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Largest Comet Outburst Sent "Mini Comets" Flying
National Geographic News ^ | 16 Sep 2009 | Kate Ravilious

Posted on 09/18/2009 7:08:36 AM PDT by BGHater

Like a mushroom shooting out spores, a well-known comet was seen firing multiple "mini comets" that went sailing away at up to 280 miles (451 kilometers) an hour, astronomers have announced.

The fragments were recently revealed in high-resolution images of comet Holmes, a relatively small body discovered in 1892 that mysteriously erupted in 2007, when the above images were taken. (Black-ringed dots moving in the images are background stars.)

Over several days astronomers using the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope on Mauna Kea watched the 2.2-mile-wide (3.5-kilometer-wide) cloud of dust surrounding the comet swell to become larger than the sun.

Later, closer looks at the high-resolution images revealed that the comet also sent fragments, each with their own dust clouds and icy tails, shooting away from the main body.

Altogether the extra material caused the comet to brighten by a million times in less than 24 hours—producing the largest known cometary outburst in history.

"Normally you need a large telescope to see comet Holmes, but during the outburst it was visible with the naked eye," said team member Rachel Stevenson of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Comet's Internal Pressure

Comet Holmes is a so-called Jupiter Family comet, one with an orbit that crosses so near Jupiter's that the comet is affected by the massive planet's gravity. Most such comets are doomed to break apart or crash into a planet or the sun.

For instance, comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke up in 1994 and its pieces crashed into Jupiter. At least one other comet, Kushida-Muramatsu, was briefly captured by the gas giant in 1949 and became a Jovian moon for 12 years.

(Black-ringed dots moving in the images are background stars.)

(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalgeographic.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: astronomy; catastrophism; comet; cometholmes; jupiter; science; space

1 posted on 09/18/2009 7:08:36 AM PDT by BGHater
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To: BGHater

Looks like a bug jelly fish.


2 posted on 09/18/2009 7:19:31 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage
Looks like a bug BIG jelly fish.

My apologies to Mavis Beacon.

3 posted on 09/18/2009 7:21:26 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: BGHater

I heart science.


4 posted on 09/18/2009 7:32:14 AM PDT by wxgesr (I want to be the first person to surf on another planet!)
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To: BGHater

That was a cool Comet!

I got some video of it...somewhere...on a disc at the house. But not like that.


5 posted on 09/18/2009 7:41:12 AM PDT by Conan the Librarian (The Best in Life is to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and the Dewey Decimal System)
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To: BGHater
Astronomers Unravel A Mystery Of The Dark Ages

"Astronomers unravel a mystery of the Dark Ages Undergraduates' work blames comet for 6th-century "nuclear winter" Scientists at Cardiff University, UK, believe they have discovered the cause of crop failures and summer frosts some 1,500 years ago – a comet colliding with Earth. The team has been studying evidence from tree rings, which suggests that the Earth underwent a series of very cold summers around 536-540 AD, indicating an effect rather like a nuclear winter."

"The scientists in the School of Physics and Astronomy believe this was caused by a comet hitting the earth and exploding in the upper atmosphere. The debris from this giant explosion was such that it enveloped the earth in soot and ash, blocking out the sunlight and causing the very cold weather."

[snip]

6 posted on 09/18/2009 8:03:48 AM PDT by blam
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To: BGHater

Oh, please - that’s a screen shot of the old Windows starfield screen saver.


7 posted on 09/18/2009 8:12:18 AM PDT by Tennessee_Bob (A1C 6.2)
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To: BGHater; 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...
The fragments were recently revealed in high-resolution images of comet Holmes, a relatively small body discovered in 1892 that mysteriously erupted in 2007
Truth666, now alas banned these four years, used to amuse and bemuse me and perhaps others with completely goofball posts, such as can still be found in topics like Toutatis hoax - how and why and a whole thread full of nuttiness (link to last post, which happens to be one of mine). Thanks BGHater!
 
Catastrophism
 
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
 

8 posted on 09/18/2009 7:01:31 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: blam; BGHater; SunkenCiv; All

For contemporary account of that difficult time Google Cassiodorus:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&num=100&newwindow=1&q=cassiodorus%2C+strange+weather&btnG=Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=


9 posted on 09/19/2009 1:20:16 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: gleeaikin

Thanks gleeaikin! Thanks to you, this topic is in the top ten hits in that Google search now. ;’)


10 posted on 09/20/2009 3:01:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...
Note: this topic is from 9/18/2009. Thanks BGHater.
Here's a pic from and link to a 2-day old article that is basically an update, and will serve nicely as an 'extra, extra' ping to APoD list members. Happy Hump Day btw.
Comet Holmes flew by Earth in 2007. This is a composite image of the comet, created by astronomers who reconstructed the comet's orbit using photos from the Internet. Holmes bursts into brightness and becomes more heavily imaged as it moves across the sky. Credit: Dustin Lang and David W. Hogg -- Crowd sourcing comes to astronomy

Crowd sourcing comes to astronomy

11 posted on 07/25/2012 5:14:19 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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