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The Oort Cloud Is Trying To Kill Us With Comets – Forbes

Yeah it looks cool but don't let it get close.

It almost sounds like a riddle. We know where comets come from, even though we've never seen their home.

Some comets come back into the inner solar system again and again every few decades. But some visit once and only once, slipping close to the sun and then evacuated from the solar system altogether. These comets are totally unpredictable. They come from random directions on the sky, and we don't even know they're there until they come close enough that the heat from the sun starts evaporating all of their ices, turning on their famous tails that stretch millions of miles.

These once-in-a-lifetime comets approach from a region of our solar system known as the Oort cloud, named after Jan Oort, the guy who first figured it out. The Oort cloud lies well beyond the orbit of any planet. Our rough estimates put the inner boundary at somewhere around one or two thousand times further away from the sun than the Earth is. And the outermost edges? The Oort cloud could stretch as far as a lightyear away from our sun.

Like the name suggests, the Oort cloud is kind of cloudy, and surrounds our solar system like a wide but tenuous shell. Inside the Oort cloud there are trillions upon trillions of comets, each one just waiting for their chance to get destabilized from their orbit and come crashing into the inner solar system.

But we have never ever seen an object in the Oort cloud. So how do we know it exist?

Well Jan Oort gave us the answer. These kinds of comets appear from any direction on the sky without warning. So whatever their origin point is, it has to be outside the plane of the planets of our solar system.

After you watch a comet or two for long enough, you can reconstruct their orbit to figure out where they started from. And these irregulars comets all come from the starting point at least 1,000 times away further than the sun than the Earth is.

The conclusion: there is a reservoir of comets ready to rain down on us at a moment's notice. The Oort cloud.

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The Oort Cloud Is Trying To Kill Us With Comets - Forbes

FOOTBALL: Comets unable to overcome slow start against Panthers – Kokomo Tribune

GREENTOWN Even as Easterns football team saw its historic season come to a screeching halt Friday night, the Comets had plenty of reasons not to hang their heads.

In the moments immediately following its 42-12 loss to No. 8 Eastbrook in the Class 2A Sectional 36 championship at Cogdell Field, No. 9 Eastern could look back at some of the games momentum shifts a 30-yard Comet field goal attempt veering just wide right, a botched punt attempt setting up the Panthers with prime position for a quick score, an errant pass to the end zone stalling a strong drive late in the third quarter and realize they were still within a pair of scores early in the second half against one of the states most successful programs.

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Nolan Grubb runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Nathan Herr gets emotional in the huddle after the game. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Eastern running back Zane Downing fights for yards against Eastbrook in the Class 2A Sectional 36 final Friday night at Greentown. Downing ran for 227 yards and a touchdown, but the Panthers downed the Comets 42-12.

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Tallan Morrisett pushes Eastbrooks Ezekiel Binkard out of bounds. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Eastern defensive players Makhai Reed (25) and Tallan Morrisett take down Eastbrook QB Dylan Bragg during Fridays game.

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Makhai Reed runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Ethan Jones runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Zane Downing looks to outrun Eastbrooks defense. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Zane Downing scores a touchdown for the Comets. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Zane Downing runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Tallan Morrisett takes down Eastbrooks Ezekiel Binkerd. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Karson West takes down Eastbrooks Justin Starr. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Ethan Jones runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Nolan Grubb runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Nathan Herr gets emotional in the huddle after the game. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Eastern running back Zane Downing fights for yards against Eastbrook in the Class 2A Sectional 36 final Friday night at Greentown. Downing ran for 227 yards and a touchdown, but the Panthers downed the Comets 42-12.

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Tallan Morrisett pushes Eastbrooks Ezekiel Binkard out of bounds. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Eastern defensive players Makhai Reed (25) and Tallan Morrisett take down Eastbrook QB Dylan Bragg during Fridays game.

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Makhai Reed runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Ethan Jones runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Zane Downing looks to outrun Eastbrooks defense. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Zane Downing scores a touchdown for the Comets. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Zane Downing runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Tallan Morrisett takes down Eastbrooks Ezekiel Binkerd. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Karson West takes down Eastbrooks Justin Starr. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Easterns Ethan Jones runs the ball. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

11-8-19 Eastern vs Eastbrook sectional football championship Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

In the end though, it was those kinds of miscues that allowed Eastbrook all the momentum it needed in securing its fourth straight sectional title and 15th overall. The Panthers are two wins away from going to the State Finals for the third time in four years.

Theyve been here, done this, Eastern coach Josh Edwards said of the Panthers. Thats our goal. We want to make this an annual thing, to get to this game and that way our kids are used to it and theyre prepared for this type of setting. I think were closing the gap, were making ground but I think this game shows were not quite there yet.

That showed early on as Eastbrook (10-2) scored on each of its first four possessions on the way to a commanding 28-0 lead, running at will against a Comet defense that entered the game surrendering a scant 9.4 points per game. The Panthers opened the game with a 10-play, 92-yard drive that chewed up just over three minutes of game clock.

Ill be honest, its just a matter of speed, Edwards said. Its very difficult to simulate the speed in practice and if you noticed, it took us two or three series to kind of adjust to their speed. I felt like our kids did a good job of that. Made a few adjustments at halftime and made some stops, had a few scores.

It didnt help that Eastern (11-1) was stagnant on offense early, failing to capitalize on its first three possessions as the Comets turned the ball over on downs, missed a 30-yard field goal attempt and followed that with a bad snap on a punt attempt that set the Panthers up at the Comet 12.

We felt we needed to get a fast start, kind of make them play from behind a little bit, longtime Eastbrook coach Jeff Adamson said. The punt over the head got us an extra one maybe.

Eastern found life late in the first half as they strung together an eight-play, 75-yard that culminated with a four-yard touchdown toss from Nolan Grubb to Ethan Jones with :29 to play in the half. Junior running back Zane Downing keyed the drive with a 43-yard run.

Downing gave the Comets serious life when Eastern opened the second half with good field position at its own 40 and Downing took the first play from scrimmage 60 yards to paydirt, breaking through several Eastbrook defenders on his way to getting the Comets within 28-12.

Downing finished with 227 yards on 28 carries. Eastbrook countered with a running game that amassed 388 yards with a four-man committee. Wyatt Stephenson rushed for 140 yards and a TD, Isaiah Dalton had 127 yards and a score, Ezekial Binkerd finished with 62 yards and a pair of scores, and quarterback Dylan Bragg had 28 yards and a pair of touchdown runs.

For us defensively we were focusing a lot of attention on Downing, even if it didnt look like it, Adamson said, and trying to limit how many times he could touch it or at least make sure we had enough guys at the line of scrimmage to keep him contained. But I thought their offensive line played really well. Good team, man.

With the score 28-12, Eastern stopped Eastbrook on fourth-and-3 when junior Jaeden Hannah made a big tackle, but the Comets couldnt capitalize and had to punt on their next possession.

Were down by two scores and we made a stop and couldnt finish, Edwards said. We couldnt finish a lot of drives. I think that was the big thing.

Following a Panther punt, the Comets again had a chance to make it a one-score game, but Binkerd picked off a Grubb pass in the end zone. Eastbrook capitalized on the turnover, scoring on the opening play of the fourth quarter and adding another score on its next possession to create a comfortable lead.

Our kids did an outstanding job of battling and not quitting but I also say kudos to Eastbrooks defense for holding us in the red zone and keeping us out of the end zone, Edwards said. I told the kids to play with their head and play with their heart and I believe they did that.

Our seniors have helped resurrect our program and our underclassmen have bought in and I couldnt be more proud of our guys.

Eastern was playing in its first sectional final since 2001.

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FOOTBALL: Comets unable to overcome slow start against Panthers - Kokomo Tribune

Comets JV cap perfect season with win over Tunstall – YourGV.com

For the first time in a good number of years, Halifax County High School has an undefeated junior varsity football team.

That accomplishment rests with the Comets in the wake of the teams 44-0 win over Tunstall High School Thursday night at Tunstall High School in Dry Fork.

Thursday nights win gave the Comets a perfect 10-0 slate for the season.

It was a great night overall, Comets head coach Thomas Turbeville said of Thursday nights win.

It was a great ending to a storybook season. The kids played hard all year long. They left it all out on the field and proved we have some talent here in Halifax County.

While the Comets ran the tables on the season, the season wasnt without its anxious moments.

We went through a little adversity, Turbeville noted.

We lost a couple of kids during the season that we had penciled in as starters, and the kids behind them stepped right in and filled in where the others left off, and we didnt lose a beat.

I am extremely proud of our 10th-graders, Turbeville added.

They stepped up and played as if they were veteran players. They led the show and helped our ninth-graders learn what it is to play over here. I think that will bode well for us moving forward.

The Comets dominated Thursdays game against Tunstall High School, scoring in all phases of the contest. Offensively, Savion Howard scored on a 70-yard run and later scored a 2-point conversion. Howard also returned a kick 87 yards for a touchdown to give the Comets special teams unit a score.

In addition, the Comets got touchdowns on a 24-yard run by Qualik Tucker and a 15-yard run from Demitrius Robertson. The Comets also got successful 2-point conversions from Tucker, Kameron Roberts and Semaj Jeffreys.

The Comets also had a stellar defensive effort that netted two touchdowns.

Two interceptions from AZiyah Easley intercepted two passes during the contest, returning one 70 yards for a touchdown. Jonathan Hammock recovered two fumbles, one of which resulted from a botched Tunstall High School punt, that Hammock recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

We went into this game with the plan that we were going to score four times on defense, and we got two, Turbeville said.

We got half of what we were looking for. We challenged the kids to not only stop the other team, but to try to get the ball away and do something with it.

Our defense played tremendously, Turbeville added, and set us up with good opportunities to have short fields on some plays and get us the ball back quickly, so we had opportunities on offense.

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Comets JV cap perfect season with win over Tunstall - YourGV.com

Binghamton Devils Lose a Tough One to Utica Comets in OT – All About The Jersey

Binghamton, NY - This one stings.

The BDevils controlled play for much of three periods over the Utica Comets on Saturday but found a way to lose in OT by a score of 3-2 without a bit of controversy at the end.

Zack MacEwen scored the game-winner after Aston Sautner got tied up with goaltender Louis Domingue in a battle with Dakota Mermis in the crease, but the referee called it a good goal after a lengthy discussion by the four officials near the penalty box.

Here is an overhead shot I obtained with the play in question with the puck in the net;

But the main topic was another two-goal lead that disappeared for the Devils and led to the eventual outcome with the Comets scoring three unanswered in their comeback.

Binghamton (5-7-3) would jump to an early 1-0 lead when Joe Morrow (1) pounced on a rebound given up by Utica goalie Michael DiPietro off the stick of Ben Street. The momentum carried on and a 1:38 later Street (6) scored for a power-play tally by some smooth tic-tac-toe passing involving Joey Anderson and Brett Seney.

No scoring took place in the middle frame as both teams had their opportunities as it became a battle between the two players in-between the pipes.

However, the third period had a different story-line as Utica (9-4-0) began their comeback by goals from Stefan LeBlanc (1) and Tyler Graovac (1) that would send the contest to overtime with both clubs securing a point.

Binghamton lost to end their three game winning streak at home while Utica ended their four game losing streak. It was the fifth time for the BDevils to face the Comets in 15 outings this season as the game was chippy with player engagements throughout the night.

Shots ended up in favor of the Comets 35-30.

Seney - Street - Anderson, Conner - McLeod - Bastian, Sharangovich - Maltsev - Studenic, Baddock - Larsson - Schmelzer

Morrow/White, Snuggerud/Paliotta, Mermis/Jacobs

Domingue - Senn

Scratches: Gignac, Speers, Comiskey, Zetterlund, & Melchiori

#1. Ben Street (1g, 1a), #2. Zack MacEwen (1g), #3. Joe Morrow (1g)

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Binghamton Devils Lose a Tough One to Utica Comets in OT - All About The Jersey

Utica Comets: Life after Sven Baertschi, the Nikolay Goldobin situation and Mike DiPietro’s dominant start – The Athletic

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. Its been the very definition of an up-and-down season for the Utica Comets.

The Vancouver Canucks AHL affiliate jumped out to an 8-0-0 start to the season. The Comets were averaging 4.5 goals per game, ventilating the competition.

Then the calendar turned to November and being an AHL affiliate caught up to them.

The Canucks recalled Ashton Sautner and then Sven Baertschi. Sautner returned, then was recalled again.

Adam Gaudette was reassigned, then recalled. Oscar Fantenberg spent two games with the Comets on a conditioning loan. Hes still yet to play for the Canucks.

Reid Boucher scored 10 goals in October and then got hurt. So did Carter Camper. Before back-to-back games this weekend, Vancouver recalled Jalen Chatfield as insurance for Chris Tanev.

Realistically, though, the Comets season can be divided into two parts: with Baertschi and after Baertschi.

Thats...

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Utica Comets: Life after Sven Baertschi, the Nikolay Goldobin situation and Mike DiPietro's dominant start - The Athletic

Comets set their preseason roster – Kirksville Daily Express and Daily News

Bill Althaus bill.althaus@examiner.net @AlthausEJC

TuesdayNov12,2019at12:01AM

Some familiar faces and new names create an interesting scenario for the Kansas City Comets, as the Major Arena Soccer League team announced its preseason roster Monday.

Each MASL team is restricted to 26 registered players. On game days, those rosters will be limited to an active roster of 14 field players and up to two goalkeepers.

The Comets kicked off their preseason training camp Nov. 4, with the franchises all-time caps, goals and assist leader, Leo Gibson, taking the helm as player/coach.

Most of the team has been in camp since day one, while others will join as their contracts and visas are finalized. Others are in camp as trialists, hoping to earn a contract.

Its an exciting time, Gibson said. There are players who return from last years team and some new players. But it feels like a team, like everyone is on the same page.

The season, the Comets 10th, kicks off on the road Nov. 22 in Turlock, Calif., against the Cal Express, with the home opener on Nov. 30 against the St. Louis Ambush at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

Goalkeeper Mark Saxby said Gibson has quickly earned the respect of his teammates, as he takes over the player/coach role.

When you look back at the overall process, Leo was the only real choice, Saxby said. We have so much respect for Leo, I think this is going to lead to great things this season.

Added veteran Comets forward John Sosa: We have always respected Leo as a person and a player, and we will show him the same respect as a coach. He brings a love of the game and so much experience and expertise to his new job as the head coach no one knows the game better than Leo.

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Comets set their preseason roster - Kirksville Daily Express and Daily News

MUCC Comets win third football provincial championship in eight years – northeastNOW

Dave Rogers, head coach of the Comets football team, said his players knew they hadnt won anything yet after one half. They knew Martensville was more than capable of scoring 28 points in a quarter like the Comets did in the first.

[Our players] came today prepared mentally with the intensity to impose their will on their opponents, Rogers told northeastNOW. We asked them if they were ready to play football and it was yes coach in a loudness and timbre in the response that I hadnt heard all season, maybe not in a long time. It showed from the first whistle through to the end of the game.

The Comets and Martensville cancelled one another out with a 14-14 score in the second half. The final score was 51-15 for the Comets, as they won their first provincial championship since 2014; their third in eight seasons.

Even though winning by nearly 40 points became a norm for the Comets in 2019, Rogers was still surprised at the championship games point spread.

I knew we had a high-powered offence and wed score some points, he said. We expected their offence which had been very similar to ours to score, but hats off to Coach Russell and his defence for the way they prepared. The defence probably played the best game they played this year.

For the 12 players expecting to graduate from MUCC after the 2019-20 academic year, theres no better way to conclude their secondary school playing careers than with a provincial championship.

However, some of MUCCs Grade 12s could move on to play post-secondary football, whether it be in the Canadian Junior Football League or for a Canadian university. Rogers mentioned Lance Barnett, Mason Gordon-Danku, and Ty Milne as some of the Grade 12s who can move to the next level of football.

After going 6-0 in the regular season and winning all three of their post-season games by nearly 40 points on their way to a provincial championship, Rogers isnt sure where this season ranks compared to other Comets teams hes coached because theyre all different.

Im proud of every team weve coached, he said. [The 2019 team] definitely maximized the potential of their team. This is one of the best offences weve ever coached; we had four exceptional, quality athletes on offence. On defence, we had great kids and played team defence.

Its difficult to compare one championship team to another, or to maybe a team that could have been champions. I try to avoid those comparisons, but one thing that really sets this group apart from what Ive seen is the tightness of everybody on the team. Its not the seniors or the juniors, this year were really the Melfort Comets.

aaron.schulze@jpbg.ca

On Twitter: @SchulzePANow

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MUCC Comets win third football provincial championship in eight years - northeastNOW

Local Organizations Team Up With Comets For Veteran’s Food Drive – WIBX AM 950

Several local organizations are teaming up for a Veteran's Day Food Drive ahead of today's Utica Comets home game matinee.

The Utica Center for Development INC, Central New York Veteran's Outreach Center in conjunction with Express Employment Professionals and The Utica Comets will host the drive for Comets Military Appreciation Day.

Any non-perishable food item donated will be utilized for Thanksgiving baskets given to local Veterans and their families in need.

Even if you're not attending the game, you can bring your donation to any Adirondack Bank Center entrance from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.

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Local Organizations Team Up With Comets For Veteran's Food Drive - WIBX AM 950

Newly Discovered Interstellar Comet Appears Indistinguishable from the Native Solar System Comets – Planetary News

A second interstellar object, designated C/2019 Q4 (2I/Borisov), was discovered on August 30, 2019, by Gennady Borisov at the MARGO observatory in Nauchnij, Crimea. A new paper published in Nature Astronomy reports on the initial characterization of this object using images taken with the William Herschel Telescope and the Gemini North Telescope, which showed an extended coma and a faint, broad tail. 2I/Borisovs high orbital velocity indicates that it originated outside the solar system and is not gravitationally bound to the Sun. This makes it the first certain case of an interstellar comet and the second known interstellar minor body identified in the solar system (after Oumuamua). Moreover, its estimated nucleus size, approximately 1 kilometer, and measured slightly reddish color make it look much more like an ordinary comet than Oumuamua did. Astronomers will continue to study 2I/Borisov as it will make its closest approach to Earth on December 28, 2019 at 1.9 au. READ MORE

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Newly Discovered Interstellar Comet Appears Indistinguishable from the Native Solar System Comets - Planetary News

Beyond Jupiter, Researchers Discovered a ‘Cradle of Comets’ – UANews

Comets are known to have a temper. As they swoop in from the outer edges of our solar system, these icy bodies begin spewing gas and dust as they venture closer to the sun. Their luminous outbursts can result in spectacular sights that grace the night sky for days, weeks or even months.

But comets aren't born that way, and their pathway from their original formation location toward the inner solar system has been debated for a long time. Comets are of great interest to planetary scientists because they are likely to be the most pristine remnants of material left over from the birth of our solar system.

In a study published inThe Astrophysical Journal Letters, a team of researchers including Kathryn Volk and Walter Harris at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory report the discovery of an orbital region just beyond Jupiter that acts as a "comet gateway." This pathway funnels icy bodies called centaurs from the region of the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune into the inner solar system, where they can become regular visitors of Earth's neighborhood, cosmically speaking.

Roughly shaped like an imaginary donut encircling the area, the gateway was uncovered as part of a simulation of centaurs, small icy bodies traveling on chaotic orbits between Jupiter and Neptune.

Centaurs: Icy Rogues on Haphazard Trails

Centaurs are believed to originate in the Kuiper belt, a region populated by icy objects beyond Neptune and extending out to about 50 Astronomical Units, or 50 times the average distance between the sun and the Earth. Close encounters with Neptune nudge some of them onto inward trajectories, and they become centaurs, which act as the source population of the roughly 1,000 short-period comets that zip around the inner solar system. These comets, also known as Jupiter-family comets, or JFCs, include comets visited by spacecraft missions such as Tempel 1 (Deep Impact), Wild 2 (Stardust) and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (Rosetta).

"The chaotic nature of their orbits obscures the exact pathways these centaurs follow on their way to becoming JFCs," said Volk, a co-author on the paper and an associate staff scientist who studies Kuiper belt objects, planetary dynamics and planets outside our solar system. "This makes it difficult to figure out where exactly they came from and where they might go in the future."

Jostled by the gravitational fields of several nearby giant planets Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune centaurs dont tend to stick around, making for a high-turnover neighborhood, Harris said.

"They rattle around for a few million years, perhaps a few tens of millions of years, but none of them were there even close to the time when the solar system formed," he said.

"We know of 300 centaurs that we can see through telescopes, but that's only the tip of an iceberg of an estimated 10 million such objects," Harris added.

"Most centaurs we know of weren't discovered until CCD's became available, plus you need the help of a computer to search for these objects," Volk said. "But there is a large bias in observations because the small objects simply aren't bright enough to be detected."

Where Comets Go to Die

Every pass around the sun inflicts more wear and tear on a comet until it eventually breaks apart,has a close encounter with a planet that ejects it from the inner solar system, or its volatiles mostly gas and water are depleted.

"Often, much of the dust remains and coats the surface, so the comet doesn't heat up much anymore and it goes dormant," Harris said.

By some mechanism, a steady supply of "baby comets" must replace those that have run their course, "but until now, we didn't know where they were coming from," he added.

To better understand how centaurs become JFCs, the research team focused on creating computer simulations that could reproduce the orbit of 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, or SW1, a centaur discovered in 1927 and thought to be about 40 miles across.

SW1 has long puzzled astronomers with its high activity and frequent explosive outbursts despite the fact that is too far from the sun for water ice to melt. Both its orbit and activity put SW1 in an evolutionary middle ground between the other centaurs and the JFCs, and the original goal of the investigation was to explore whether SW1s current circumstances were consistent with the orbital progression of the other centaurs.

To accomplish this, the team modeled the evolution of bodies from beyond Neptunes orbit, through the giant planets region and inside Jupiters orbit.

"The results of our simulation included several findings that fundamentally alter our understanding of comet evolution," Harris said. "Of the new centaurs tracked by the simulation, more than one in five were found to enter an orbit similar to that of SW1 at some point in their evolution."

In other words, even though SW1 appears to be the only large centaur of the handful of objects currently known to occupy the "cradle of comets," it is not the outlier it was thought to be, but rather ordinary for a centaur, according to Harris.

In addition to the commonplace nature of SW1s orbit, the simulations led to an even more surprising discovery.

"Centaurs passing through this region are the source of more than two-thirds of all Jupiter-family comets," Harris said, "making this the primary gateway through which these comets are produced."

"Historically, our assumption has been that the region around Jupiter is fairly empty, cleaned out by the giant planet's gravity, but our results teach us that there is a region that is constantly being fed," Volk says.

This constant source of new objects may help explain the surprising rate of icy body impacts with Jupiter, such as the famous Shoemaker-Levy 9 event in 1994.

A Comet Worthy of Worship

Based on estimates and calculations of the number and size of objects entering, inhabiting and leaving the gateway region, the study predicted it should sustain an average population of about 1,000 Jupiter-family objects, not too far off the 500 that astronomers have found so far.

The results also showed that the gateway region triggers a rapid transition: once a centaur has entered it, it is very likely to become a JFC within a few thousand years, a blink of an eye in solar system timeframes.

The calculations suggest that an object of SW1's size should enter the region every 50,000 years, making it likely that SW1 is the largest centaur to begin this transition in all of recorded human history, Harris and Volk suggest. In fact, SW1 could be on its way to becoming a "super comet" within a few thousand years.

Comparable in size and activity to comet Hale-Bopp, one of the brightest comets of the 20thcentury, SW1 has a 70% chance of becomingwhat could potentially amount to the most spectacular comet humankind has ever seen, the authors suggest.

"Our descendants could be seeing a comet 10 to 100 times more active than the famous Halley comet," Harris said, "except SW1 would be returningevery six to 10 years instead of every 75."

"If there had been a comet this bright in the last 10,000 years we would know about it," Volk said.

"We take this as strong evidence that a similar event has not happened at least since then," Harris said, "because ancient civilizations would not only have recorded the comet, they may have worshiped it!"

The study was co-authored by Gal Sarid and Maria Womack, both of the Florida Space Institute and the University of Central Florida; Jordan Steckloff of the Planetary Science Institute and the University of Texas at Austin; and Laura Woodney of California State University.

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Beyond Jupiter, Researchers Discovered a 'Cradle of Comets' - UANews

Here’s the Picture We’ve Been Waiting for. Hubble’s Photo of Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov – Universe Today

Leave it up to the good ole Hubble Space Telescope. The workhorse telescope has given us a photo of the new interstellar comet 2I/Borisov. Take that, fancy new telescopes.

2I/Borisov has wandered into our Solar System from the deep cold of interstellar space, but nobody knows from whence it came, or how long its been travelling. Boris only the second object weve observed thats come into our Solar System from somewhere else in the galaxy, and the Hubble snapped photos of it speeding along at about 177,000 kph (110,000 mph.) So far, the Hubble images are the sharpest ones yet.

Our first interstellar visitor was Oumuamua, which sped through our Solar System in 2017. But that object didnt give up its secrets easily. It came and went and generated a lot of clicking and conjecture, and panicky headlines in some quarters. But it had not coma, and no tail, meaning it had no ice. But Boris is clearly a comet.

Comets contain a lot of water ice and other volatiles. When they get close enough to the Sun, some of that ice sublimates into gas, creating the characteristic coma and tail that is clear in many comet images. A coma and a tail are clearly visible in these Hubble images of 2I/Borisov.

Whereas Oumuamua appeared to be a rock, Borisov is really active, more like a normal comet. Its a puzzle why these two are so different, said David Jewitt of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in a press release. Jewiit is the leader of the Hubble team who observed the comet.

Of course its more than just a transient piece of curious eye candy. Boris will contain the same building blocks as any other bodies, including planets, in its home solar system. The fact that its behaving like comets in our own Solar System is intriguing too, though its too soon to assume too much as a result of that.

Though another star system could be quite different from our own, the fact that the comets properties appear to be very similar to those of the solar systems building blocks is very remarkable, said Amaya Moro-Martin of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland.

Hubble captured these images of Boris when it was 418 million km (260 million miles) from Earth. At its closest approach itll be two astronomical units away from the Sun, on December 27th, 2019. As it approaches and recedes, other telescopes will observe it, and well learn more about it.

But we wont have long. At 177,000 kph (110,000 mph) it wont stick around for a portrait session. Its going to fall past the Sun and in mid-2020 itll be as far away as Jupiter. Then itll disappear into interstellar space again. Its traveling so fast it almost doesnt care that the Sun is there, said Jewitt.

Amateur astronomers have discovered a lot of comets, and this one is no exception. Amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov, from Crimea, discovered this one on August 30th, 2019. More observations from other amateur astronomers followed (they all talk to each other, you know.) Professional astronomers got involved too, and eventually the IAUs Minor Planet Center and JPLs Center for Near-Earth Object Studies calculated the trajectory. That confirmed the objects interstellar origins.

We know where most comets come from. They have two sources: the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, which is still hypothetical at this point. So to have an interstellar comet come barging through our Solar System means we need to update our encyclopedias.

Astronomers think theres probably many more interstellar objects thatll come through our neighborhood. In fact, there may be more passing through right now, but we just cant see them. But we may see more of them once the Large Synoptic Space Telescope gets up and running in 2020. (It may be renamed the Vera Rubin Space Telescope by then.)

We may never know exactly where Boris came from. But we do know that there is a circumstellar disk of icy debris around young stars in other solar systems. Theres a lot of gravitational shenanigans going on those situations, before a solar system settles down. Its possible that the chaos in young solar systems ejects comets and sends them out into interstellar space.

But for now, astronomers will use Hubble to keep an eye on this one as it gets closer. Its likely that as it gets closer to the Sun, therell be more activity and we can find out what its made of.

New comets are always unpredictable, said Max Mutchler, another member of the observing team. They sometimes brighten suddenly or even begin to fragment as they are exposed to the intense heat of the Sun for the first time. Hubble is poised to monitor whatever happens next with its superior sensitivity and resolution.

Thanks Hubble. Keep us informed, please.

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Here's the Picture We've Been Waiting for. Hubble's Photo of Interstellar Comet 2I/Borisov - Universe Today

Kansas City Comets sign two players and other news – The Blue Testament

The Kansas City Comets announced two signings Thursday. Nine-year veteran Lucas Rodriguez and first-time-pro Hector Moy Solorio Villalpando both signed two-year deals prior to the Major Arena Soccer League 2019-20 season.

Rodriguez has played all of his indoor seasons with the Comets, missing only one season since Kansas City returned in 2010 when he was playing outdoor in the NASL.

I would love to be able to finish my indoor career at only one club. I think theres a lot of value in that. Im a loyal person, said Rodriguez via press release. Im just excited to continue to play and represent the city at the highest level and do everything we can to put Kansas Citys name out there where it belongs.

Rodriguez routinely scores in double digits for goals, knocking in 13 for the last two seasons and is a key creator for the Comets. The veteran is often the focus of restarts and can play the sixth attacker role as well.

As one of the top 30 players in this league we look for Lucas to continue to be a playmaker, control the midfield and finish his opportunities, said Brian Budzinski, Comets managing partner via press release. Lucas is one of those players that makes others around him better with his vision and technique in tight spaces.

This will be Solorio Villalpandos first season as a pro after playing NCAA DI at Niagara University, with Kaw Valley FC in USL League Two and in the Sporting Kansas City Academy.

While this is his first professional experience, Solorio Villalpando is no stranger to Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. He was a regular at games while he was growing up and cheering the team on from the supporter section.

Going out and competing, I have high expectations for myself. This is a great opportunity to keep playing soccer, to keep playing the sport I love. Im ready to go and compete. I know I can play. Im just excited to just go out and do the best I can every day, every training session, every game, Solorio Villalpando said in the press release.

There had been some worry amongst fans up until recently when the Ownership and management was restructured that the Midwests most successful indoor team may not return. Those fears were laid to rest with that announcement and since then Brian Budzinski and his staff have been busy making sure they were ready for the next few seasons

The Comets have reached three-year agreements to continue playing home games at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena and to train at the KC Soccer Dome. Additionally, they have a one-year lease for an office in Hy-Vee Arena.

The Comets are conducting open tryouts this weekend at the Kansas City Soccer Dome. On Saturday (2-4 PM) and Sunday (12-2 PM) talent will be evaluated by veteran players and coaches for the potential to play for the Comets. More info can be found here.

The Comets have not yet named a new head coach after it was announced that indoor soccer legend Kim Roentved would not be returning to lead the team. It has been indicated that an announcement naming the new head coach was not be too far off.

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Kansas City Comets sign two players and other news - The Blue Testament

Annual Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week – YubaNet

Orionid meteors appear every year around this time when Earth travels through an area of space littered with debris from Halleys Comet. Credit: NASA/JPL

October 22, 2019 Editors note: This year, the Orionids are likely to peak on Oct. 22nd and will be visible through the beginning of November.

The Orionids, which peak during mid-October each year, are considered to be one of the most beautiful showers of the year. Orionid meteors are known for their brightness and for their speed. These meteors are fastthey travel at about 148,000 mph (66 km/s) into the Earths atmosphere. Fast meteors can leave glowing trains (incandescent bits of debris in the wake of the meteor) which last for several seconds to minutes. Fast meteors can also sometimes become fireballs: Look for prolonged explosions of light when viewing the Orionid meteor shower.

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The Orionids are also framed by some of the brightest stars in the night sky, which lend a spectacular backdrop for theses showy meteors.

The Orionids are viewable in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres during the hours after midnight. Find an area well away from city or street lights. Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back with your feet facing southeast if you are in the Northern Hemisphere or northeast if you are in the Southern Hemisphere, and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.

Meteors come from leftover comet particles and bits from broken asteroids. When comets come around the sun, the dust they emit gradually spreads into a dusty trail around their orbits. Every year the Earth passes through these debris trails, which allows the bits to collide with our atmosphere where they disintegrate to create fiery and colorful streaks in the sky.

The Comet

The pieces of space debris that interact with our atmosphere to create the Orionids originate from comet 1P/Halley. Each time that Halley returns to the inner solar system its nucleus sheds ice and rocky dust into space. The dust grains eventually become the Orionids in October and the Eta Aquarids in May if they collide with Earths atmosphere.

Comet Halley takes about 76 years to orbit the sun once. The last time comet Halley was seen by casual observers was in 1986. Comet Halley will not enter the inner solar system again until 2061.

The comet is named for Edmond Halley, who discovered in 1705 that three previous comets seemed to return every 76 years or so and suggested that these sightings were in fact all the same comet. The comet returned as he predicted (after his death) and it was named in Halleys honor. Comet Halley is perhaps the most famous cometit has been sighted for millennia. It is featured on the Bayeux tapestry, which chronicles the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Comet Halleys dimensions are 16 x 8 x 8 km. It is one of the darkest, or least reflective, objects in the solar system, with an albedo of 0.03.

The Radiant

Their radiantthe point in the sky from which the Orionids appear to come fromis the constellation Orion. The constellation of Orion is also where we get the name for the shower: Orionids. Note: The constellation for which a meteor shower is named only serves to aid viewers in determining which shower they are viewing on a given night. The constellation is not the source of the meteors.

You should not look only to the constellation of Orion to view the Orionidsthey are visible throughout the night sky. It is actually better to view the Orionids from 45 to 90 degrees away from the radiant. They will appear longer and more spectacular from this perspective. If you do look directly at the radiant, you will find that the meteors will be shortthis is an effect of perspective called foreshortening.

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Annual Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week - YubaNet

Baertschi, Goldobin tearing up the AHL, leading Canucks’ farm club to record start – The Province

Canucks fans were downright apoplectic when Sven Baertschi and Nikolay Goldobin hit the waiver wire last month. The two wingers were among the final training camp cuts as Vancouver set its opening-day roster, a decision that angered many in Vancouver who believed the club had enough depth for three dedicated scoring lines.

Baertschi and Goldobin werent happy either.

It was a tough pill to swallow, Baertschi said this weekend after leading the Comets to a 7-1 victory over the Rochester Americans for the Comets fifth consecutive win, and third consecutive rout. But, I knew I was coming to a great place. So, it was something I was looking forward to. For me, it was coming here making a statement that I belong in the NHL. That was my goal. So far, I think it is going well.

It certainly is. While some Canucks fans remain sore about the demotions, there is likely little anger among the Comets fanbase, where Baertschi and Goldobin wasted little time making their case for a quick return to the NHL by leading Utica to an impressive 5-0 record out of the gate. Its the clubs best start in franchise history.

Its clear that the injection of skill up-front has been the secret to Uticas early success. The Comets havent just prevailed in every game theyve played theyve done so decisively, winning each of their last three contests by a margin of four goals or more. Uticas 29 goals for are tops in the league.

Three of Uticas forwards now occupy the top 10 for AHL scoring: as usual, Reid Boucher is up there. The scoring machine leads all AHLers with 10 points, including a mind-boggling 8 goals in just five games. But Goldobin and Baertschi arent far behind, with nine and eight points, respectively, in just four games apiece after missing the season opener.

In the Comets second showing of the season, a 4-3 overtime victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the pair made all the difference. Goldobin picked up an assist on the clubs second goal yet another tally by Boucher and Baertschi took over in the final minutes of regulation, setting up captain Carter Bancks game-tying tally with under three minutes remaining before assisting on Lukas Jaseks overtime winner.

Three days later, Goldobin and Baertschi contributed four assists to Uticas third straight win in their home opener, and this weekend, they combined for 10 points in consecutive routs as Utica outscored their opponents by 14 goals.

At times, the pair has made AHL defenders look silly. Goldobin, for instance, dropped jaws during a two-on-one in the home opener by deking his defender straight into the goalmouth before feeding The Big Fella, Zack Macewen, for a tap-in. That highlight-reel goal can be seen at 1:50 of the package below.

On Saturday, the wingers connected on Uticas sixth goal of the game, practically walking the puck into the opposition net after a won faceoff. They look pretty unstoppable here.

On Monday, Goldobin was singled out for praise when he was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week, on the strength of a three-game run that saw the winger put up back-to-back three-assist games, eight points and a plus-7 rating.

Provided this doesnt pave the way for a trade, as both players have certainly upped their value of late, one wonders when the Canucks brass will decide the duo is too good for this league. Injuries are coming, and as spots open up on the big club, Vancouver suddenly finds themselves with plenty of depth to patch over the inevitable holes. Baertschi and Goldobin make up two-thirds of an NHL scoring line, and with pivot Adam Gaudette sitting in the press box, its clear the Canucks have a readymade trio simply lying in wait.

Still, nobody in Utica will mind if its a long wait. Loaded with NHL-calibre players, the Comets suddenly look like the team to beat perhaps because nobody has managed it since Baertschi and Goldobin arrived.

Both natural playmakers, the pair are also making life easy for some of the Canucks other developing prospects, like Kole Lind, who is off to a hot start on Baertschis line. Lind, who managed just 17 points in 51 games in his rookie season, already has 7 points in 5 games to start this year, and while one could chalk some of this up to progress, its clear that the shifty young winger is thriving alongside talented linemates. Thats a good sign for his future.

But enough about the future. Lets live in the moment, where the Comets are hotter than ever and for now, at least, boast one of the deepest forward groups in the league.

Utica returns to the ice Friday, Oct. 25 when they battle the Binghamton Devils for a chance to move to 6-0. Provided Baertschi and Goldobin remain with the club, we like their chances.

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Second Interstellar Visitor is Surprisingly Similar to Comets in Solar System: Study – The Weather Channel

Gemini Observatory two-color composite image of 2I/Borisov

Two years ago, on October 19, 2017, a mysterious, elongated, dark-red object was detected in our solar system cruising at around 315,364 km per hour. After several months of research, scientists suggested that it may even be an alien probe investigating our solar system. It was named Oumuamua, which roughly translates to "visitor from afar, arriving first" in Hawaiian. It was only July 2019 that scientists confirmed that Oumuamua has a purely natural origin.

On August 30, 2019, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov spotted another mysterious object, brighter than Oumuamua. After thorough analysis, the International Astronomical Union confirmed on September 24 that the object has a highly open orbit (with no specified return to a specific angular position). The union named the object 2I/Borisov, confirming that it is the only second interstellar (travelling from or originating in other star-systems) object identified in our solar system.

Now, European astronomers have described the characteristics of the newly identified interstellar comet, 2I/Borisov in a paper published in Nature Astronomy. The findings suggest that, despite its faraway origin, the new comet has strikingly similar colour and structure to that of any active comet in our solar system. Oumuamua, on the other hand, had unusually elongated shape along with the absence of cometary activity.

"Images taken on 10 and 13 September 2019 UT with the William Herschel Telescope and Gemini North Telescope show an extended coma and a faint, broad tail," write the authors, who add that the nucleus is probably around one kilometre in radius, which is common with Solar System comets.

"Based on these early characteristics, and putting its hyperbolic orbit aside, 2I/Borisov appears indistinguishable from the native Solar System comets," the study says.

A comet is usually a cold, icy celestial body which starts to release gasses upon approaching any star. The defining characteristic for any comet is the long outgassing tail. While the tail can be observed very clearly in case of 2I/Borisov, Oumuamua showed no obvious signs of outgassing. Scientists believe that more such interstellar objects might have entered our solar system in the past, but we haven't been able to spot them either due to small size or lack of technology.

The study says that since 2I/Borisov was discovered while it was approaching the Sun, astronomers will be able to acquire more data before it passes in approximately a year from now. The scientists say that the closest encounter is expected on December 8, 2019.

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Newly discovered comet is confirmed as an interstellar visitor with a surprisingly familiar look – USA TODAY

2I/Borisov is only the second interstellar comet ever detected in our solar system and the first that looks like a traditional comet. USA TODAY

A newly discovered comet is definitely from outside our solar system, scientists confirmed in a studypublished Monday.

The study said that despite the comet's interstellar origin, it lookssurprisingly similar to comets from within thesolar system.

It's only the second interstellar comet ever detected in our solar systemand the first that looks like a traditional comet, thestudy says. The first one, cigar-shaped 'Oumuamua, which was discovered in 2017, did not resemble a comet in the usual sense:

"We immediately noticed the familiar coma and tail that were not seen around 'Oumuamua," said study co-author Michal Drahus ofJagiellonian University in Poland. "This is really cool because it means that our new visitor is one of these mythical and never-before-seen 'real' interstellar comets."

Colin Snodgrass, an astronomer at Edinburgh University, who was not part of the study,told The Guardian that "this appears to be a completely unremarkable comet on a very remarkable orbit.

The interstellar comet 2I/Borisov was captured by the Gemini North telescope on Sept. 10, 2019.(Photo: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA)

The comet, dubbed 2I/Borisov, was discovered Aug. 30 by Gennady Borisov at an observatory in Nauchnij, Crimea.

A computer program specifically designed to spot interstellar objects confirmed the discovery in September."This code was written specifically for this purpose, and we really hoped to receive this message one day. We only didn't know when," said Piotr Guzik ofJagiellonian University, who led the study.

2I/Borisov is inbound toward the sun, but it will remain farther than the orbit of Mars and will approach no closer to Earth than about 190 million miles in early December, NASA said.

It won't be visible with the naked eye, but it can be viewed through professional telescopes. "The object will peak in brightness in mid-December and continue to be observable with moderate-size telescopes until April 2020," NASA's Davide Farnocchia saidin astatement in September.

Monday's study was published in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature Astronomy.Scientists saidthis is only a prologue to more thorough investigations and discoveries. "The comet is still emerging from the sun's morning glare and growing in brightness,"said Waclaw Waniak ofJagiellonian University, co-author of the study.

"It will be observable for several months, which makes us believe that the best is yet to come," Waniaksaid.

Guzik said,"We can safely say that research on this body will be transformative for planetary astronomy and a milestone for astronomy in general."

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Newly discovered comet is confirmed as an interstellar visitor with a surprisingly familiar look - USA TODAY

WBS Weekly: Penguins only earn one point in losses to Phantoms, Comets, and Bears – PensBurgh

Friday, October 11: WBS 1 @ Lehigh Valley 4

Going into the first really busy weekend of the new WBS season, it could reasonably be expected that the Penguins would regress a bit, as between their season-opening victory in Hershey and their first visit to Allentown, they lost Sam Lafferty, Andrew Agozzino, Adam Johnson, and Joseph Blandisi to Pittsburgh callups. While it is true that Pittsburgh essentially exchanged Agozzino for Blandisi on Friday, Agozzino did not get back to Allentown in enough time to take part, so thats four top players removed from the WBS forward lines.

WBS needed to be at its absolute best to compete with the Phantoms, who defeated them 4-1 and 3-1 in two separate preseason games. They were not, primarily due to the callups, and it showed, as the Phantoms made a strong resurgence following their season-opening shutout on home ice at the hands of Providence, as four different Phantoms scored to give Lehigh Valley a decisive 4-1 victory over their PA Turnpike rivals.

Kurtis Gabriel opened the scoring at 15:35 of the first after WBS defender Jon Lizotte was dispossessed at his own blue line during a breakout.

Mikhail Vorobyev followed that at 19:24 of the first by burying an excellent cross-zone pass from former WBS Penguin Cal OReilly.

Shots favored the Phantoms 16-2 after the first 20 minutes.

WBS showed some life coming out of the locker rooms, as Stefan Noesen scored his third of the young season on a power play just 38 seconds into the second period.

The Phantoms restored the two-goal lead just 4:01 later in spectacular fashion, as highly touted rookie Joel Farabee, making his professional debut, scored the highlight reel goal of the young season for the Phantoms.

Take a bow, Joel. This writer tips the cap to you. Its gonna be hard to top that highlight.

The goal seemed to stun WBS, as the Phantoms quickly expanded the lead to 4-1 through Chris Bigras, and thats how the game would end.

Final shots on goal were 29-19 to the Phantoms, with WBS goalie Casey DeSmith finishing with 25 saves, and Lehigh Valleys Alex Lyon stopping 18 WBS efforts.

Phantoms forward German Rubtsov took third star honors with two assists, the second assist on Vorobyevs goal and the second assist on Bigrass goal. Gabriel took second honors with his goal, and Farabee finished the star sweep for Lehigh Valley with his highlight reel goal.

Saturday, October 12: Utica 4 @ WBS 3 (OT)

The Penguins returned home for their 21st season home opener on Saturday, hosting the Utica Comets. Just prior to the game, the Penguins announced the release of defender Steve Oleksy from his tryout agreement; whatever the reasoning behind it, Im sure all of the WBS fandom wishes Steve well in whatever comes next.

WBS came out of the gates flying in the first period, controlling the first 15 or so minutes of play, but unfortunately old rival Zane McIntyre was waiting in net, stopping all 10 shots WBS managed in the opening session. Utica eventually built their own momentum late in the first, as Uticas goal-scoring leader last season (31), winger Reid Boucher, tallied twice in the last 2:20 of the first (the second goal was on a PP) to give the Comets a 2-0 lead. The goals were Bouchers third and fourth of the season in only his second game.

To their credit, WBS rebounded nicely in the second period, tying the score in the first half of the second period through the red-hot Stefan Noesen and the newly-crowned captain David Warsofsky.

Noesen now has four goals in 3 games for WBS; this is where I remind you that he signed with WBS on the first day of the AHL season, just one day before WBS opened their schedule.

* shakes head in amazement *

I can also confirm that, while Pittsburgh has changed its goal song away from the Andrew WK hit, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins still choose to Party Hard after goals.

The second period ended 2-2.

In the third, things started getting testy between the two teams, as it has tended to become lately with these two teams, with big winger Anthony Angello in the middle of it. At 6:48 of the third period, Angello took a roughing penalty; WBS killed it off well, and at the very end, in a scene eerily reminiscent of opening night in Hershey, Jon Lizotte, cleared a puck out of the defensive zone to center ice, where Angello was waiting to collect the puck, break in alone, and do this.

Angello later threw a questionable hit on the side boards, inspiring Uticas Vincent Arsenau to try to fight him and taking a penalty in result.

Turning a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead is to be commended, to be sure, but the sign of a really good team is to get a lead like that and close the door. WBS did not do that on Saturday, conceding the tying goal 2:19 from full time to Carter Bancks.

The game went to overtime, where by any decent metric, WBS dominated, putting six shots on goal compared to Uticas one. The only problem was, again, Zane McIntyre, who stopped all six WBS efforts, and Utica buried their only shot in OT as Lukas Jasek deflected home a floating shot to give the Comets the bonus point.

McIntyre finished with 37 saves on 40 WBS shots for the win, WBS goaltender Emil Larmi finished with 27 saves on 31 shots in his pro debut.

Reid Boucher took third star honors with his two goals; David Warsofsky took second honors with his game-tying goal in the second period and one assist; Jasek took top honors with the game-winner.

Sunday, October 13: WBS 1 @ Hershey 5

No matter whos the coach, no matter whos on the roster, the fact remains that one of the hardest scheduling assignment in the league is the third game of a 3 in 3 weekend, on the road, against a team that is not playing a 3 in 3. WBS faced such a situation to close their second weekend of the season, visiting the Hershey Bears, and the Bears responded in kind with a 5-1 drubbing.

Having just been returned to Hershey after clearing waivers last Monday, Travis Boyd put up another 3 points in his second game for Hershey after also putting up 3 points in his season debut the night before. Against WBS, he opened the scoring on a power play at 15:27 of the first, then assisted on a Matt Moulson PP goal at 17:39 of the first, then scored again at 6:56 of the second for his fourth goal of the season in two games. Hershey also enjoyed a shorthanded goal by Martin Fehervary at 11:02 of the second and Mike Sgarbossas 3rd of the season at 14:31 of the third.

Hershey almost finished the shutout for starting goalie Pheonix Copley, but WBS defender Niclas Almari spoiled the shutout bid with just 1:25 left on the clock to make the final 5-1.

Moulson (goal and assist), Fehervary (shorthanded goal), and Boyd (two goals, one assist) swept the stars.

After only getting one point out of the weekend, WBSs record of 1-2-1 after 4 games is good for only 3 points, tied for worst in the Atlantic with Lehigh Valley (1-1-1) and Bridgeport (1-2-1). Those 3 clubs are four points behind division leader Hartford, who has a record of 3-0-1 after the second weekend.

After the second weekend, only five players for WBS have scored goals. Stefan Noesen has 4 of the teams 9 goals, while Anthony Angello has two and David Warsofsky, Niclas Almari, and Jake Lucchini have one each.

The schedule gets slightly easier this upcoming week for WBS, as they host Binghamton on Wednesday, October 16, at 7:05 pm EDT, then travel to Bridgeport on Saturday, October 19, for a 7:00 pm start.

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WBS Weekly: Penguins only earn one point in losses to Phantoms, Comets, and Bears - PensBurgh

Image of rare blue comet captured by the European Southern Observatory – Digital Trends

This image shows the Oort cloud comet C/2016 R2 (PANSTARRS). ESO / SPECULOOS Team / E. Jehin.

Last year, astronomers in Paris noticed a beautiful and distinctive comet, technically called C/2016 R2 but more colloquially known as the blue comet for its unusual hue. Now, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has released this new image showing the comet up close.

C/2016 R2 is believed to originate from the Oort Cloud, a distant region of our solar system with objects orbiting the sun that are far beyond even the Kuiper Belt. The cloud consists of billions or even trillions of objects which form a sphere all around our sun, unlike the planets and the Kuiper Belt which form more of a flat disk shape around the sun. This means that the comet has a highly eccentric orbit, being titled at an angle of 58 degrees.

But the far more unusual feature of the comet is its color. Comets and their tails are typically yellow or neutral in shade, due to the way radiation from the sun is scattered by dust. This comet, however, has rare compounds in its coma, or the halo around its core. These compounds include carbon monoxide and nitrogen ions, which give the comet its blue color.

The comas and tails are formed when the comet comes close to the sun. Comets are balls of dust, ice, gas, and rock, the ESO scientists explained in a statement. When they pass close to the sun, their ice warms up, turns to gas, and escapes in a process called outgassing. This process forms fuzzy envelopes around the comets nucleus, called comas, and distinctive tails.

Its rare for a comet such as this to be observed, however. The blue comet circles the sun once every 20,000 years and we dont often see others like it. Comet C/2016 R2 is representative of a family of comets that we observe only rarely each century, the scientists said.

There are two theories for the origin of the comet: Either it is from a rare group of comets from beyond the line at which nitrogen can condense into solid grains. Or it could be a fragment that was knocked off a larger object orbiting beyond Neptune.

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Image of rare blue comet captured by the European Southern Observatory - Digital Trends

Sports Kansas City Comets sign 3-year deal to stay in Independence 41 Action News Staff – KSHB

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Two Kansas City-area sports teams on opposite sides of the metro made announcements about their future Tuesday.

The Kansas City Comets, of the Major Arena Soccer League, announced a three-year agreement to play at Silverstein Eye Center Arena in Independence, Missouri.

Since a revival in 2010, the Comets have played their home games in Independence. Theyll kick off the 10th season in Independence on Nov. 30 against the St. Louis Ambush.

We are thrilled to announce Silverstein Eye Centers Arena through 2022, Comets managing partner Brian Budzinski said in a release. We couldnt be more excited for our fans to see all the upgrades.

Earlier Tuesday , a new ownership group announced plans to buy the Kansas City T-Bones, keeping the team at Village West Stadium in Kansas City, Kansas. The deal still requires final approval.

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Sports Kansas City Comets sign 3-year deal to stay in Independence 41 Action News Staff - KSHB

Houston Comets – Wikipedia

The Houston Comets were a Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) team based in Houston, Texas, United States.Formed in 1997, the team was one of the original eight WNBA teams and won the first four championships of the league's existence. They are one of two teams in the WNBA that are undefeated in the WNBA Finals; the Seattle Storm are the other (however, the Storm are still in ...

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Houston Comets - Wikipedia


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