LewDux: When it swings past us and heads back out into deep space, it's not coming back. Ever.Rendezvous?
captjc: It's coming right at us![img.fark.net image 320x213]
Closeup view of "comet"
ThatGuyOverThere: so... not a cometI believe a comet is defined as a comet by virtue of having an orbit.this thing is coming in for the first time, fast enough that it's got escape velocity to leave the system and will never come back.wouldn't it be more of a big icy rogue asteroid than a comet? Maybe a KBO that got smacked our way?
ThatGuyOverThere: unless i'm wrong.am i wrong?
phalamir: ThatGuyOverThere: so... not a cometI believe a comet is defined as a comet by virtue of having an orbit.this thing is coming in for the first time, fast enough that it's got escape velocity to leave the system and will never come back.wouldn't it be more of a big icy rogue asteroid than a comet? Maybe a KBO that got smacked our way?ThatGuyOverThere: unless i'm wrong.am i wrong?From the IAU's site:A comet is a body made of rock and ice, typically a few kilometres in diameter, which orbits the Sun. Comets may pass by the Sun only once or go through the Solar System periodically....It is then given a designation according to the following pattern (see Resolution C.5 approved by the IAU in 1995 on p.32 of this PDF):A prefix, alluding to the type of comet, which can be any of the following:P/ for a periodic comet.C/ for a comet that is not periodic.X/ for a comet for which a meaningful orbit cannot be computed.D/ for a periodic comet that no longer exists or is deemed to have disappeared.The year of discovery.An uppercase letter identifying the half-month of observation during that year (A for first half of January, B for second half and so on).A number representing the order of discovery within that half month.Relevant bits on why you are wrong in bold.
phalamir: Not that I didn't have to look it up, so you are wrong only as much as you don't work for the IAU. I only looked it up because I generally trust Phil Plait not to get that sort of thing wrong.
BullBearMS: [img.fark.net image 850x342]Do you want to end up with naked space vampires?Because this is how we end up with naked space vampires.
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