Comet explodes and is divided into four parts
November 5, 2012
Amateur and professional astronomers have been observing the comet Hergenrother, who is going through the inner solar system, and for several days following this ice ball generated an impressive series of dust explosions and it now appears that ‘the core of comet took the next step in the process of fragmentation’.
Rachel Stevenson, post-doctoral researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California explained, “The Hergenrother comet is splitting “. “Using the Gemini optical telescope atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii, we have determined that the comet’s nucleus split into at least four different parts causing a large increase in the formation of dust.”
James Bauer, deputy principal investigator of NASA NEOWISE missions, the California Institute of Technology said, “The comet fragments are considerably smaller than the core.” “This suggests that pieces of material being ejected from the surface.”
The fragmentation of the comet was detected on October 26 by a team of astronomers of Remanzacco Observatory, using the Faulkes Telescope North at Haleakala, Hawaii and was also photographed by the WIYN telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona.
Hergenrother can be observed with a larger telescope, with a dark sky without light pollution, between the constellations of Andromeda and Lacerta.
The experts clarify, “Neither the comet, nor any of its fragments, are a danger to Earth.”