David Robinson (5 Apr 2011)
"Re:  Robert Belanger - Elenin Closest on April 19, 2011"

Hi Robert,

Apparently you misinterpreted Curt Renz's diagram.  You are comparing the position of the earth with Elenin's future orbit track, on April 19th.  The position of the comet on that date is still outside the orbit of Mars some 1.85 Au from earth.  Follow the lines connecting the blue earth balls to the green comet symbols to see the relative positions of the two bodies.  You might can follow  it better on JPL's interactive orbit tracks at http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=C%2F2010%20X1;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=0#orb  You can set the number of days to move forward or backward through their orbits on this site and clearly see that the closest approach of the two bodies is still .23 Au on October 18th.

I was just outside last night making sure the comet wasn't bright enough yet to be visible in the eyepiece of my 10" telescope, and it's still not visible.  Even though there is a lot of conspiracy theory about this comet, I think JPL is accurately tracking its orbit.  I'm expecting it to be around the first of July before it is visible in my telescope based on current predictions, but I'll be checking regularly just to make sure its orbit doesn't change as it goes through the asteroid belt.


David Robinson