Sunday photos: comet Neowise

Comet Neowise from jsut below Llano del Jable, El Paso
July 26, 2020

I finally got to see the comet! The plan was to go to El Llano del Jable, but I found cars parked solidly along the roadside for a kilometre or more before the viewpoint itself, so I settled for what I could get. Unfotunately I’d had to leave in a hurry and I found that I’d brought the wrong tripod. This one wouldn’t connect with the camera, so I wedged…


Philae woke up!

  Remember Rosetta, the spaceship orbiting a comet and the lander that bounced into the shade? The lander wasn’t getting enough sunlight to power it, so it went into hibernation in November last year. Now that the comet is nearer the sun there’s more light, plus the comet’s evaporating away and the valley’s less deep now. Philae’s woken up, and ESA are hoping to get their mitts on all that…

June 20, 2015

Landing on a Comet

Philae heading for the comet
November 12, 2014

  The Philae lander is SAFELY down on the comet, half a billion miles 28 light minutes from Earth. ( See Rosetta and the Comet) Yay for the European Space Agency – nobody’s ever done this before.


Rosetta and the comet

The Rosetta space craft
July 23, 2014

  Rosetta is a robotic spacecraft built by the European Space Agency which is due to reach comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in August. It’s the first mission designed to both orbit and land on a comet. The Rosetta space probe orbiter, which features 12 instruments, will orbit 67P for 17 months and is designed to complete the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. In November 2014 the Philae robotic lander,…


R.I.P. Comet ISON (probably)

Comet ISON
November 28, 2013

<   It looks like comet ISON has broken up. I’m disappointed, but I’m not surprised. The comet’s closest approach was just 1,165,000 km (724,000 mi) from the surface of the sun. This is not a safe place for a snowball. The image above shows just how close it got. The black disc in the centre of the picture is called a cronograph. It covers up the sun so that...


The Spring Equinox

Comet Pan-STARRS Credit: Science@NASA
March 19, 2013

  The astronomical viewpoint at Fuencaliente has three (modern) standing stones, where the shadow of the setting sun points to another stone at (respectively) the summer solstice, both equinoxes, and the winter solstice. Tomorrow night (Wednesday) there will be a free activity run by Cielos La Palma at the viewpoint, starting at 6:30 pm to watch the sunset, followed by astronomical observations including another chance to see comet PanSTARRS through…