Comet Elenin is coming!
It is called Elenin since it was discovered by Leonid Elenin. I expect the internet to soon be ringing with rumors and news bytes about this comet.
1. It is too early to accurately predict the future path - it's orbital parameters haven't been revised.
2. Among the observable hyperbolic and parabolic comets (those that come from the Oort cloud) this one has the smallest perihelion distance and the smallest inclination to the ecliptic plane.
3. Comet Elenin's orbit may be unstable as it may encounter some dark bodies, for example, in the asteroid belt or even some Taurid objects. What would happen in those cases is a matter of luck.
4. This comet may carry a significant amount of material with it and if it follows the currently projected orbit, the Earth may very well pass through this material.
5. If Elenin is anything like what Victor Clube or James McCanney describes, we might be in for some surprises - good or bad, who knows?
When this was first discovered in December last year it was calculated that it would pass 8.8 Au (8.8 times the distance of the Sun form us) away. Now today the orbital calculation is down to 0.24 Au with a minimum as low as 0.15. This is being re-calculated all the time and could get even closer but it depends what it encounters in the Oort belt.
The Moon is 0.00256 Au form us to give you a comparison.
You should be aware the this comet could bring debris with it and we will pass through the debris trail – if it exists – around the 6th November 2011. Could this new long period comet (?) be the origin of the stories of Nibiru?
It is definitely something to be watching out for and I shall try and keep this thread updated with information as the closest approach draws nearer.