Comet Elenin Future Observations

Image of the comet taken June 21th. Credit: L. Elenin / ISON-NM observatory

NASA is interested in observing Comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin) with the space coronagraphs SOHO and STEREO. - According to Leonind Elenin - Not long ago I received a reply from Joseph B. Gurman to the effect that starting July 17 they will be running pointing tests on the space telescope STEREO-B.

The spacecraft will be rotated as will be necessary to do in the future to observe the comet. If all the tests are successful, of which the STEREO team has no doubt, they will observe Comet Elenin from July 31 to August 12, two hours a day. The minimal distance (July 31 2011, 12:40 UT) between comet and spacecraft will be 7.4 million km (0.049 AU). Plans to observe the comet using SOHO with different fliters are also in the works- he said.
At the end of June 2011, Comet Elenin crossed the orbit of Mars. It must be noted that from April to June, the comet did not come closer to the Earth, but moved “parallel” with it. Right at the beginning of July, the comet will begin to very quickly move toward our planet. 

I again want to emphasize, the comet will pass 35 million kilometers from the Earth. It is an absolutely safe distance, just a little closer to the Earth than the second planet, Venus, comes- said Elenin.

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