Comet Elenin, again!

update: 20 April 2011

Comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin) is a long-period comet discovered by Russian astronomer Leonid Elenin on December 10, 2010. Much has been writen about this particular comet in the internet , on how  it will hit earth  later this year.

Well, it wont hit us. Fortunately we will have to watch Hollywood sci-fi movies like Armageddon and Deep Impact to see a event like this on our planet.

One day, for sure, our planet will be hit by an object like an Asteroid or a Comet, that is a well known fact, the question is when.  Even then we hope to have time and the technology to deflect an asteroid or a comet.

According to NASA , and other agencies no impact is expected during the next 100 years.  There are some bodies that rise some concern, like asteroid Apophis, but still , is very unlikely that Apophis or any other object (comet or asteroid) with capability to cause major destruction, will hit Earth in the near future (please see http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov) or here.

Please note, Earth is hit every day by rocks from space, even remains of comet tails that cross Earth orbit.  But no object with size enough to cause regional or global scale destruction is in direct and confirmed route to our planet.

Where is it , how big?

Well we decided however to contact an astronomer that looks to the sky every night, just to know what is comet Elenin «doing» and we had a very direct and conclusive reply:

Question: Will comet elenin hit us ? Is there any chance of that happening?
Answer: I don´t think so at all. The orbit doesn´t reach the Earth.

Question: Whats the size of comet Elenin?
Answer:   Nucleous less than 4km. Coma more than 50.000 actually.

Question: Where is he know?
Answer:  Very far away. 2.68AU see photo

Comet Elenin Position on 15h April. Image: with permission of Gustavo Muler.

Comet Elenin traveling through space.Click on photo. Credit: Gustavo Muler.

Path of Comet C/2010 X1 in Google Earth (requires Google Earth)

Panic in past Comets

We’ve seen all this panic before. In 2006 Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann came within 0.08 AU of Earth, 3 times closer than Elenin. The comet disintegrated spectacularly, and Earth passed through its tail.

There were cries of doom, destruction and catastrophic earthquakes …. and nothing happened.

Just as no disaster struck in 1996, 1983 (two very close comets), 1961 and so on when other, more impressive comets came closer to Earth than comet Elenin will.

Enjoy the skies.


  1. If this Question/Answer snippet is from an astronomer they need to learn how to spell better. Comma?? I think they mean Coma. And greater than 50,000??....it has already been confirmed to be over 80,000....better reporting of facts will increase more readership to your blog. Either that or you had better get better resources to talk to.

  2. @ anonymous
    except that the interview was evidently done
    in 2010 after the first discovery while the
    coma was believed to be 50,000 km across.
    Note the fact that he said it was 2.6 AU away.
    April 16th 2011 at 8:45 am CST it is approx. 1.85
    A.U away with a coma of about 80,000 km across.
    As to the use of 'comma' instead of 'coma'. So
    what; a transcribers error.
    Better reading and understanding of a Blog
    will prevent misdirected criticism by you; either
    that or get someone to read it and interpret it for you.

  3. Dear Anonymous, more than 50000 is just that more than, regarding the word coma, your correct and correction will be done( thank you for that). The interview was 2 days ago. And regarding the distance its 2.6 AU from the sun as of 16th April, but youre correct its 1.855 from earth. Hope i could assist you. Brgs DCN

  4. Regarding «better reporting of facts will increase more readership to your blog. Either that or you had better get better resources to talk to.» Dear Anonymous all sources are from agencies, universities, intitutions well known and serius on theyre field and all verifiable. But thank you for comment and making us improve every day. DCN