Comet Pan-STARRS

7 Mar 2013

Armagh Observatory has an image of Comet 2011 44 (Pan-STARRS), a bright comet that will be visible in the northern hemisphere this week - see http://phys.org/print281792029.html .... It is a bright comet and in November will be followed by Comet ISON, which will be even brighter.

At www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2286636/Scientists-solve-the-mys... ... apparently the surface of Mercury melted millions of years ago. I avoid using the precise figures in these kind of stories as after all what is one billion years between them and us and who can really get their heads around such numbers. All we need to take onboard is that the surface of Mercury has been a large ocean of magma - on more than one occasion.

See also http://phys.org/print281727820.html ... which has the route of the comet as it passes through the solar system and coming close to Mars. The distance away is now being stretched to something like 186,000 miles, which is quite different from the hype a few days ago. It is known as Siding Spring as it was first seen at the Australian observatory of that name. It is said to be on the way from the Oort Cloud, the hypothetical cloud of comets on the edge of the solar system.