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Update on Comet Elenin

6 May 2011

NASA (see www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-135?cid=release_2011-135 ) has issued a news release on Comet Elenin – and its progress from the outer reaches of space on its journey towards the inner solar system. It is now 170 million miles away and so far it has been a bit of a wimp – according to NASA spokesman Don Yeomans. Even at its closest point observers may require the use of binoculars – and a clear sky. However, we have until October 16th for things to change – when it will be 22 million miles away. This is nothing like the near miss that was being hyped a couple of months ago and NASA is effectively pouring cold water on lurid Internet stories. Looks like a damp squib. However, NASA is still entrenched in the dirty snowball image of comets – and it may yet spark into life. However, coming within close proximity to the earth is apparently far fetched – unless anyone knows better?

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