Last December, Russian Astronomer Leonid Elenin discovered a previously unknown comet. This comet has been named C/2010 X1, or more commonly referred to as Comet Elenin. The discovery of this comet is exciting, yet unsettling at the same time. Exciting in the fact that there are many, many bodies in the solar system that we have yet to discover, unsettling in the fact that it was just a few short months ago. The current projected path puts Comet Elenin at within .24 Au (Astronomical Units – Distance of the Earth to the Sun is 1 Au) of Earth. In comparison, the Hale-Bopp Comet of 1997 closest pass to earth was 1.315 Au. Needless to say, this should be a very bright comet in the night sky.
The first question I have is why hasn’t the media reported much about Comet Elenin? The media has always published large news articles about found comets. Is it because Elenin is going to be coming a little too close for comfort and they don’t want to insight panic? The fact of the matter is, Comet Elenin may hit Earth!
I am not trying to be an alarmist, but the possibility exists. The orbit of Elenin seems to be changing weekly. As it passes through the asteroid belts and such, it’s possible that it could contact another body in space and change its orbit. When Elenin was first discovered, initial predictions had it passing about 8.8 Au from Earth. These first calculations have changed immensely. Today the orbit calculations have Elenin coming as close as .24 to .15 Au from Earth. That is a major difference and one of the reasons why I believe the media has kept relatively quiet about it. To put it in a little perspective, the Moon is only .0026 Au from Earth. As I mentioned before, the data is being recalculated daily to predict exactly how close Elenin will come. Elenin will pass through the Main Asteroid Belt and runs the risk of contacting an asteroid and changing direction. Even a subtle shift could spell disaster for Earth. The next thing we need to be aware of is the debris left behind by Elenin. Earth WILL pass through this debris tail, by current calculations, it should occur around November 6th, 2011. This should bring quite the light show in the night sky. Take a look at the below dates to gauge when Elenin will be most visible to us.
Moving Track of Comet Elenin
3/15/2011 alignment—sun earth comet (2.099 Au)
9/11/2011 perihelion – visible with naked eye
9/26/2011 alignment—sun comet earth(.392 Au)–possible tail interaction
10/16/2011 closest (.24 Au)
11/6/2011 debris field
11/22/2011 alignment—sun earth comet (.586 Au)
4/21/2012 debris field
12/25/2012 alignment—sun earth comet (5.242 Au)
In Orbit the Earth is moving at a rate of 67,062 miles per hour, 1117.7 miles per minute or 18.6 miles per second. The Comet Elenin travels at aproximately46,478 MPH.
It has been calculated that Elenin’s orbit around the sun and back is about 10,000 years. Kind of brings to mind the orbit of another celestial body that is talked about in many circles, Planet X or Nibiru. Read Full Article >>