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.
- The Grand Finale: Cassini’s Final Image September 17, 2017September 15, 2017 This monochrome view is the last image taken by the imaging cameras on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. It looks toward the planet’s night side, lit by reflected light from the rings, and shows the location at which the … Continue reading →
- First genetic proof that women were Viking warriors September 9, 2017The remains of an iconic Swedish Viking Age grave now reveal that war was not an activity exclusive to males – women could be found in the higher ranks at the battlefield. The study was conducted on one of … Continue reading →
- A Physicist Who Models ISIS and the Alt-Right September 9, 2017A fascinating look at how the behavior of groups can be modeled just as can material objects in a physics experiment. Neil Johnson used to study electrons as a buttoned-up professor of physics at the University of Oxford. Then, a decade … Continue reading →
- Fantastic Hieronymus Bosch Piñatas by Roberto Benavidez August 18, 2017LA-based artist Roberto Benavidez, a self-styled “half-breed, South Texan, queer, figurative sculptor specializing in the piñata form; playing on themes of race, sexuality, art, sin, humor and beauty”, has created a set based on the works of Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516), … Continue reading →
- When Punks & Goths Swipe Their Kids’ Coloring Books August 17, 2017This happens: These are from a huge (and growing) Reddit thread called Coloring Corruptions. I realize that a macabre sense of humor is by no means limited to punks and goths but I know they’d all laugh at them. … Continue reading →
- Make crime pay. Become a lawyer. ~Will Rogers July 25, 2017by acidcow.com Source: Nobody Expects To Hear These Conversations In Court (45 pics)
- Someday Funnies XX July 22, 2017
- Recent random art in the Haight July 15, 2017On poles and the mini version (shown) above from TRAXB
- Adam West has shuffled off this mortal coil June 11, 2017Happy trails, Mayor West, aka Bruce Wayne, aka the Caped Crusader, aka schoolteacher-tuned-gunfighter Christopher Rolf (on The Rifleman). Thanks for your delightful work.
- Happy Cole Porter Day! June 9, 2017For which I offer these lyrics from the movie “Can Can” Here being sung by Maurice Chevalier to Louis Jourdan:
- The Grand Finale: Cassini’s Final Image September 17, 2017
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