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.
- Norman Just Wants You to Be Clean January 23, 2019
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- Wonderful Idea for Bus Drivers to Learn What it Feels Like to Be a Bicyclist October 26, 2018In Cariacica, Brazil, part of the bus driver training is to have the drivers ride on a stationary bike while a bus zooms by them at top speed, to give them a sense of how cyclists feel. What a brilliant … Continue reading →
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- The Igloo™ igloo July 24, 2018I see what you did there.
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- Someday Funnies XXI May 29, 2018Mostly comics but a bunch of other things I’ve found amusing.
- Detritus of Dope May 20, 2018With the exception of the wooden stash pipe at the bottom that I bought at the Psychedelic Shop soon after my arrival in San Francisco in 1976, everything including the flag, in this display was found (or given to me) … Continue reading →
- My Daughter Receiving Her Master’s Degree May 15, 2018From NYU IN Applied Psychology. Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
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