Tag Archives: Comet

“Oh My God, It’s a Rubber Duck!”

Let’s reel the tape back to 2004. The European Space Agency (ESA) shot a rocket off to land the spaceship Rosetta on a comet. Rosetta has been cruising since then, swinging past Mars and a few other planets to line up so when this comet swings by the sun on November 11, 2014 she will actually attempt to land on it! Here is where it gets weird. As it gets closer Rosetta has sent back photos of the comet. They are calling it a “contact binary” which means two comets collided very slowly a few billion years ago and stuck.

But on closer inspection the first ESA scientist to look at the photos said, “Oh My God It’s a Rubber Duck!”

See for yourself.

spaceduck

A Rubber Duck the size of Cape Ann is slowly spinning through the universe ready to make a close encounter with our sun on November 11, 2014

I swear I am not making this up. Our own Rubber Duck is starting to act peculiar after I told her the news. I will be posting regular updates of the Close Encounter of a Rubber Duck as we get closer to the the actual contact on November 11. I will be interviewing EJ to find out if her higher beings have lost a bath toy.

 

[edit] Fun Fact. Rubber Duck rotates every 12.4 hours. So imagine a rock the size of Cape Ann (in diameter, dig the thing up and get a big ball), the head is Rockport, the body is Gloucester, the lips enclose Sandy Bay rotating in synch with the tides. Twice a day, jut like the tides the lips point towards earth and you can slip under the bridge without calling to raise it.

Comet Panstarrs this month

This week and until the end of March if you get an unobstructed view of sunset you may be able to pick out Comet Panstarrs. panstarrsAs comets go this one is not going to blow your socks off but don’t you want to be able to say you saw Panstarrs? It will not be back for 100 million years so this may be your only chance.

Panstarrs is just a warmup for Comet ISON which should be brightening Cape Ann skies in late October. ISON is a “sun grazer” which will do a sharp button hook around the sun. If her water laden self boils furiously the resulting tail may outshine the moon.

So get some comet viewing practice this month and click the link for Lanes Cove web cam. If the sky is cloudless right before sunset get on down there next to the fish shack and bring your binocs.  Rubber Duck might be there.

Rubber Duck in Lanes Cove