Postby 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.