Whitley's Space

Perihelion Date for Panstarrs Comet Revised??

Just 10 days before the Panstarrs comet is due, its perihelion date has been changed from April 17 to March 10. This means that in 8 months of tracking, astronomers were still off by a month. Panstarrs is a small comet and won't be visible except just above the horizon around dawn in the northern hemisphere, but still, you'd think that it would have been as precisely tracked as other comets. Hopefully, there are no mistakes on Isod.

One thing to bear in mind is that this is an extremely slow-period comet, and a non-periodic one at that, meaning that there's likely been little movement for the astronomers tracking it to make an accurate plotting off of. On top of that, comets are notorious for shifting their orbits slightly, because of asymetric emissions being vented from them as the Sun warms them up, of which can also cause them to speed up or slow down.

Hmmm, maybe this post and the one above it have something in common???