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Waspie_Dwarf

Comet Reveals Unexpected Secrets

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Observations of a Comet’s First Passage Through the Solar System Reveal Unexpected Secrets

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Comets are our most direct link to the earliest stages of the formation and evolution of the solar system.  Only every few years is a new comet discovered that is making its first trip to the inner solar system from the Oort Cloud, a zone of icy objects enveloping the solar system.  Such opportunities offer astronomers a chance to study a special class of comets.

Onboard NASA’s flying telescope, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, a team lead by Charles Woodward of the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics observed Comet C/2012 K1 (also called Pan-STARRS after the observatory that discovered it in 2012), searching for new insights into the evolution of the early solar system.

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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