APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:05 am

Image Parker vs Perseid

Explanation: The brief flash of a bright Perseid meteor streaks across the upper right in this composited series of exposures made early Sunday morning near the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower. Set up about two miles from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the photographer also captured the four minute long trail of a Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying the Parker Solar Probe into the dark morning sky. Perseid meteors aren't slow. The grains of dust from periodic comet Swift-Tuttle vaporize as they plow through Earth's upper atmosphere at about 60 kilometers per second (133,000 mph). On its way to seven gravity-assist flybys of Venus over its seven year mission, the Parker Solar Probe's closest approach to the Sun will steadily decrease, finally reaching a distance of 6.1 million kilometers (3.8 million miles). That's about 1/8 the distance between Mercury and the Sun, and within the solar corona, the Sun's tenuous outer atmosphere. By then it will be traveling roughly 190 kilometers per second (430,000 mph) with respect to the Sun, a record for fastest spacecraft from planet Earth.

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AZSteve

Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by AZSteve » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:09 am

What is the small streak near the middle of the left side? Another meteor that left a short streak and a residual glow? A comet?

RocketRon

Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by RocketRon » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:18 am

After the closest approach, what then ?
Is this craft expected to survive that ? - the heat shielding sounds very elaborate

Spectacular photo....

DomeLord

Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by DomeLord » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:47 am

RocketRon,

I don't think they care. They'll maybe just nonchalantly chuck the finished junk into the Sun just like humans throw their litter about on this planet. :roll:

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Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by Sculptor » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:04 am

AZSteve:

I also noticed the curved blue streak on the left. At full resolution you can see there is an even fainter straight green streak above the blue one. I would guess these are visible components of a particle shower (energetic particle from outer space colliding with air molecules, some of which radiate off their collisional energy in visible light).

I don't think this might be another Perseid meteor because it has two components, it's curved, and oriented in a different direction.

A more "down-to-earth" alternative explanation might be a space debris particle coming back home =)

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Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by neufer » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:28 am

DomeLord wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:47 am
RocketRon wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:18 am

After the closest approach, what then ?
Is this craft expected to survive that ? - the heat shielding sounds very elaborate
I don't think they care. They'll maybe just nonchalantly chuck the finished junk into the Sun just like humans throw their litter about on this planet. :roll:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treehouse_of_Horror_X#Life's_a_Glitch,_Then_You_Die wrote:
  • Life's a Glitch, Then You Die
<<On December 31, 1999, Dick Clark is celebrating New Year's Rockin' Eve in Springfield. Homer, the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's Y2K compliance officer, declares that he fixed all the possible Y2K problems at the plant, including the computers. Unfortunately, Homer forgot to fix his own computer, and in the process sends a virus across the world. Chaos ensues, and widespread looting begins. Krusty's malfunctioning pacemaker apparently kills him in front of the family. Bart tearfully mourns his hero, but he perks up after finding a note. The letter in Krusty's pocket states that a rocket (codenamed Exodus) is being populated with humanity's "best and brightest", and will be launched in order to preserve human civilization on Mars. When they reach the shuttle, Homer fails to bluff his way on board by claiming to be the famous pianist from the film Shine but the armed guard recognizes Lisa as the ship's designated proofreader. Lisa is only able to take one parent with her, and quickly chooses Marge. Homer and Bart find a second, unguarded rocket and board just before it launches. They quickly notice that the spaceliner is filled with such notoriously obnoxious and mediocre celebrities as radio psychologist Dr. Laura, film director Spike Lee, skating champion Tonya Harding, former vice president Dan Quayle, grunge rock singer Courtney Love, politician Ross Perot, civil rights activist Al Sharpton, actor Tom Arnold, MTV VJ Pauly Shore, and actress/talk show host Rosie O'Donnell. Unlike Exodus, this rocket is headed directly for the sun. Homer and Bart decide they cannot bear being in the passengers' presence for so long, and choose to eject themselves from the spacecraft and die of explosive decompression instead, to their relief.>>
Art Neuendorffer

Tszabeau

Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by Tszabeau » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:31 pm

What are the objects on the lower right horizon? There are 2 bright lights one of which has a trail, visible in the hi-res. Looks like a rocket launch to my layman’s eye.

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Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:52 pm

AZSteve wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:09 am
What is the small streak near the middle of the left side? Another meteor that left a short streak and a residual glow? A comet?
It's interesting. I think that most likely we're seeing another meteor (the green streak) and a persistent train (dust and glowing ionized gas) blown by high altitude wind during the long exposure.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by Arp » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:45 pm

AZSteve wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:09 am
What is the small streak near the middle of the left side? Another meteor that left a short streak and a residual glow? A comet?
To me, it looks like a comet. Everything that enters the atmosphere, no matter if it is dust or space debris, looks a like meteor. It also appears as if the tail has clear origin, the point source below it, which also does not show the same elongation direction due to the long exposure as the other stars. May hint at a slight motion in a different direction. Again, pointing to a comet. But I couldn't find a known comet at that location.

If anybody wants to check, this is at about

RA: 4h29m
DEC: +48°20'

If it was a comet, it would have moved by now.

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Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by Joe Stieber » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:22 pm

Arp wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:45 pm
AZSteve wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:09 am
What is the small streak near the middle of the left side? Another meteor that left a short streak and a residual glow? A comet?
To me, it looks like a comet. Everything that enters the atmosphere, no matter if it is dust or space debris, looks a like meteor. It also appears as if the tail has clear origin, the point source below it, which also does not show the same elongation direction due to the long exposure as the other stars. May hint at a slight motion in a different direction. Again, pointing to a comet. But I couldn't find a known comet at that location.

If anybody wants to check, this is at about

RA: 4h29m
DEC: +48°20'

If it was a comet, it would have moved by now.
Chris is quite right right, it looks like a wind-distorted persistent train from a meteor (sporadic, not a Perseid). I’ve seen a number of comets over the years, and this looks quite unlike any comet I’ve ever seen. Checking with SkyTools, there simply isn’t any comet in that area. Currently, the nearest is 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, about 15 deg NW of there (21P is a nominal 8th magnitude binocular object with a faint tail). The “clear origin” you note is actually a pair of close-spaced stars in Perseus, HR 1324 (mag 4.6) and HR 1330 (mag 5.5) that have photographically merged into an elongated shape near the edge of this wide-angle image, roughly 8.5 degrees east of Mirfak (Alpha Per).

heehaw

Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by heehaw » Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:45 pm

Named for a living astrophysicist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Parker

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Re: APOD: Parker vs Perseid (2018 Aug 16)

Post by alter-ego » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:52 am

Joe Stieber wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:22 pm
...
Chris is quite right right, it looks like a wind-distorted persistent train from a meteor (sporadic, not a Perseid).
It sure looks like a Perseid to me. The radiant is just outside of the image to the upper left. The meteor green streak points right to it. The meteor on the right side doesn't point to it as closely but I expect some field distortion in this 80° FoV. Both are most likely Perseids.
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