The third fragment proves that 96P continues to evolve
ESA and NASA's SOHO mission recorded this week an approximation of comet 96P. She came to the attention of October 25, noting in the lower right corner of the SOHO review. The observatory also recorded its appearance in 1996, 2002, 2007 and 2012.
From the opposite orbit of the Earth, a comet was observed on October 26-28 in STEREO. It is very rarely possible to fix the approach of cometary objects from two different positions in space. The researchers are going to use combined reviews to better understand the composition, as well as contact with the solar wind.
Both missions produced polar comet calculations. We are talking about measuring sunlight, where all light waves are oriented in the same direction after passing through the cometary tail. Polarization is an important function in viewing geometry, and simultaneous observation from different places provides valuable information on the composition and distribution of tail particles.
Comet 96P (Machholz) in 1986 was first recorded by Dan Machholz. It spends 5.24 years on its orbital path. The closest approach to the Sun is 11 million miles (close distance for the comet). In 2012, we managed to notice two tiny fragments of a comet at a small distance from the main body. This time they recorded the third fragment, which hints at cometary development.
The object is interesting for its unusual composition and acts as a parent for a group of comets with a single orbit. Exploring the evolutionary path, scientists will be able to learn more about the origin of this family.