The latest eruption of the cryovolcanic comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, which will make its closest approach to Earth next year, shows that the icy object may have lost its iconic devil horns for good.
Comets are remnants from the early days of the solar system, billions of years ago. Primarily made of ice and dust, these "dirty snowballs" orbit the sun and in habit the Oort cloud, an area in the outskirts of the solar system beyond Pluto. As comets approach the inner solar system, solar wind from the sun can sweep dust back into a long tail. When these comets are close enough to Earth, they can appear as dazzling objects in the night sky. Space probes from Earth have visited several comets to learn more about their composition. Learn more about comets, icy wanderers in the solar system.
The exact cause of 'Devil Comet' 12P/Pons-Brooks' flare-ups is unknown, though the best guess is that perhaps a fissure has developed on the comet's nucleus due to a build-up of gas.
An icy volcanic comet that is three times as large as Mount Everest, nicknamed the "Devil Comet," erupted again Nov. 14. This is the fourth explosive event for 12P/Pons-Brooks since July 2023.
Scientists suspect that comets may have delivered the key ingredients for life on Earth, and new research outlines how exoplanets could have received these deliveries, too.
The massive volcanic comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, which grows giant horns when it erupts, has exploded for a third time in five months as it continues to race toward the sun.
The comet C/2023 H2 (Lemmon) will reach peak brightness on Friday, Nov. 10, illuminating the sky and possibly becoming visible with the naked eye.
The cryovolcanic comet 12P/Pons–Brooks, which will make its closest approach to Earth next year, has re-sprouted its distinctive "horns" after its second major eruption in four months.
After surviving its closest approach to the sun, Comet Nishimura was buffeted by a possible coronal mass ejection that briefly blew its tail away. The rare event was captured by a NASA spacecraft.
Comet Nishimura, which was only discovered in August, has survived its closest approach to the sun and will brighten over the next week. But is it still visible from Earth?
Comet Nishimura has surprised NASA by photobombing its STEREO spacecraft, revealing it seems to have held together after its brush with the sun on Sept. 17.
There's a slight chance Comet Nishimura might brighten unexpectedly. Astronomer Jonti Horner explains what to expect.
The newfound Comet P1 (Nishimura) passes its closest point to Earth on Tuesday (Sept. 12). Here's how to see it this week before it's gone for 400 years.
Astrophotographers worldwide have been snapping incredible photos of Comet Nishimura as it makes its way through the solar system.
While social media has been abuzz with talk of new Comet Nishimura being visible to the naked eye in September, experts aren't so sure.
Reference Comets are icy leftovers from the formation of the solar system. Explore these 'dirty snowballs' in more detail with our comet guide.
The exploding comet, known as 12P/Pons–Brooks, is currently approaching its closest point to Earth during its 71-year orbit through the solar system.
Comet C/2022 E3 made a close pass by our planet in January, and a new video captures its incredible journey in 4K resolution.
The velocity of interstellar objects passing through our solar system, like 'Oumuamua, can be correlated to their chemistry and the type of star they came from.
A comet discovered just months ago will make for an easy-to-spot, if somewhat dim, target for summer skywatchers eager to see a snowball streak through the solar system.
Forty years ago this month, there came a show stopping celestial sight — literally a bolt out of the blue — as a new comet was discovered close to Earth.