Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Great Comet of 1680 Over Rotterdam
Posted on 10/28/2013 8:20:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Was there ever another comet like ISON? Although no two comets are exactly alike, one that appears to have had notable similarities was Comet Kirch, the Great Comet of 1680. Like approaching Comet ISON, Comet Kirch was a bright sungrazer, making a very close approach to the surface of the Sun. Neither comet, coincidently, is a member of the most common group of sungrazers -- the Kreutz group -- populated by remnants of a comet that disintegrated near the Sun hundreds of years ago. The long tail of Comet Kirch is depicted in the above painting by Lieve Versheier. As pictured, some members of the foreground crowd of Rotterdam in the Netherlands are holding cross-staffs, an angle measuring device that predated the sextant. No one knows how Comet ISON will develop, but like Comet Kirch, it is expected to be brightest when very near the Sun, in ISON's case during last few days of November.
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[Illustration Credit: Lieve Verschuier]
Gallery: Bright Comets of 2013
Great pic, Sunk.
Can you identify the double crossed thingys that I see two people holding?
I believe that they have something to do with measuring angle above the horizon — something similar to a sextant.
Note to self: Always read as many words as possible before not paying attention.
With Halloween coming up, does a double cross beat a stake through the heart and a silver bullet? Or just a cup of holy water?
Something to ward off the evil spirits, no doubt. /s
Uh uh. It is Comet Catcher. If you look closely, the Mike Napoli model.
Wow, what great cameras they had back then..J/K ;)
I do wonder, however, could a comet produce a tail that looks that long from Earth?
I have seen only Haley’s and Kohoutek.
As I remember, Haley was a disappointment on the most recent pass, and not as good as the previous pass that I understand, frightened most everyone, or Kohoutek, as I saw it.
Yes, just depends on the size and composition of the comet and proximity to Earth. The 1910 pass of Halley’s was one of its closest, and it’s a big comet. Retrocalculation suggested that Halley’s passed close enough to Earth (1st c AD, if memory serves) to more or less bounce through the atmosphere and/or experience a slingshot effect.
Cross staff, used to measure angles.
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