Is Comet Elenin Disintegrating? (Image)
Comet Elenin tired of doomsday finger pointing
Maybe it just couldn’t take all the publicity. It appears Comet Elenin might be breaking up and fading. Recent observations from Australian comet observers indicate the comet, which began dimming a week ago, is still fainter than expected. A likely explanation is that the comet nucleus might be in the process of breakup. I mean how much hype can a comet handle?
A week after witnessing the comet’s dramatic fading on August 20, amateur astronomer Michael Mattiazzo of Castlemaine in Victoria, Australia noted that by last night (Aug. 27) the comet’s nucleus (bright inner region of the coma) had spread into “a dim, elongated diffuse smudge.” He estimates Elenin’s brightness at 9th magnitude.
The latest images from Michael Mattiazzo show more dimming and an elongated nucleus, which might indicate break-up of the nucleus. See Southern Comets Homepage
Comet Elenin August 27 Image