Image Credit & Copyright: Velimir Popov & Emil Ivanov (IRIDA Observatory) Explanation: What causes the structure in Comet Lovejoy’s tail? Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), which is currently at naked-eye brightness and near its brightest, has been showing an exquisitely detailed ion tail. As the name implies, the ion tail is made of ionized gas — gas energized by ultraviolet light from the Sun and pushed outward by the solar wind. The solar wind is quite structured and sculpted by the Sun’s complex and ever changing magnetic field. The effect of the variable solar wind combined with different gas jets venting from the comet’s nucleus accounts for the tail’s complex structure. Following the wind, structure in Comet Lovejoy’s tail can be seen to move outward from the Sun even alter its wavy appearance over time. The blue color of the ion tail is dominated by recombining carbon monoxide molecules, while the green color of of the coma surrounding the head of the comet is created mostly by a slight amount of recombining diatomic carbon molecules. The featured three-panel mosaic image was taken nine days ago from the IRIDA Observatory in Bulgaria. Comet Lovejoy made it closest pass to the Earth two weeks ago and will be at its closest to the Sun in about ten days. After that, the comet will fade as it heads back into the outer Solar System, to return only in about 8,000 years.the coma surrounding the head of the comet is created mostly by a slight amount of recombining diatomic carbon molecules. The featured three-panel mosaic image was taken nine days ago from the IRIDA Observatory in Bulgaria. Comet Lovejoy made it closest pass to the Earth two weeks ago and will be at its closest to the Sun in about ten days. After that, the comet will fade as it heads back into the outer Solar System, to return only in about 8,000 years.
- Signs of the Times July 12, 2018As part of the renovation and improvement of Masonic Avenue, a welcome project for me since I regularly bicycle on it and enjoy its newly smooth surface and separated bike lanes, there has been installed this delightful bit of public … Continue reading →
- Someday Funnies XXI May 29, 2018Mostly comics but a bunch of other things I’ve found amusing.
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- My Daughter Receiving Her Master’s Degree May 15, 2018From NYU IN Applied Psychology. Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
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- Vote on the 2018 Haight Street Fair posters at RVCA April 8, 2018For a limited time the finalists for the 2018 Haight Ashbury Street Fair posters will be in the window of RVCA at the corner of Haight and Ashbury for people to go in and vote for. #1, the only hand-drawn … Continue reading →
- Antique Scientific Instruments, Globes and Cameras Auction March 31, 2018An Austrian auction house is currently conducting a sale of an amazing variety of antique scientific instruments that even if you can’t afford them, are delightful to explore. Here’s a few of the items: There are over 162 items to … Continue reading →
- The 12,400km by 200m Nature Preserve March 24, 2018The European Green Belt initiative is a grassroots movement for nature conservation and sustainable development along the corridor of the former Iron Curtain. The term refers to both an environmental initiative as well as the area it concerns. The initiative is carried out under … Continue reading →
- Signs of the Times July 12, 2018
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