Cardiff University - Cosmic break-up

April 1, 2010

An amateur astronomer has made a major discovery after taking part in an educational project led by scientists at Cardiff University. Nick Howes took the first pictures showing a split in the nucleus of Comet C2007 C3 using a remote-controlled telescope provided by the Faulkes Telescope Project. The scheme, run by astronomers at Cardiff, offers access to a pair of remotely controlled telescopes located on the Hawaiian island of Maui and at Siding Spring in Australia. Mr Howes used the telescope in Maui via an internet link to photograph the comet in detail. The images appear to show that a large chunk of ice has broken away from the nucleus of the comet. A second set of images shows that the fragment is still trailing C2007 C3.

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