Astronomy Picture of the Day!

January 6, 2016

Big image


This picture captures ten full moons across the Earth in darkness. Taken in the canary islands, this mosaic also shows the coma and tail of Comet Borrely- which goes around every seven years. Borelly's nucleus came in contact with negative charged particles from the spacecraft Deep Space I almost 20 years ago. At the bottom of the screan is the star Arcturus and the Comet Catalina, from the Oort Cloud. Catalina's yellow dust tail passes low and towards the right, stretching across the image. Amazingly, one of the frames caught the image of a luminescent meteor, slicing in the opposite direction in the middle of the comet and star.


Comet Borrely- As has been discussed, it is a periodic comet, meant it has an orbit around the sun being 2,484 days. Deep Space 1 came in contact with it in 2001. It was discovered in 1904 by Alphonse Borrelly and the last time it came the closest to the sun, or perihelion, was on May 28, 2015.

Deep Space I- "is a spacecraft of the NASA New Millennium Program dedicated to testing a payload of advanced technologies.

Stats credit to Wikipedia:

Launch date: October 24, 1998

Max speed: 10,070 mph

Manufacturer: Spectrum Astro

Launch vehicle: Delta II

Launch site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 17

Cost: 152.3 million USD, 94.8 million USD"

Comet Catalina-

"C/2013 US10 is an Oort cloud comet discovered on 31 October 2013 by the Catalina Sky Survey at an apparent magnitude of 19 using a 0.68-meter Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope. As of September 2015 the comet is around apparent magnitude 6.

Predicted next perihelion: November 15, 2015

Discovered: October 31, 2013

Last perihelion: November 15, 2015

Epoch: December 4, 2015

Discoverer: Catalina Sky Survey"

Oort Cloud-

"The Oort Cloud is an extended shell of icy objects that exist in the outermost reaches of the solar system. It is named after astronomer Jan Oort, who first theorized its existence. The Oort Cloud is roughly spherical, and is the origin of most of the long-period comets that have been observed"