Recently in the comets Category

Remote and in-situ observations of cometary gases have revealed the presence of a wealth of complex organic molecules, including carbon chains, alcohols, imines and the amino acid glycine.

The ESA Rosetta mission has acquired unprecedented measurements of comet 67/P-Churyumov-Gerasimenko (hereafter 67P) nucleus surface, whose composition, as determined by in situ and remote sensing instruments including VIRTIS (Visible, InfraRed and Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) appears to be made by an assemblage of ices, minerals, and organic material.

Cryogenic Cometary Sample Return

Comets likely formed in the outer regions of the protosolar nebula where they incorporated and preserved primitive presolar materials, volatiles resident in the outer disk, and more refractory materials from throughout the disk.

During March-April 2002, while between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft detected a significant enhancement in pickup proton flux.

Interstellar comets offer direct samples of volatiles from distant protoplanetary disks. 2I/Borisov is the first notably active interstellar comet discovered in our solar system[1].

Exocomets: A Spectroscopic Survey

While exoplanets are now routinely detected, the detection of small bodies in extrasolar systems remains challenging. Since the discovery of sporadic events interpreted as exocomets (Falling Evaporating Bodies) around β Pic in the early 80s, only ∼20 stars have been reported to host exocomet-like events.

Comets and asteroids are objects in our solar system that have not developed much since the planets were formed. As a result, they are in a sense the archives of the solar system, and determining their composition could also contribute to a better understanding of the formation of the planets.

We observed the interstellar comet 2I/Borisov using the Neil Gehrels-Swift Observatory's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope. We obtained images of the OH gas and dust surrounding the nucleus at four epochs spaced before and just after perihelion (-2.56 AU to 2.03 AU).

We present high spectral resolution optical spectra obtained with the ARCES instrument at Apache Point Observatory showing detection of the [OI]6300 A line in interstellar comet 2I/Borisov.

Comets screaming through the atmosphere of early Earth at tens of thousands of miles per hour likely contained measurable amounts of protein-forming amino acids.