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Thread: What would a super comet look like before Earthly impact?

  1. #1 What would a super comet look like before Earthly impact? 
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    Let's say that it's a week before impact and a super comet like Hale-Bopp is on the way, would we be able to see it during the day and night? Like a bright star like Venus? How visible would this sucker be? Forget the collision and entering of the atmosphere, would we see it coming?


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    Forum Junior SolomonGrundy's Avatar
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    if is coming you will see it , but that in your lifetime will not happen...


    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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    Listen Solomon Grundy (born on a monday) I'm writing a piece of fiction and I want to be accurate. I want a scene in which a character will take an empty whiskey bottle and with one eye closed act like he's putting the comet inside the empty bottle--dig? What I know on comets is pathetically limited. Do Comet's produce their own light, or is what we see reflected from the sun? Do you think a large comet can be seen during daylight? Is the night time the only right time to see such a thing?
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    Forum Junior SolomonGrundy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy stardust
    Listen Solomon Grundy (born on a monday) I'm writing a piece of fiction and I want to be accurate. I want a scene in which a character will take an empty whiskey bottle and with one eye closed act like he's putting the comet inside the empty bottle--dig? What I know on comets is pathetically limited. Do Comet's produce their own light, or is what we see reflected from the sun? Do you think a large comet can be seen during daylight? Is the night time the only right time to see such a thing?
    Well ok then ..
    The comet will be seen day and night and as it comes closer to the impact you will see more of it .
    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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    Do Comet's produce their own light, or is what we see reflected from the sun? Do you think a large comet can be seen during daylight? Is the night time the only right time to see such a thing?
    They only reflect light; the tail always points away from the sun; a big enough one can be seen during the day, but it would be much more spectacular during the night; one that is heading towards earth might have a tail that would make it seem as if it is moving accross the sky, while it is moving straight towards us. Take a look here: COMET :wink:
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    thank you both very much. Does anyone else have some more trivial comet facts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy stardust
    thank you both very much. Does anyone else have some more trivial comet facts?
    yeah read this for your book
    http://ares.nrl.navy.mil/sungrazer/
    Solomon Grundy
    In 1944, this creature rose from the swamp, with tremendous strength and some dormant memories that for example allowed him to speak English, but not knowing what he was, and not remembering Cyrus Gold or his fate. Wandering throughout the swamp, he encountered two escaped criminals, killed them, and took their clothes. When they asked him his name, he simply muttered that he had been born on Monday. Reminded of an old nursery rhyme about a man born on Monday, the thugs named the creature "Solomon Grundy".
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    You may want to take a few moments to familiarize yourself with a recent NASA study where they flung a washer sized copper slug at high speed into comet Temple1.

    (GoogleWords: "Deep Impact" and "Temple1")


    Comets, Made of Ice (well, at least variations of it, with impurities) evaporate when they enter a solar system; This is what causes the tail- explosive evaporation, and solar wind pushing it away, so it always points away from the star it is nearing, regardless of travel direction.

    What exactly comets are made of is not entirely understood or known, we know some things, but not everything about them.

    Take a glance at some of the observations of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 collision with Jupiter for some great images and video.

    In that particular planetary collision, the comet broke up under gravitational stresses, into many many pieces, and rained upon the planet like icy fireballs, creating a destructive radius far greater than the Earth.


    One thing to consider about the whole 'seeing it day and night' thing, is that you probably will only get a good look at it for around 10 hours a day, depending on what trajectory it is on, Due to the rotation of the Earth. It's the same situation as the moon, You'll spend about half the day pointed in a direction away from the object, and you will then be able to see it when your field of view allows it over the horizon 12 hours later. So if it's visible in the day, it probably wont be seen at night, and visa versa. Unless it's moving on a vector that is roughly parallel to Earth's orbiting vector, then you'll get to see it roughly 6 hours before and after a sunset or sunrise, depending on the side of the planet it is coming in towards.


    Just some thoughts, hope your scene works out well.
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