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Blob
2006-Mar-21, 02:10 AM
The periodic comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 with an orbital period of 5.43 to 5.46 will pass 0.0786 AU from the Earth on May 12th, 2006.

The comet was discovery in 1930. It is expected to be visible to the naked eye.
Currently it is at magnitude 11.9 with a condensed nucleus. During the observed return on August 19, 1995 at magnitude 12.9 the comets brightness increased by 6 magnitudes in the beginning of October, due to the nucleus breaking apart into three main nuclei.
http://static.flickr.com/35/115593646_d662321aec_o.gif
It will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere in May.
The comet is connected to the Tau Herculids meteor shower which was also observed in 1930. The meteor shower may show increased activity this year during May 19 to June 19. The maximum occurs on June 9, from an average radiant of RA = 236 deg, Dec = +41 deg.
The source of the June Bootids is the periodic comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke.

http://static.flickr.com/53/115598976_73a0b6ec9c_o.gif



Date TT R. A. (2000) Decl. Delta r Elong. Phase m1 m2
2006 03 21 14 24.11 +16 39.4 0.511 1.429 140.9 26.1 12.9 17.0
2006 03 26 14 31.26 +17 54.3 0.454 1.383 141.8 26.5 12.4 16.7
2006 03 31 14 38.98 +19 17.4 0.400 1.337 142.0 27.4 11.9 16.4
2006 04 05 14 47.66 +20 49.0 0.349 1.292 141.6 28.8 11.4 16.0
2006 04 10 14 57.94 +22 29.9 0.300 1.248 140.4 30.8 10.8 15.7
2006 04 15 15 10.90 +24 22.2 0.255 1.205 138.3 33.6 10.2 15.3
2006 04 20 15 28.39 +26 29.5 0.211 1.164 135.3 37.4 9.6 15.0
2006 04 25 15 53.93 +28 55.6 0.170 1.125 131.0 42.4 8.9 14.6
2006 04 30 16 34.81 +31 37.0 0.133 1.088 124.7 49.6 8.2 14.2
2006 05 05 17 45.71 +33 41.0 0.101 1.055 114.5 60.5 7.4 13.8
2006 05 10 19 42.02 +31 07.6 0.0814 1.024 98.0 77.5 6.7 13.8
2006 05 15 21 49.81 +19 43.4 0.0818 0.998 78.5 96.9 6.5 14.5
2006 05 20 23 15.92 +07 19.2 0.102 0.976 66.5 108.0 6.9 15.5
2006 05 25 00 06.01 -00 35.4 0.134 0.958 62.4 110.5 7.4 16.2
2006 05 30 00 37.22 -05 09.8 0.170 0.946 62.2 108.6 7.8 16.6
2006 06 04 00 58.75 -07 51.5 0.209 0.940 63.5 105.0 8.2 16.8
2006 06 09 01 14.99 -09 28.6 0.248 0.940 65.5 100.7 8.6 17.0
2006 06 14 01 28.08 -10 26.8 0.286 0.945 67.7 96.0 8.9 17.1
2006 06 19 01 39.14 -11 01.0 0.324 0.956 70.1 91.3 9.3 17.2
2006 06 24 01 48.73 -11 20.7 0.360 0.972 72.7 86.6 9.6 17.3
2006 06 29 01 57.10 -11 32.1 0.394 0.993 75.4 82.0 9.9 17.3

Ara Pacis
2006-Mar-21, 04:52 AM
Wow, that's just over 30 earth-moon distances. Twelve million kilometers seems kinda close.

Kullat Nunu
2006-Mar-21, 06:44 AM
Bummer. CONTOUR was supposed to fly by this comet in the next summer.

Blob
2006-Mar-21, 12:37 PM
Hum,
yes that was unfortunate for CONTOUR.
(CONTOUR went dead in Earth orbit?)
But i suppose, its a case of `why bother going there when it can come to us?`...

The Earth isn`t predicted to pass through any dust streams this year, but there is a real possibility that during this return, or future returns, that large boulders dislodged from the comet breakup may intersect the orbit of the earth.

Swift
2006-Mar-21, 02:59 PM
Nice Blob, thanks.
One website for info (http://cometography.com/pcomets/073p.html)
Another site (http://www.aerith.net/comet/catalog/0073P/2006.html)

Kullat Nunu
2006-Mar-21, 08:53 PM
Hum,
yes that was unfortunate for CONTOUR.
(CONTOUR went dead in Earth orbit?)
But i suppose, its a case of `why bother going there when it can come to us?`...

It exploded when it was leaving Earth's orbit.

Blob
2006-Mar-27, 03:07 PM
Hum,
More information....

"A cometary "string-of-pearls" will fly past Earth in May 2006 giving astronomers a fantastic view of a dying comet."

Read more (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/24mar_73p.htm)

Fraser
2006-Mar-29, 04:32 AM
SUMMARY: More than 10 years ago, Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 unexpectedly split apart into 3 separate pieces. Now these cometary fragments are going to fly past the Earth, and astronomers will get a closer view than they've had in 20 years - back when the fragments were a single object. The fragments will get relatively close, passing within 10 million km (6 million miles), but they won't get very bright, unfortunately. It'll take dark skies and binoculars to see much more than a blurry smudge in the sky.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/dying_comet_earth.html)
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.

antoniseb
2006-Mar-29, 01:18 PM
Seeing comets fall apart by bouncing radar off of it seems like it can tell us something new about the structure of this one in particular, and possibly all comets.

publiusr
2006-Apr-06, 09:07 PM
I seem to remember a passage of Rain of Iron & Ice which had some claims of some fast moving sneak comets whic some eyewitnesses saw but was missed by many experts.

I can't remember the page.

Slobodan
2006-Apr-17, 03:19 AM
I have a question regarding the article "Watch for Mini-Comet". Since the comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 is splitting up further all the time - is there any chance that any of these fragments hits Earth? If it is said that there could be a meteor shower isnt't it than also possible that a somewhat bigger fragment hits Earth too? If we suppose so, how strong would such an impact be? Or in other words - how big should such a fragment be to represent a threat on a lrger scale? Thank you



SUMMARY: More than 10 years ago, Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 unexpectedly split apart into 3 separate pieces. Now these cometary fragments are going to fly past the Earth, and astronomers will get a closer view than they've had in 20 years - back when the fragments were a single object. The fragments will get relatively close, passing within 10 million km (6 million miles), but they won't get very bright, unfortunately. It'll take dark skies and binoculars to see much more than a blurry smudge in the sky.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/dying_comet_earth.html)
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.

Orlando
2006-Apr-18, 01:54 PM
I need help understanding this comet data.
Last month(March) it was reported that the closest fragment will be about 6 million miles away(www.spaceweather.com new articles)
But, since last reports comet P73 had broken into 21 pc's and might still break up more ?

Looking at jpl new/updated data shows that most of these comets fragments are projected to be within 6 million miles, for example:

P73(S) is now projected to pass near Earth on May 27th at 0.048 au, which =4.46 million miles(rounding numbers)
P73(U) on May 14th will pass at 0.056 au=5.20 million miles
P73(X) on May 16th will pass at 0.059 au=5.48 million miles

etc,etc..Most of them @ 15 fragments will pass within 6 million miles thorogh the costellations Cygnus and Pegasus(May 12th -14th)

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/db?name=73P

What about Asteroid 2006 GY2 path of travel ?
They all come very, very close to each other on those same dates.

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/db_shm?sstr=2006%20GY2

If comets keep changing and breaking apart more can these two bodies hit each other ?

Skyywatcher
2006-Apr-18, 07:19 PM
Located a fragment of it last night [4/17] with large binoculars 25x100 near Corona Borealis. Reasonable seeing I thought but it was an elongated fuzzy at best. Worth the effort though for sure. ESE from 39 deg 14 min north and 82 deg 12 min west.

Duane
2006-Apr-19, 02:45 PM
Wow, that's just over 30 earth-moon distances. Twelve million kilometers seems kinda close.

Hmm, by my math it's 11.8 million miles, not kilometers. It would be 21.2 million KMs. (1 AU=93,000,000 miles)

Superluminal
2006-Apr-20, 01:25 AM
If I remember correctly, Comet Hyakutake in 1996 was only 9 million miles away at closest approach. But it wasn't fragmented.

mantiss
2006-Apr-20, 02:01 AM
If I remember correctly, Comet Hyakutake in 1996 was only 9 million miles away at closest approach. But it wasn't fragmented.

A list (http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/cfa/ps/lists/ClosestComets.html) of closest cometary approaches. Comet Biela also fragmented but that was well after the 1805 approach :)

Orlando
2006-Apr-20, 04:49 AM
There are now 35 fragments

Duane
2006-Apr-20, 09:01 PM
I've merged two recent threads regarding this same topic.

Orlando
2006-Apr-22, 01:51 AM
Here's JPL April 21 update report:

There are now 3 fragments within 5 million miles:

P73(AG)...0.0511 au= 4.750 million miles(rounding numbers) on 5/16
P73(Y)...0.0523 au= 4.861 million miles on 5/9
P73(AB)...0.0537 au= 4.991 million miles on 5/15
*Note: P-73(S) is now 0.0709 au=6.5 million miles*
There are now many fragments within 6 million miles...

**Do we have any more data/image(s)/pic of Asteriod 2006 GY2 ???**

Orlando
2006-Apr-27, 04:10 PM
I need some help with this question?

Q--> How far does our magnetic field extend outward ?
Hundred of miles or million of miles ?
Does anybody know exact numbers ?
Please, and thank you for any help in understanding this

I am looking at this data, and don't know how to read the distance in those blue and red lines of magnetic field data.

http://www2.nict.go.jp/dk/c232/realtime

antoniseb
2006-Apr-27, 05:24 PM
I need some help with this question?

Q--> How far does our magnetic field extend outward ?
Hundred of miles or million of miles ?
Does anybody know exact numbers ?

It's millions of miles, especially going away from the Sun. Exact numbers? You've got to define what you are looking for better if you want exact numbers. It is always changing.

antoniseb
2006-Apr-29, 02:10 PM
I saw a little video through the CNN website which shows time-lapse images of 73P-SW3 from Hubble. It is amazing to watch the lumps 'evaporating' as they fall behind the main nucleus of the comet. I put the word evaporating in quotes, as I know there are some people on the forum that don't believe that this is caused by the outgassing of volatile ices. Whatever the process, it was very interesting to watch.

Orlando
2006-Apr-30, 02:02 AM
It's millions of miles, especially going away from the Sun. Exact numbers? You've got to define what you are looking for better if you want exact numbers. It is always changing.

Thank You

Orlando
2006-May-03, 07:02 PM
What does " MISS DISTANCE MINIMUM" (LD/AU) mean ?

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/neo_ca?type=NEC;type=NEC;hmax=all;tlim=recent_futu re;dmax=0.1AU;max_rows=200;action=Display%20Table; show=1&sort=dist_min&sdir=ASC

It is showing P73 (BD) at 0.00010 au
Is this right ?

Superluminal
2006-May-04, 01:09 AM
LD(Lunar Distance)=Average distance from Earth to Moon.
AU(Astronomical Unit)=Average distance from Earth to the Sun.

ToSeek
2006-May-04, 02:17 PM
What does " MISS DISTANCE MINIMUM" (LD/AU) mean ?

http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/neo_ca?type=NEC;type=NEC;hmax=all;tlim=recent_futu re;dmax=0.1AU;max_rows=200;action=Display%20Table; show=1&sort=dist_min&sdir=ASC

It is showing P73 (BD) at 0.00010 au
Is this right ?

That's the worst-case estimate at a three-sigma level of confidence. In other words, there's only a 0.3% chance (3 in 1000) the comet will get that close.

Blob
2006-May-04, 11:12 PM
Hum,
Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 has now broken up into at least 61 observable fragments...

Web Link: (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/db?name=73P)

Blob
2006-May-06, 02:01 AM
In April of this year, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured an image of the shattered comet on its way back to the inner solar system. The infrared picture provides the best look yet at the crumbling comet's trail of debris, seen as a bridge connecting the larger fragments.

http://static.flickr.com/50/141125791_2ba324936b_m.jpg
Expand (http://ipac.jpl.nasa.gov/media_images/sig06-011_medium.jpg) (151kb, 900 x 621)
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows three of the many fragments making up Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3. The infrared picture also provides the best look yet at the crumbling comet's trail of debris, seen here as a bridge connecting the larger fragments.
It was taken on April 1, 2006, by Spitzer's multi-band imaging photometer using the 24-micron wavelength channel.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/W.

The new image is a tantalising preview of a much larger picture Spitzer will obtain during observations on May 4 to 6, 2006. The telescope's super sensitive infrared eyes will have an unprecedented view of the debris stretching between larger comet chunks.

Source (http://sscws1.ipac.caltech.edu/Imagegallery/image.php?image_name=sig06-011)

Orlando
2006-May-06, 01:31 PM
Here's a May 4/5 image of P73 (B) and numberous fragments.

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2006/06may06/Masi.jpg

Orlando
2006-May-06, 01:41 PM
Here's the latest update numbers from jpl (Top 3 closest)

#1...P73 (AX) on May 17th will come about 0.0503 au, which is @ 4.67 million miles.
http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/db?rec=900489

#2...P73 (V) on May 12th... 0.0529 au=4.91 million miles
#3...P73(AA) on May 17th... 0.0538 au= 5.00 million miles
http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/db?rec=900466

Orlando
2006-May-06, 01:44 PM
That's the worst-case estimate at a three-sigma level of confidence. In other words, there's only a 0.3% chance (3 in 1000) the comet will get that close.

Data is still the same as of May 6th, hmm???

ngc3314
2006-May-06, 06:56 PM
Data is still the same as of May 6th, hmm???

Did the table show the magnitude of the expected error? That fragment was short-lived and might have been seen only a cuuple of times, giving a very uncertain orbit. Orbital uncertainities, as seen in some of the hoopla about asteroid encounters, do not translate in a simple way into changes in impact probability (since they will typically give an error ellipse highly elongated in space for a given time). If the table is auto-generated frequently, fragments may still be listed which have not actually been seen lately (i.e. have sublimed past the size limit for detection).

Blob
2006-May-07, 06:49 PM
Just a reminder to say that the primary (C) mass of comet 73P will pass near the Ring Nebula (M 57) tonight.

http://static.flickr.com/49/142148162_f7cbb17537_o.gif
Position(2000): RA 18:54; Dec 33:02

The event is best seen from Asia, Europe and eastern parts of North America. Elsewhere, the event can also be seen but the position of the comet will be slightly further from the nebula.

Orlando
2006-May-09, 02:19 PM
Here's a cool image

Orlando
2006-May-09, 02:23 PM
Here's another image of P-73 (C)

http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2006/08may06/Thorsten.jpg

Orlando
2006-May-09, 02:31 PM
Did the table show the magnitude of the expected error? That fragment was short-lived and might have been seen only a cuuple of times, giving a very uncertain orbit. Orbital uncertainities, as seen in some of the hoopla about asteroid encounters, do not translate in a simple way into changes in impact probability (since they will typically give an error ellipse highly elongated in space for a given time). If the table is auto-generated frequently, fragments may still be listed which have not actually been seen lately (i.e. have sublimed past the size limit for detection).

I don't know if this top story (May 9th) from spaceweather.com is connected with 2006GY2 and P-73(B and fragments) ?

"....Spaceweather is reporting "Comet Outburst"
According to observers in Italy fragment B (P-73) has suddenly brightened to 5th Magnitude.
The outburst probably signals another BREAK-UP..."

http://www.spaceweather.com

Those two bodies were to cross each path today(5-9-6)
ps...or near each other...0.3%..chance...?

Orlando
2006-May-09, 02:38 PM
http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/neo_ca?type=NEC;type=NEC;hmax=all;tlim=recent_futu re;dmax=0.1AU;max_rows=200;action=Display%20Table; show=1&sort=dist_min&sdir=ASC

It is showing P73 (BD) at 0.00010 au


Still the same(5-9-6)

Orlando
2006-May-10, 05:01 PM
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2006/10may06/Rosen.jpg

ngc3314
2006-May-10, 06:55 PM
That fragment coming off B must have done so within the last 36 hours or so. I got the attached image Sunday night (about 0500 UT on May 8), stacked to get rid of star trails (mostly), shown with a near-logarithmic brightness scale. Just a single peak, although the triangular coma is kind of neat and it looks as if a little bit of the dust trail along the orbit sticks out toward about the 4 o'clock direction.

Orlando
2006-May-11, 05:26 AM
Here's a new NASA/JPL infrared image from May 4th to 6th

http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/ssc2006-13/ssc2006-13a.shtml

sol88
2006-May-11, 02:05 PM
Wow!!

What can I say thats an exceptionally spectacular sublimating dirty snowyball, love those "jets" :)

Sol