Recentlly discovered by russian astronomer Leonid Elenin at International Scientific Optical Network's robotic observatory near Mayhill, New Mexico,
will be visible to the naked eye as a dim "fuzzy star" with a tail, by late August.
Leonid Elenin, estimates that the comet is 3-4 km in diameter.
|Additional Notes: the orbits shown in the applet are color coded. The planets are white lines, and the asteroid/comet is a blue line. The bright white line indicates the portion of the orbit that is above the ecliptic plane, and the darker portion is below the ecliptic plane. Likewise for the asteroid/comet orbit, the light blue indicates the portion above the ecliptic plane, and the dark blue the portion below the ecliptic plane. |
Orbit Viewer applet originally written and kindly provided by Osamu Ajiki (AstroArts), and further modified by Ron Baalke (JPL).
Elenin closest approach to the Sun will be on 10 September 2011 at a distance of 0.4824 AU.On 16 October 2011, the comet will pass within about 0.23 AU (34,000,000 km; 21,000,000 mi) of the Earth.
What's gotten hearts beating a little faster since the discovery is that Comet Elenin is still more than 4 astronomical units (375 million miles) from the Sun and headed inbound.
It's still early, and the calculated orbit is certain to change in the weeks ahead as more position measurements are made, but right now it appears that the comet's perihelion will occur well inside Earth's orbit, about 0.45 a.u. (42 million miles) from the Sun, next September 5th.
So the answer to the question «Will Elenin Comet Hit us?» is NO...
Sorry for all the people in the internet saying that there is a conspiracy
and the comet is going to hit earth.
But there's a chance its dust tail might "light up" (via forward-scattered light) due to the large Sun-comet-Earth angle and put on a really good show.
see more here
by: Sérgio Sousa dailycosmicnews