In January 2004, on its second loop around the sun, Stardust brushed past the comet
was discovered March 25, 1993, by Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker and by David Levy.
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Toni Scarmato, a high school teacher and a graduate student at Bologna University in Italy, identified the two comets
as part of the Kreutz group of sun-grazing comets
Stardust will meet up with Comet
Wild-2 in 2004 outside Mars' orbit.
In connection with the merger, Comet
effected a 28-for-1 reverse stock split for shareholders of record March 16, 1993.
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The Director of the Comet
and Meteor Section welcomes all observations of comets
, but to be of scientific value the observer should concentrate on the following:
Observations of the crash suggest that scientists are for the first time "directly measuring pristine material from deep inside a comet
, material that has been locked away since the beginnings of the solar system," says Deep Impact researcher Carey Lisse of the University of Maryland in College Park and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.
It can take a comet
thousands of years to make one orbital trip.
The last comet
to dazzle Earth's night-time skies was Comet
Hale-Bopp, which visited in 1997.
We have set a cutoff date of the year 1974 because there is a very strong observational bias in detecting splitting events; splittings and disintegrations of comets
since that year are reported in the Split Comets
List of the International Comet
When a comet
is near the sun, some of its ice melts, which produces its distinctive tail.
73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3, this body passes near the sun every 5.
On that day, NASA scientists will smash a device into a comet
, or a celestial body made of ice, rock, and dust that circles the sun.