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Gallery: Comet Elenin in Pictures

Comet Elenin Photo from NASA's STEREO Spacecraft

NASA

Comet Elenin as seen by NASA's STEREO spacecraft on Aug. 6, 2011.

Comet Elenin Disintegrating

Michael Mattiazzo

Amateur astronomer Michael Mattiazzo of Castlemaine, Australia caught these two images of comet Elenin on Aug. 19 (left) and Sept. 6, 2011. The images show a rapid dimming in the comet, possibly hinting at its disintegration.

The Trajectory of Comet Elenin

NASA/JPL-Caltech

The trajectory of Comet Elenin in relation to other objects in the solar system.

Michael Mattiazzo Comet Elenin Image, August 19, 2011

Michael Mattiazzo

Skywatcher Michael Mattiazzo got this image of comet Elenin, August 19, 2011, in the southern hemisphere.

Michael Mattiazzo Comet Elenin Image, September 1, 2011

Michael Mattiazzo

Skywatcher Michael Mattiazzo got this image of comet Elenin, September 1, 2011, in the southern hemisphere.

Michael Mattiazzo Comet Elenin Image, August 23, 2011

Michael Mattiazzo

Skywatcher Michael Mattiazzo got this image of comet Elenin, August 23, 2011, in the southern hemisphere.

Comet Elenin Sky Map for August 2011

Starry Night Software

This sky map shows where to look to spot the comet Elenin in August 2011.

Michael Mattiazzo Comet Elenin Image, March 27, 2011

Michael Mattiazzo

Skywatcher Michael Mattiazzo got this image of comet Elenin (marked), March 27, 2011, in the southern hemisphere.

Comet Elenin Disappearance

Rhiannon Blaauw, Rob Suggs

Two telescopes operated by astronomers at the Marshall Space Flight Center just stopped scanning the skies for Comet Elenin, which began fading and breaking apart back in August. Now only empty space marks its close approach (22 million miles) to Earth. However, a meteor and the barred spiral galaxy NGC-2903 grace the top of this October 14, 2011, image.

Comet Elenin's Trajectory

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Trajectory of comet Elenin.

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.