APOD: The Changing Ion Tail of Comet... (2024 Apr 08)

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APOD: The Changing Ion Tail of Comet... (2024 Apr 08)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Apr 08, 2024 4:06 am

Image The Changing Ion Tail of Comet Pons-Brooks

Explanation: How does a comet tail change? It depends on the comet. The ion tail of Comet 12P/Pons–Brooks has been changing markedly, as detailed in the featured image sequenced over nine days from March 6 to 14 (top to bottom). On some days, the comet's ion tail was relatively long and complex, but not every day. Reasons for tail changes include the rate of ejection of material from the comet's nucleus, the strength and complexity of the passing solar wind, and the rotation rate of the comet. Over the course of a week, apparent changes even include a change of perspective from the Earth. In general, a comet's ion tail will point away from the Sun, as gas expelled is pushed out by the Sun's wind. Today, Pons-Brooks may become a rare comet suddenly visible in the middle of the day for those able to see the Sun totally eclipsed by the Moon.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: The Changing Ion Tail of Comet... (2024 Apr 08)

Post by Ann » Mon Apr 08, 2024 4:34 am

Very interesting to see the changing ion tail of Comet Pons-Brooks!


Does this mean that the release of gas from the parent body of Pons-Brooks is "episodic"? Like a series of little explosions?

Ann
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JimB
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Re: APOD: The Changing Ion Tail of Comet... (2024 Apr 08)

Post by JimB » Mon Apr 08, 2024 8:23 am

Ann wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 4:34 am
Does this mean that the release of gas from the parent body of Pons-Brooks is "episodic"? Like a series of little explosions?

Ann
It probably depends on the exact chemical composition, the physical structure of the material and how long each surface is in the full glare of the sun as the comet rotates. These amazing images from ROSETTA give some idea of the chaotic nature of outgassing
Comet67P_NavCamFeb3.jpg
from https://www.universetoday.com/118901/ro ... st-images/
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Re: APOD: The Changing Ion Tail of Comet... (2024 Apr 08)

Post by JohnD » Mon Apr 08, 2024 10:00 am

What a clever set of pictures!

Surely they could be put together as an animated film, perhaps by using AI to produce interpolated images? Beyond my skills, I fear!

JOhn

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Ann
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Re: APOD: The Changing Ion Tail of Comet... (2024 Apr 08)

Post by Ann » Mon Apr 08, 2024 3:26 pm

JimB wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 8:23 am
Ann wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 4:34 am
Does this mean that the release of gas from the parent body of Pons-Brooks is "episodic"? Like a series of little explosions?

Ann
It probably depends on the exact chemical composition, the physical structure of the material and how long each surface is in the full glare of the sun as the comet rotates. These amazing images from ROSETTA give some idea of the chaotic nature of outgassing

Comet67P_NavCamFeb3.jpg
from https://www.universetoday.com/118901/ro ... st-images/
Great post, Jim! I guess that the picture you posted says it all! :D

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