APOD: Meteor, Comet, and Seagull (Nebula) (2018 Oct 21)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Meteor, Comet, and Seagull (Nebula) (2018 Oct 21)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:10 am

Image Meteor, Comet, and Seagull (Nebula)

Explanation: A meteor, a comet, and a photogenic nebula have all been captured in this single image. The closest and most fleeting is the streaking meteor on the upper right -- it was visible for less than a second. The meteor, which disintegrated in Earth's atmosphere, was likely a small bit of debris from the nucleus of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, coincidentally the comet captured in the same image. Comet 21P, pictured across the inner Solar System from Earth, is distinctive for its long dust tail spread horizontally across the image center. This comet has been visible with binoculars for the past few months but is now fading as it heads back out to the orbit of Jupiter. Farthest out at 3,500 light years distant is the IC 2177, the Seagull Nebula, visible on the left. The comparatively vast Seagull Nebula, with a wingspan on order 250 light-years, will likely remain visible for hundreds of thousands of years. Long exposures, taken about two weeks ago from Iwaki-City in Japan, were combined to capture the image's faintest elements. You, too, could see a meteor like this -- and perhaps sooner than you might think: tonight is the peak of the Orionids meteor shower.

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Boomer12k
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Re: APOD: Meteor, Comet, and Seagull (Nebula) (2018 Oct 21)

Post by Boomer12k » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:30 am

Awesome timing...

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Meteor, Comet, and Seagull (Nebula) (2018 Oct 21)

Post by Ann » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:37 am

This is an unusually lovely APOD, a deep-space vista featuring RGB-colored nebulas, colorful stars, a moderately colorful comet and a colorful remnant of the same comet from a time long ago when it also visited us!

I love the pink and very slightly bluish hues of the Seagull Nebula itself, of course. I don't exactly love, but I'm intrigued by the yellow color of the comet's tail. Many other pictures of the same comet have also shown its tail to be yellowish, so I must assume that Comet 21P has an almost pure dust tail. In other words, the comet appears to lack a gas tail, or else the gas tail is extremely weak and barely visible even in photographs. The lack of a gas tail must be a consequence of the numerous hair-raising free-fall dives this comet has made in the direction of the Sun during its "cometary career". No wonder that most of its volatiles have been burned away over the millennia!

I'm also intrigued, if not delighted, by the yellow-green color of the meteor streaking across the sky. Someone else may explain the cause of the meteor's yellow-green hue, if they are so inclined! :D

Finally, the color of the stars are fascinating, too. I noticed that the orange star at 2 o'clock is more deeply orange than the similarly colored star at 5 o'clock. Sure enough, the star at 2 o'clock (HD 49331) is intrinsically bigger, brighter, cooler and redder than the star at 5 o'clock (Theta Canis Majoris)! The deeply orange ones are not to be trifled with.

Ann
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Jim Armstrong

Re: APOD: Meteor, Comet, and Seagull (Nebula) (2018 Oct 21)

Post by Jim Armstrong » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:33 pm

Seagull has a landing light!

Degutis
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Re: APOD: Meteor, Comet, and Seagull (Nebula) (2018 Oct 21)

Post by Degutis » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:21 am

APOD Robot wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:10 am
Image Meteor, Comet, and Seagull (Nebula)

Explanation: A meteor, a comet, and a photogenic nebula have all been captured in this single image. The closest and most fleeting is the streaking meteor on the upper right -- it was visible for less than a second. The meteor, which disintegrated in Earth's atmosphere, was likely a small bit of debris from the nucleus of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, coincidentally the comet captured in the same image. Comet 21P, pictured across the inner Solar System from Earth, is distinctive for its long dust tail spread horizontally across the image center. This comet has been visible with binoculars for the past few months but is now fading as it heads back out to the orbit of Jupiter. Farthest out at 3,500 light years distant is the IC 2177, the Seagull Nebula, visible on the left. The comparatively vast Seagull Nebula, with a wingspan on order 250 light-years, will likely remain visible for hundreds of thousands of years. Long exposures, taken about two weeks ago from Iwaki-City in Japan, were combined to capture the image's faintest elements. You, too, could see a meteor like this -- and perhaps sooner than you might think: tonight is the peak of the Orionids meteor shower.
Fantastic colors and indeed a I was mesmerized with the changes.

P.S.: Dear Ann, thank you for such a bright and detailed comment with your impressions. I couldn't explain it better.