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.
- Welding mask, about $8 February 17, 2019Tempting but I’m afraid that it would be too big for my suitcase and I’m pretty sure they won’t let me take it as a carry-on.
- Huancayo, Peru January 28, 2019My destination, Huancayo, is 10,692ft/3,259m above sea level. I live about 260ft/83m above it. I have altitude sickness meds and know about mata de coca but I’m still concerned. I had infantile asthma and even when I ran long distance … Continue reading →
- Watts Towers January 25, 2019Glad to finally Simon Rodia’s amazing sculptures in person. They’re undergoing major restoration so we couldn’t get in but I still enjoyed them.
- Watts Towers January 25, 2019Glad to finally see
- Free Coffee for TSA January 25, 2019Today I bought a 30 cup catering container to give to the TSA folks who are being forced to work without pay
- Homies Go Low January 24, 2019I found this 2001 trophy from Lowrider Clothing on the corner of Haight & Ashbury on my way to work many years ago. When David Gonzales’ ‘Homies’ first came out in the early Noughts I spent a small fortune collecting … Continue reading →
- Norman Just Wants You to Be Clean January 23, 2019
- Scientists Place Trump’s Face in Baboon Feces December 18, 2018I strongly suspect that it was revealed by the illustrator or the scientists who published the paper. What’s the point of a great prank if you’re the only one who knows about it. On 31 January 2018, Kenneth Chiou and … Continue reading →
- 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 →
- Coca-Cola May Make Marijuana-Infused Drinks After Partnering With Cannabis Company: Report September 17, 2018Wanna get high on Coke? Back in the 60s one of the most enduring urban myths was that Big Brands, Inc (take your pick of which one) had trademarked/copyrighted/registered the name Panama Red/Acapulco Gold/Thai Stick (pick your popular choice). Fifty … Continue reading →
- Welding mask, about $8 February 17, 2019
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