Comet Atlas: A comet for all of us?
Published 4/1/2020 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Finally! After several years of waiting we may soon have, in Comet ATLAS, a bright, naked-eyed comet passing by Earth. The last visitor to do this was Comet 46P/Wirtanen, which was barely visible in December 2018 from highly polluted areas. Current models predict that Comet ATLAS could be brighter and easy to spot in the sky even for novice citizen astronomers. Of course, anyone who has a telescope can already witness brightness and morphological changes in the comet at it approaches the Sun. If, like a lot of us, you’re sheltering at home, this is the ideal time to look... read more ❯

Surprising discovery: a ring around an asteroid
Published 3/26/2014 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Some may say that our universe is full of beauty, others argue that it is our solar system that surprises us the most, but ultimately I will say that it is the world of small solar system bodies which is strikingly full of diversity. Today's announcement of the discovery of rings around the Centaur Chariklo by an international team of astronomers is a vivid proof that small solar system bodies have not yet revealed all their secrets.  My recent work has made me realize that asteroids (also called small solar system bodies or minor planets) are in fact real mini-geological worlds.... read more ❯

Flash on Jupiter - most likely a meteor
Published 9/11/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
As I mentioned in this blog, yesterday two amateur astronomers reported the detection of a flash on Jupiter yesterday on September 10. Since then, various teams have been working around the clock to estimate if this event was a meteor or a large fireball. The results are coming... Ricardo Hueso, a colleague from University of the Basque Country in... read more ❯

Another fireball on Jupiter?
Published 9/10/2012 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
An amateur astronomer reported the visual detection of a fireball on Jupiter at 11:35 UT (September 10 2012) last night. It was confirmed on a video recorded from Texas. This is the 6th impact of Jupiter detected so far. Astronomer Dan Petersen saw today September 10 2012 at  11:35 UT a bright flash on Jupiter which lasted 1 or 2 seconds. It estimated its... read more ❯

A Valentine night with Tempel-1 ?
Published 2/15/2011 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Today is the night of Valentine day, I am not particularly romantic but I always tried to do something special for this day. Unfortunately, this year Valentine day is a disaster since I have several deadlines including an important paper which needs to be submitted before midnight. At 10:50pm PST, my student (E. Enriquez) and I found out that Icarus Journal changed the rules of publication and we have to submit a final, high quality version, of each figure of this paper about the binary asteroid (90) Antiope. While my student is driving back to our office to make those... read more ❯