Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková

February 9th, 2017 at 12:31:55 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1457
In a regular orbit around the sun, Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková comes by every 5.25 years. It will make its closest approach to Earth this time around on February 11, 2017. Even though it will only be 7.4 million miles away at the time, it is only a mile wide, and light from the Moon will make it even harder to see. You will probably need a telescope or a big honkin' pair of binoculars.

The coolest thing about this comet is that it is green:

February 9th, 2017 at 1:44:58 PM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 83
Posts: 2020
Quote:
glows green from fluorescing carbon gas


pretty hard to make carbon a gas, so I guess it means carbon dioxide? ... hydrocarbons?

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/comet-45p-closing-in-for-weekend-flyby/
Mustard:You like Kipling, Miss Scarlet? Sure, I'll eat anything [from movie]
February 9th, 2017 at 4:19:10 PM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 85
Posts: 1457
Quote: odiousgambit
pretty hard to make carbon a gas, so I guess it means carbon dioxide? ... hydrocarbons?

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/comet-45p-closing-in-for-weekend-flyby/


Actually, with heat from the sun and the vacuum of space, diatomic carbon (aka, "Dicarbon") can exist. Apparently, it is what gives 45P it's green color. I don't know why it comes off as C2 instead of something more stable. Maybe it's the heat.
February 10th, 2017 at 12:19:39 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 774
Posts: 9178


Just heat this graphite to 6,588 °F and you get a gas.