APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:05 am

Image Comet Leonard's Tail Wag

Explanation: Why does Comet Leonard's tail wag? The featured time-lapse video shows the ion tail of Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) as it changed over ten days early last month. The video was taken by NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory-Ahead (STEREO-A) spacecraft that co-orbits the Sun at roughly the same distance as the Earth. Each image in this 29-degree field was subtracted from following image to create frames that highlight differences. The video clearly shows Comet Leonard's long ion tail extending, wagging, and otherwise being blown around by the solar wind -- a stream of fast-moving ions that stream out from the Sun. Since the video was taken, Comet Leonard continued plunging toward the Sun, reached its closest approach to the Sun between the orbits of Mercury and Venus, survived this closest approach without breaking apart, and is now fading as heads out of our Solar System.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by Ann » Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:47 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

Comet Leonard's tail is blowing in the wind. The solar wind.

Ann
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VictorBorun
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Re: APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by VictorBorun » Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:43 am

Every Sperm is Sacred

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Re: APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by VictorBorun » Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:36 pm

Lovely kites in the sky
https://youtu.be/OZvc7wUwm1g?t=23

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orin stepanek
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Re: APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:04 pm

How much is that comet in the solar system? The one with the wagglely tail? :wink:
Orin

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VictorBorun
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Re: APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by VictorBorun » Mon Jan 10, 2022 2:21 pm

orin stepanek wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:04 pm How much is that comet in the solar system? The one with the wagglely tail? :wink:
How many a comet must wiggle its tail
Before a Will lands at Pevensey?

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Re: APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by VictorBorun » Mon Jan 10, 2022 2:52 pm

Leonard Cohen to Leonard's Comet:

I heard there was a secret way
to lead a comet's tail astray
but you don't astro-navigate it, do you?

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Re: APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by ThoughtfulStarGazer » Mon Jan 10, 2022 4:20 pm

Is the tail wagging the dog, or is a wag detailing Leonard?

My last comments on this subject produced interesting responses from other APOD followers, especially Fred the Cat and Neufer, whose comment "Re: APOD: The Further Tail of Comet Leonard (2021 Dec 30" by neufer » Fri Dec 31, 2021 7:30 am included some very interesting information gleaned from the Wikipedia.

That the analyses of others indicates there are comet "wakes" did not surprise me as further thought on the subject of comet orbits, the effects gravitation and solar winds on a cometary body approaching/orbiting a star might not only produce a spiral rotation of the nucleus, but also the tail, seems to make sense -- if one imagines the comet as a ship plowing through an ocean. Ship wakes are caused by propellers in conjunction with the mass of the hull. Anyone who has plied a lake or ocean in a propeller driven vessel would notice that wakes are subject to disruption and scattering by other wakes, waves or winds. The most similar wake to a comet is produced by unlimited hydroplanes which have so much power the rotating water produced by the propeller literally flies into the air behind the boat, and is referred to as a tail.

Why should it be any different for a comet?

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Re: APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by MarkBour » Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:29 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.

Wow, I love this time lapse!

It really shows that the ion tail boils off and is blown away.

Something I never really pictured that clearly before.
Mark Goldfain

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Comet Leonard's Tail Wag (2022 Jan 10)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 10, 2022 6:05 pm

MarkBour wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:29 pm
Wow, I love this time lapse!

It really shows that the ion tail boils off and is blown away.

Something I never really pictured that clearly before.
There have been one or two similar APODs in the past.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap071003.html
Chris

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