News from the Sky: a good night to shot PanSTARRS

May 20

Tonight the 8 mag bright PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 will meet the Galaxy NGC 3726 in the constellation of the Big Dipper. The weather is supposed to be just fine and the Moon rise comes late.

Both objects – the comet as well as the galaxy – should be visible with a binocular of more than 50 mm aperture. With the help of

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko shows signs of life

May 19

For a cometary enthusiast there is again high time (the last was in November 2013, when we had a set of bright comets: ISON, Lovejoy, Encke and C/2012X1): two comets are hanging around high in the sky close to the constellation of Big Dipper: The comet PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 and 209P/LINEAR. PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 should be visible with a binocular while for watching 209P/LINEAR you may need very good eyes – or better –

The NEOShield Catching Comets Contest

May 16

The NEOShield Contest
Ready to become Comet Hunters? Join the the NEOShield team participating in the Catching Comets Contest! Special prizes for special ones!

On the next days comets PanSTARRS C/2012 K1 and 209P/LINEAR will be visible just with binoculars or small telescopes (Read the past article).

What you have to do to enter the contest is:

  • observe

Kinetic Impactor: A way to save Earth

May 15

The principle of the kinetic impactor mitigation method is that the NEO is deflected following an impact from an impactor spacecraft. The principle of momentum transfer is used, as the impactor crashes into the NEO at a very high velocity of 10km/s or more. The mass and velocity of the impactor (the momentum) are transferred to the NEO, causing a change in velocity and therefore making it deviate from its course slightly.