A few days ago, the Catalina comet, dubbed P/2011 CR42, was observed again from the Calar Alto Observatory, in Almeria, Spain. Although it was already sighted in 2011, it has been out of sight since then. As indicated via the ‘P’ letter in its name, this comet is a periodic one. In the case of Catalina, as astronomer David Galadi tells, its period is of 6.58 years.
Catalin comet will fly very close to Jupiter in the next decade
The peculiarity of Catalina comet is that it gets closer and closer to Earth with every cycle. Without being a threat for us, at the moment, it is, however, a good example of why observations of possible dangerous space objects should be conducted thoroughly, in order to detect the existence of threatening space rocks.
Recent observations of this comet are increasingly allowing astronomers to refine their data on the orbit of the comet which is a very special one.
Despite the fact that Catalina comet is getting closer to the Earth, it will first get very close to Jupiter in the next decade as it will whizz at about 60 million kilometers away from the gaseous giant of our Solar System, according to the astronomers at Calar Alto Observatory.
Catalina comet was observed using the German Schmidt telescope, now located in Spain
P/2011 CR42 was detected by the Catalina Sky Survey global search project from Calar Alto and the finding was made using the 80-centimeter Schmidt telescope.
This instrument belonged to the University of Hamburg from 1954 until 1984 and, when the observatory was created, it was moved to Calar Alto.
“This excellent instrument has been renewed to work within the framework of the European Space Agency’s Space Situational Awareness project, dedicated to the search for potentially dangerous space objects, such as comets or asteroids that may come very close to Earth,” reports David Galadi.
Catalina comet, which was recently observed again from the Calar Alto Observatory, is getting closer to Earth with every orbit of 6.58 years it completes and will fly close to Jupiter in the next decade.