May 14th, 2011 17:32 EST
Comet Elenin Predicted to Pass a Stone's Throw Away from Earth
As we all know over the past few months we have had a lot of out of the ordinary things in science happen. First the Tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan and set off a scare that their damaged nuclear facilities could leak enough radiation that would make the Three-Mile Island nuclear disaster that happened in 1980 look like a puddle of spilled water, we have had the out of the ordinary storms that have pummeled the South and now a little comet by the name of Elenin " has taken a left turn out of its normal orbit and has taken more of a direct route toward Earth.
This little comet was first discovered Leonin Elenin who is an observer in Lyubertsy, Russia who first spotted the comet using the ISON-MM Observatory near Mayhill, New Mexico. The scientific name for this comet is C/2010 X1.
When the comet was first spotted about four months ago it was around 401 million miles from Earth. Now the little comet has closed the gap a little closer to Earth and is now around 274 million miles away as it stays on the course towards perihelion which is the closest point to the sun.
If anyone has ever studied comets this is really what they do. They start out on a course and change their course frequently has they speed through the star lit galaxies like a glowing snow ball. This is really a normal thing for any comet to do. Don Yeoman who works for NASA`s Near-Earth Objects Program Office stated, "That is what happens with these long-period comets that come in from way outside our planetary system, "They make these long, majestic, speedy arcs through our solar system, and sometimes they put on a great show. But not Elenin. Right now that comet looks kind of wimpy." (ScienceDaily.com)
When NASA talks about and defines the term wimpiness " they are referring to what a comet may or will look like as it passes by us. Elenin has not raised any eyebrows yet from NASA. It is so far a relatively small comet that would probably not inflict anymore damaged to anything it may impact than if you threw a rock through your neighbors window. Of course you can never be too sure of the size of any comet because you are looking at them through a telescope million of miles away so scientist normally chart the path of comets and keep an eye on them until they pass by us and our planet is out of harms way.
It just makes you wonder with everything we have seen over the past few months and now we have a comet inching closer to a collision course with Earth. And you have the 2012 phenomenon of the Mayan Calendar ending and all the hype that the end of time could happen. What could be next?
Comet Elenin is expected to be nothing more that a backyard cookout show when it passes Earth at its closest point on October 16 of this year. Since it is passing from the other end of the spectrum in our solar system you will probably need a very good pair of binoculars, a remote out of the way and dark location to even get a glimpse of the comet as it zooms by the horizon which at that time the comet will be about 22 million miles away.
Even though this is a small comet and is not expected to demolish our planet if it did collide with us, NASA is still looking at every avenue or effect the comet could have on our planet since it is passing by us at a very close distance. Some of the questions that are being look at are Can this icy interloper influence us from where it is, or where it will be in the future? What about this celestial object inspiring some shifting of the tides or even tectonic plates here on Earth? (ScienceDaily.com)
Don Yeomans went on to answer these questions by stating, Comet Elenin will not encounter any dark bodies that could perturb its orbit, nor will it influence us in any way here on Earth, "It will get no closer to Earth than 35 million kilometers [about 22 million miles]. "(ScienceDaily.com)
The one thing that is astonishing astronomers is that comet Elenin started out from well beyond our solar systems planetary region and Elenin is a very young comet that will give NASA a chance to study it. When it passes us by this October it is not predicted to be seen or heard from again for thousands of years.
So, don`t worry about boarding up your home as if you were getting ready for an approaching hurricane, comet Elenin is not predicted to impact us even though it is predicted to pass us by at a close distance and it is noting more at this point than a dirtball full of ice but you may want to plan to head to the mountains on October 16 to get a glimpse of something that my look like a small light bulb with a tail flying into the sunset because I doubt you will get a chance again to see Elenin when it may make another pass by us in a few thousand years from now.
Science Daily, Comet Elenin: Preview of a Coming Attraction
Also see: Is Comet Elenin Under "Intelligent Control" Headed to Earth? - The approach of Comet Elenin is a confirmed fact, though scientists are mystified as to its strange behavior.
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