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Weather Network – Say hello to & # 39; Churyumoon & # 39 ;, the newly discovered Comet 67 companion

Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 6:45 pm – What's going on in space? Rosetta's Comet has a tiny companion, another asteroid danger is ruled out, but something HUGE has hit Jupiter!

When the European Space Agency spacecraft made headlines a few years ago, showing us spectacular views of the immense Comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko, there was something missing.

It seems that we were so focused on the little companion Rosette, the land of Philae, that we didn't notice that the Comet 67P had its own companion!

This resin fren of 67P / C-G is now known as & # 39; Churyumoon & # 39; thanks to ESA researcher Julia Marín-Yaseli de la Parra.

<Img src = "" alt = "Rosetta-Comet-67P- Churyumoon-ESA "data-img =" // image was taken by Rosette cameras on October 21, 2015, when the spacecraft was 400 km away from the comet. The circle depicts a tiny 4-foot-wide Churyumoon as it orbits over the larger parent body. Credit: ESA

According to the ESA: "A significant chunk of this look was spotted a few months ago by astrophotographer Jacint Roger of Spain, who mined the Rosetta archive, processed some data and posted the pictures on Twitter as an animated GIF. 2015. At the time, the spacecraft was more than 400 km away from 67P / CG. "

See more of this story, along with an animated series of Churyumoon's orbit, on the ESA website.


Astronomers were understandably a little concerned about the 2006 QV89-sized asteroid in the house, but so far have ruled out any impact from this object.

When it was discovered almost 13 years ago, astronomers could only trace this space rock 30 meters wide for a short time before losing sight of it, and what they saw was a bit disturbing.

According to the University of Hawaii and Manoi: "In 2006, QV89 was discovered by an Arizona telescope on August 29, 2006, and observations were only possible until September 8, 2006, when the asteroid became unnoticeable by a telescope on Earth. The orbit determined from these limited observations had significant uncertainty and did not it was possible to rule out a low probability that an asteroid would affect Earth in the future, possibly as early as 2019. Last month, observations from the very large telescope (VLT) of the European Observatory in Chile did not find an asteroid where it would appear if it were on a trajectory that would affect Earth this September. That ruled out impact in 2019, but impact for 2020 remained an option, along with nearly two-tenths more in the next hundred years, with eight of those in the coming decade. "

At 30 meters wide in 2006, when QV89 hits Earth, it would probably have a similar impact to the Chelyabinsk asteroid impact of February 2013 – a vibrant flash and a bang loud enough to break windows. However, this is if the asteroid is made of relatively soft stuff.

If it were, instead, an iron asteroid – the remnant of the iron-nickel core of an ancient fragmented planetoid – could potentially be the city's killer, destroying buildings and more with an explosive wave equivalent to an 18-megaton nuclear bomb.

Fortunately, after the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope resumed operations last weekend, astronomers there quickly acquired this asteroid and their observations made it possible to pinpoint the orbit of the object.

So far, they have completely ruled out any potential impact from Earth for the next century.


When you are one of the largest objects in the solar system, you are justified in the fact that you will encounter many things. As he watched the meteors of Perseid on August 6, amateur astronomer Ethan Chappel recorded just such a "shell" as his telescope spotted a bright white flash on Jupiter.

Although the event has yet to be confirmed by reviewing the data of other astronomers, Bob King of Sky & Telescope said some signs indicate an impact.

"It extended from point to small point before it faded," King said, "indications of possible impact based on previous events recorded on Jupiter."

Given the size of the torch and the size of the planet, if it were an asteroid impact, the asteroid must have been quite large to produce such a noticeable flash.

Come back next Tuesday for more space content!

Sources: ESA | University of Hawaii | Sky and telescope


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