A rare cluster of comets is making its way through our solar system this week, but you don't need a telescope to spot the icy celestial wanderers. An online telescope will stream live views of the comets in a webcast today (Aug. 17).
The Internet-based Slooh Space Camera, which offers views of the night sky from observatories around the world, will target more than six different comets today during a free webcast at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GGMT).
The webcast feature views from telescopes at the Canary Islands Observatory off the west coast of Africa during today's comet program, which will include commentary from Slooh officials and amateur astronomer Donald Machholz — the discoverer of no less than 11 comets.
The webcast can be accessed at the Slooh website here: http://www.slooh.com
One of the comet targets for today's webcast will be 96P/Machholz, which as its name suggests is one of Machholz's discoveries.
Machholz first spotted the comet 96/Machholz in 1986. The comet orbits the sun once every 5.2 years and is a potential candidate for the source of the annual Delta Aquarid meteor shower, which peaked on July 28.
Editor's note: If you snap an amazing photo of a comet or any other night sky object, that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, send images and comments (including name and location) to managing editor Tariq Malik at email@example.com.
Get the Space.com Newsletter
Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!
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.