Cometary Sunday

A VISITOR FROM BEYOND THE KUIPER BELT: Comet Iwamoto (C/2018 Y1) is coming. On Feb. 12th and 13th, the dirty snowball will make a rare visit to the inner solar system, passing by our planet only 0.3 AU (45 million km) away. Here it is, approaching Earth on Feb. 7th from the constellation Virgo:

Amateur astronomer Michael Jäger made the 41-minute movie at his private observatory in Jauerling, Austria. At the time, Comet Iwamoto was crossing the celestial equator, so there are many streaks in the movie from geostationary satellites. (Update: A new movie from Jäger shows even more satellites including one satellite flare.)

Discovered in Dec. 2018 by Japanese amateur astronomer Masayuki Iwamoto, this comet is a visitor from beyond the Kuiper Belt. It comes from the realm of Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects (ETNOs) more than 5 times as far from the sun as Pluto. This means it could be a relative of other ETNOS such as Sedna, 2012 VP113 (“Biden“), and 2015 TG387 (“Goblin“).

Comet Iwamoto doesn’t visit us very often. Following a highly elliptical 1371-year orbit, its last passage through the inner solar system was around 648 AD (unrecorded), and its next won’t happen until 3390 AD. Therefore, if you want to see the comet, now is the time to look.


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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13 Responses to Cometary Sunday

  1. °¿º Carol says:

    David B. Benson says:
    February 9, 2019 at 8:28 PM

    You sure cleaning is for the best? The nesting materials ought to last for more than one year.

    I think cleaning out the old nest is a good thing, it was pooped in by the previous families the summer before. I checked it out in a bird book and they said to clean them out in the Fall, but I don’t because I think the old nest would help keep the birds who sleep in them overnight during the winter a little more protection from the cold.


  2. °¿º Carol says:

    No weather to report, it’s just cold. Someone in my FB news feed put up a weather map. We might be having snow at some point the next couple days.

    I read that Seattle has been cold and had something like 10″ of snow. We’ll probably get some of that eventually since all our weather comes from the west.


    • Micki says:

      Seattle area got slammed! No new snow for us in last round, but a one-two punch is forecast for us, later today…then again by Tuesday.

      I’m out walking hut now warming up a tad in a small coffeehouse.

      Packed in here, everyone puffed up in down and mitts! With red and runny noses…I’m getting the hell out!


  3. °¿º Carol says:

    Ok, it’s snow and freezing rain Tuesday. I better get to the library tomorrow then.


  4. Den says:

    Up the ladder again this AM, snowed another inch overnight with more expected all week, UGH!


  5. David B. Benson says:

    So about 7 cm of unplowed and unshoveled snow to plow through after those before me on the way to the Hillside Cafe. And it started snowing again, seriously snowing big fluffy flakes during my 21 minute minor mountaineering experience.


    • David B. Benson says:

      Still snowing after din-din. Took 8 minutes up to Terrill Library to renew books. Parenthetically, I know I am old in that I remember Prez Glen Terrill for whom the library is named.

      Anyway, a total of 47 minutes which is a good start on the week, especially as I have all that shoveling as additional exercise.


  6. Den says:

    Have not seen Micki check in, they are getting pasted up there too.


  7. Micki says:

    Seriously snowing here, also!

    Swirling about…20.1º F…wind picking up!

    Earlier today, I spotted a big fat rolly-polly ROBIN in a backyard tree. I hope s/he is cozy someplace!


  8. Micki says:

    Not all robins are the same: The vast majority of robins do move south in the winter. However, some stick around—and move around—in northern locations.

    Robins migrate more in response to food than to temperature: Fruit is the robin’s winter food source. As the ground thaws in the spring, they switch to earthworms and insects.

    While the robins may arrive when temperatures reach 37 degrees, this is because their food becomes available not because the robins themselves need warm temperatures.


  9. Den says:

    No robins here, Towhees, Junkos, and gray birds keep returning for eats here, I sweep off a spot cuz they are all ground feeders, poor little birds, they probably like the weather as much as I do.


  10. Den says:

    Den be doin this :


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