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NASA's NEOWISE Mission Project Spots Two Celestial Objects

First Posted: Dec 30, 2016 11:41 AM EST
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Celestial objects were recently discovered during the NASA's NEOWISE mission. The said objects were found traveling in around the planet including one on the blurry line between comet and asteroid. The other object was according to scientists a comet based on what they have seen in the binoculars.

According to NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Survey Explorer, the first object was identified as a comet while the other is a mysterious object that looks like straddling the line between a comet and an asteroid.

The comet known as C/2016 U1 NEOWISE was spotted as it made it closest approach to the planet on December 12 with a distance of 0.71 Aus. If the said comet will go nearer the sun, it is possible that it can be seen with a pair of binoculars next week.

The other object is called 2016 WF9 which was detected by the NEOWISE project on November 27, 2016, taking its tour in the solar system. The object is approaching the Jupiter's orbit, and over the course of 4.9 Earth-years, it travels inward which passes under the main asteroid belt and the Mars' orbit before it swings inside the Earth's orbit.

According to Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California Institute of Technology, the comet C/2016 U1 NEOWISE will be in the SouthEastern sky before dawn. It is getting closer to the sun and inside the orbit of Mercury on January 14. It will possibly be visible to the skywatchers at earth and not considered as a threat to the planet.

"2016 WF9 could have cometary origins. This object illustrates that the boundary between asteroids and comets is a blurry one; perhaps over time this object has lost the majority of the volatiles that lingers on or just under its surface," said Deputy Principal Investigator James "Gerbs" Bauer.

According to the NEOWISE, their data was used to measure the size of the objects every time it gets nearer to Earth. For a record, there are thirty-one asteroids which were discovered passing about 20 lunar distances from the Earth's orbit.

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