Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Comet Returns After 37,000 Years
BBC ^ | 2-19-2003

Posted on 02/19/2003 3:32:43 PM PST by blam

Comet returns after 37,000 years

The comet (right) approaches the Sun

A recently-discovered comet makes its closest approach to the Sun. Moments later, it seems to be struck by a super-hot outburst of gas from the star.

This spectacular image was spotted on Tuesday by a spacecraft, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (Soho).

The joint European Space Agency/Nasa satellite is designed to give warnings of stormy space weather that might affect the Earth.

Soho has photographed hundreds of comets around the Sun but this one, known as Neat, has only just been seen.

It has been hovering in the evening sky for the past few weeks but is hardly visible without a telescope.

Ancient visitor

The comet, which goes by the official name C/2002 V1, is new to astronomers.

The comet is putting on a spectacular show Calculations show it has passed through the inner Solar System once before but this was 37, 000 years ago.

The comet is unusual in that it is very large and very bright. In fact it is the brightest comet ever observed by one of Soho's instruments.

Scientists are studying its interaction with the solar wind - the hot, charged particles flowing from the Sun.

They hope it could reveal new information about what comets are made of.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 000; 37; comet; returns; years
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-69 next last
This comet is the size of Jupiter. Could this thing cause problems on earth? (volcanos/earthquakes?)
1 posted on 02/19/2003 3:32:44 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 2sheep; RadioAstronomer; RightWhale
Check in with your comments please.
2 posted on 02/19/2003 3:33:41 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
OH NO, IT'S PLANET X!!!
3 posted on 02/19/2003 3:37:52 PM PST by foolscap
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
This comet is the size of Jupiter.

Uh... No. I don't think so. If that were the case, the Earth would no longer be in its orbit.

4 posted on 02/19/2003 3:38:26 PM PST by Redcloak (Jn th lton t Prvnt the bs of nnssrl Lngth, Vrbs nd Nnsnsl Tg Lns)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Maybe bigger; it's enormous.
5 posted on 02/19/2003 3:39:31 PM PST by First_Salute
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: First_Salute
Really hugh?
6 posted on 02/19/2003 3:40:06 PM PST by Redcloak (Jn th lton t Prvnt the bs of nnssrl Lngth, Vrbs nd Nnsnsl Tg Lns)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Redcloak

7 posted on 02/19/2003 3:40:21 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: blam
Thank Gawd: now I can pee............
8 posted on 02/19/2003 3:41:10 PM PST by Nick Thimmesch
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Redcloak
"Uh... No. I don't think so. If that were the case, the Earth would no longer be in its orbit."

I thought I'd read that somewhere, maybe not.(?)

9 posted on 02/19/2003 3:41:32 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Redcloak
I think the coma IS the size of Jupiter.
10 posted on 02/19/2003 3:42:21 PM PST by LibWhacker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: blam
I'd love to hear some Real Gas Music from Jupiter!
11 posted on 02/19/2003 3:42:29 PM PST by RobRoy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam; mhking

?

12 posted on 02/19/2003 3:43:40 PM PST by Shermy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Shermy
There is a purple spot just behind the comet. No... Never mind. That's a fingerprint on my monitor.
13 posted on 02/19/2003 3:45:06 PM PST by Redcloak (Jn th lton t Prvnt the bs of nnssrl Lngth, Vrbs nd Nnsnsl Tg Lns)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: LibWhacker; blam
That sounds more likely.
14 posted on 02/19/2003 3:45:41 PM PST by Redcloak (Jn th lton t Prvnt the bs of nnssrl Lngth, Vrbs nd Nnsnsl Tg Lns)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: blam
Are the wings for when it is traveling through a planets atmosphere, for better control?

Also, I thought the tail would always extend directly out from the solar side of the comet. That's sure not what's happening in this photo. It must be a composite.
15 posted on 02/19/2003 3:45:45 PM PST by RobRoy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: RobRoy
Two words:

Lucifer's Hammer
By Purnell/Niven

16 posted on 02/19/2003 3:47:46 PM PST by DCBryan1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: blam
I'm kind of busy this week. I'll catch this thing the next time it comes by.
17 posted on 02/19/2003 3:50:01 PM PST by Timm
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Redcloak
LOL! But seriously...what's the horizontal straight line poking out from behind the comet's head...edge-view of a flying saucer?
18 posted on 02/19/2003 3:50:11 PM PST by Shermy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: RobRoy
I think that the tail of the comet appears to be non-radial because we have a two dimensional view of a three dimensional problem. The Earth is on the ecliptic plane, and the comet is above the plane. I don't know (but perhaps others do) what the direction of the comet is - it could be coming at us, going away from us, heading downward, heading upward, heading some other direction, etc.

Does anyone know if this can be seen - after sunset, or before sunrise?
19 posted on 02/19/2003 3:50:58 PM PST by RandyRep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: DCBryan1
Two words:

Lucifer's Hammer
By Purnell/Niven


20 posted on 02/19/2003 3:51:57 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-69 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson