Saturday, December 17, 2011

Comet Lovejoy Lives

Comet Lovejoy was expected to vaporize and flare up brightly as it passed within a few hundred thousand miles of the sun. Cameras from several satellites, American, European and Japanese, were trained on Lovejoy as it entered the sun's corona, where temperatures can reach 2 million degrees, and scientists were surprised when it emerged on the other side.  

(click "read more" to view a moving picture of the comet and read the rest of the post.)

I'm not sure where in the sequence this image is from. There are various other images if it at the web site for Sungrazing Comets, a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency, and some more information on Lovejoy and Sungrazing Comets is in a news story here.

If you can save this image to your hard drive and play it back full screen it's very impressive. It's a .gif image. My computer's preferences are set to open these images with Quick Time player. That way they can be looped and increased to full screen (On an Apple, Apple key-L, then Apple key-F). I don't remember how to do it in Windows but I'm sure there are several ways to do it on both types of machine. It's a rather large image file, over three megabytes.


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