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Space

Comet Catalina To Pass By Earth For the Final Time 54

StartsWithABang writes: Originating from the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud, comets are generally thought of as periodic objects, with their initial trajectories having been perturbed by either Neptune, another distant object or a passing star or rogue planet. But most comets aren't periodic; they're transient instead, where a trip into the inner Solar System gives them additional gravitational perturbations, causing them to either fly into the Sun or gain enough kinetic energy to escape entirely. This latter fate is the case for Comet Catalina, which reaches perihelion on November 15th and then heads out of the Solar System after putting on one final show for observers on Earth.
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Comet Catalina To Pass By Earth For the Final Time

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  • its the catalina fucking comet mixer
  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @06:41AM (#50913815)
    good riddance!
  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @06:48AM (#50913837) Homepage
    The summary leaves out the most important part of this whole thing, the part that is most critical to answer: what kind of shirt was the spokesman wearing when he made the announcement? We can't possibly evaluate if this is OK unless we know. Is there any word?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Slashdot's SJW-article day is tomorrow.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      You forgot to say "SJW".
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      A picture of Trump with the phrase "PC Sucks!"

    • That is so sexist, couldn't the spokesman have been a spokeswoman wearing a blouse? /SJW

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Using shirt and man while complaining about a sexist witch hunt. You and the SJWs deserve each other. Time for some popcorn!

  • by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @06:56AM (#50913851)
    We have been informed that Catalina's Comet is the home of a major warez site. We recommend that you get over to it immediately to sort it out. We'll keep a slot open for you on the comet's return.
  • Please never put links to sites that require you to be looking at an advertising page or similar before you can go to the content that really interests you.
  • This is really Planet Nibiru coming to invade us with their lizard-men!!!

  • I'm not any kind of physicist or astro. Can't we use comets like this to send objects out of the solar system? Things like the voyager 2?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      We'd have to grab it or land on it...which means we'd have to match its speed...which means we'd be going fast enough to do this anyway, so why bother grabbing a comet?

      • by Crowd Computing ( 4269575 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @11:16AM (#50914977)

        We'd have to grab it or land on it...which means we'd have to match its speed...which means we'd be going fast enough to do this anyway, so why bother grabbing a comet?

        This makes Newtonian sense, however I can think of one scenario where we don't need speed up to the comet. Place the spacecraft on its path. Basically instead of trying to catch the comet, we let the comet catch up with us. Not recommended for humans or delicate equipment.

        • This comet is moving at 46 km/s:
          http://www.heavens-above.com/c... [heavens-above.com]
          Earth is moving at 30 km/s, so that is a difference of 16 km/s, or approximately 36k miles/h. Good luck making anything that can survive that kind of impact.

          • So it's like saving the effort of walking by standing in the road and letting a bus catch up with you, only very much more so?

            • OP wanted to send objects out of the solar system. He didn't say in one piece. Then again you can think of all those Hollywood stunts where the hero jumps onto an oncoming truck or train. So in principle it should be survivable with some monstrous shock absorbers.
          • by GTRacer ( 234395 )
            I've got a Nokia 3310 I could spare...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not any kind of physicist or astro.
      Can't we use comets like this to send objects out of the solar system? Things like the voyager 2?

      No.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As you drift out into the darkness of the unknown, my solitary friend, I will lay here without you - wishing I could undertake your journey through the great void of space towards distant stars. I wonder, dear comet, what would you think?

    I love you.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Ramans do everything in threes.

  • If you want an informative web site that actually works without Javascript, visit http://www.skyandtelescope.com... [skyandtelescope.com]
  • by Scarletdown ( 886459 ) on Thursday November 12, 2015 @02:36PM (#50916347) Journal

    Anyone else find this declaration in the article mildly annoying?

    Out a little farther, the four gas giants -- themselves failed stars --

    At best, one would think that of the four, only Jupiter could even remotely be considered a failed star. I would think the other three don't have nearly enough mass to qualify for such a designation.

Of course there's no reason for it, it's just our policy.

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