Comments and questions about the APOD
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- Vacationer at Tralfamadore
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- OMG Is the Orionids Meteor Mongolian Caravan bringing in Cyanogen
<<The 1910 approach [of Halley's Comet], which came into naked-eye view around 10 April and came to perihelion on 20 April, was notable for several reasons: it was the first approach of which photographs exist, and the first for which spectroscopic data were obtained. Furthermore, the comet made a relatively close approach of 0.15 AU, making it a spectacular sight. Indeed, on 19 May, Earth actually passed through the tail of the comet. One of the substances discovered in the tail by spectroscopic analysis was the toxic gas cyanogen, which led astronomer Camille Flammarion to claim that, when Earth passed through the tail, the gas "would impregnate the atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet." His pronouncement led to panicked buying of gas masks and quack "anti-comet pills" and "anti-comet umbrellas" by the public. In reality, as other astronomers were quick to point out, the gas is so diffuse that the world suffered no ill effects from the passage through the tail.
The comet added to the unrest in China on the eve of the Xinhai Revolution that would end the last dynasty in 1911. As James Hutson, a missionary in Sichuan Province at the time, recorded, "The people believe that it indicates calamity such as war, fire, pestilence, and a change of dynasty. In some places on certain days the doors were unopened for half a day, no water was carried and many did not even drink water as it was rumoured that pestilential vapour was being poured down upon the earth from the comet.
Oh, oh, oh, what a strikingly lovely picture of the sky! How I appreciate getting these wonderful images from APOD!
Your picture of the Orionids appeared in the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) on October 30, 2018. Congratulations on the recognition of your beautiful shot. It is quite a treat to sit here in San Diego in the most Southwestern point of the United States and view your picture from deep in Northern China.
Thank you for sharing your expertise and labor with all of us.
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Here are the extended paths to show the apparent radiant.
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Fred the Cat
- Theoretic Apothekitty
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It's not easy being green
Makes you wonder if comet dust, high in cyanogen
, would burn brighter as it enters our oxygen atmosphere given that it produces high temperature
"..it was discovered that cyanogen (C2N2) burning in an equimolar amount of pure oxygen gives very high temperatures."
Freddy's Felicity "Only ascertain as a cat box survivor"