brightened quickly until mid-March and showed some promise that it might even reach naked eye visibility in May, however the brightness stalled and then started to decrease steadily," Terry Lovejoy, a well-known amateur astronomer who has discovered six comets, told Newsweek.

"The appearance around the nucleus of the comet has also changed, and is suggesting the comet's nucleus—it's solid core—may either be in the process of fragmenting, shutting down or even disintegrating. Further observations will be needed to determine the exact nature of what is happening," he said.

In fact, astronomers Quanzhi Ye and Qicheng Zhang—from the University of Maryland and Caltech respectively—disseminated a message on The Astronomer's Telegram service on April 6 reporting the "possible disintegration" of the comet as revealed by the public monitoring program carried out by the 0.6-m Ningbo Education Xinjiang Telescope.
"Unfortunately, I feel the most likely scenario is that the comet is at least partly disintegrating so the chances of it being visible to the naked eye are slim," Lovejoy said. "However, astronomers will continue to monitor the comet in the coming weeks to see what it does."

The comet—or what's left of it—is currently located inside the orbit of Mars at a distance of around 95 million miles from Earth. It is currently visible with amateur astronomy equipment in the constellation Camelopardalis ("The Giraffe",) and is best seen in the evening sky, according to Lovejoy.

The comet, which has a very elongated orbit, is scheduled to make its closest approach to Earth on May 23, and the sun on May 31—when it will come within around 23 million miles of our star.

The object was discovered by the ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) robotic astronomical survey system based in Hawaii, a NASA-supported observing program that operates two autonomous telescopes that look for Earth approaching comets and asteroids.
Stock image: Artist's illustration of a comet. iStock

The reason for the excitement over C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) is that comets with the potential to become obvious naked eye objects are rare, according to Don Yeomans, a retired NASA astronomer specializing in comet and asteroid orbits and observations.

In fact, it has been more than two decades since the last spectacularly bright comet—Hale-Bopp—passed by Earth in 1997. However, it would not be unusual for C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) to disintegrate as it approaches our star—a behavior that is not uncommon for comets that have not been in the inner solar system before.

"Comets are fragile constructs of mostly ices and dust and some have been known to break up and disperse near the sun," Yeomans told Newsweek. "As the famous astronomer Fred Whipple used to say, 'both comets and cats have tails—and both are unpredictable.'"

"The comet, or its fragments, will be visible as it continues to approach the sun but it may not be a naked-eye spectacle. Comets are unpredictable. Whether or not the comet becomes a naked-eye spectacle, a small army of amateur astronomers will be watching with telescopes and binoculars to see if the comet survives its passage by the sun, he said.


Neither here nor there.
Comet Atlas *update* 07-04-2020 Last night the bright "super" Moon made observations difficult. Now that we have good reasons to believe it is breaking apart the central region does seem to be less pointlike and more fussy. Not a good sign... #cometatlas #comet #astronomy #space
video 7 sec
View: https://twitter.com/MMBurgmeijer/status/1247940064887349248
Why is this not a good sign now that it appears to be breaking up?


Veteran Member
Yes and disintegrating meaning fading in brightness, will not be visible from Earth with the naked eye
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Veteran Member
How many of Ursa Minor's stars can you see tonight? BTW - #comet c/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) is located in the sky above the label "Camelopardalis". (politely) Ask your neighbors to turn off their external lights.
View: https://twitter.com/astrogeoguy/status/1248710335760142337

Friday, April 10 all night - The Little Dipper Points Sideways
Polaris marks the tip of the handle of the Little Dipper.
The rest of the Little Dipper extends sideways to the right from Polaris,
and curves upwards towards the Big Dipper.

courtesy @starrynightedu & @astrogeoguy
View: https://twitter.com/RASCHamilton/status/1248698561904152576



Advocate Discernment
soo, ive been reading some more aobut this, people seem divided. is it blue as in the blue kachina warning or green as in the behold a pale (chloros) horse warning? looks pretty greenish to me.

Samuel Adams

Veteran Member
Hate to drift the thread....

Has NASA’s “DART” project been discussed ?

What could go wrong ?


Tundra Gypsy

Veteran Member
Currently Planet X is being blocked by Jupiter. By December and January; you will start seeing large rocks beginning to fall out of the sky...Niburu is on its way here. Some places around the country have already seen 'two' suns....one of them being Planet X. Everyone will eventually see it for themselves. Then there will be no more denying it.

Earthquakes and volcanic activity galore are in store for us; you will want to be away from all coast lines as well as the Mississippi River where the New Madrid Fault line is located.

I think it will be nice to have a diversion from all this virus stuff; and something to add to my Doom & Gloom calendar in December. :)


Has No Life - Lives on TB
NASA: 2 Asteroids To Intersect Earth’s Orbit This Week

By Inigo Monzon
04/12/20 AT 9:17 PM

  • NASA detected two asteroids approaching Earth
  • Both asteroids have Earth-crossing orbits
  • One of the asteroids is big enough to cause an impact event
NASA’s automated asteroid tracking system has detected two asteroids that are expected to approach Earth On Wednesday. According to the data collected by the agency’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the approaching asteroids have natural orbits that intersect Earth’s path.
The asteroid that will first approach Earth on April 15 has been identified as 2020 FX3. As indicated in CNEOS’ database, this asteroid has an estimated diameter of 295 feet, making it almost as big as the Statue of Liberty.

According to CNEOS, 2020 FX3 is currently traveling across space towards Earth at an average speed of almost 23,000 miles per hour.
Trailing behind 2020 FX3 is an asteroid known as 2020 GH2. Compared to 2020 FX3, 2020 GH2 is a much smaller asteroid. As noted by CNEOS, this space rock measures about 98 feet wide. It is currently moving through the Solar System at an average velocity of over 19,000 miles per hour.
According to NASA, both 2020 FX3 and 2020 GH2 are classified as Apollo asteroid. This means that these two space rocks have natural orbits that cross Earth’s path as it travels around the Sun.

Earth-crossing asteroids are one of the most dangerous types due to their capability of directly colliding with the planet. If 2020 FX3 hits Earth, it could cause an impact event on the ground.

Based on its size and potential impact velocity, the blast from the asteroid’s ground explosion could be powerful enough to destroy a relatively large area such as a town.
2020 GH2, on the other hand, most likely won’t cause an impact event as it is too small to go through Earth’s atmosphere. Instead, this asteroid will probably end up burning up in the sky and causing a powerful mid-air explosion that’s equivalent to multiple atomic bombs.

According to CNEOS, 2020 FX3’s upcoming near-Earth intersection will occur on April 15 at 1:02 a.m. EDT. During this time, the asteroid will approach Earth from a distance of 0.03612 astronomical units or roughly 3.4 million miles away.
As for 2020 GH2, this asteroid will fly past the planet on April 15 at 12:45 p.m. EDT from a distance of 0.00240 astronomical units or around 223,000 miles away.
Over 17,000 near-Earth asteroids remain undetected in our solar neighborhood. Pictured; an artistic illustration of an asteroid flying by Earth. Photo: NASA

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