Astronomy Picture of the Day



A Comet Tail Horizon

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#98395 by @ 25.01.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
A Comet Tail Horizon


Explanation:
What's happening over the horizon?

Many a sky enthusiast who thought they had
seen it all had never seen anything like this.

To the surprise of many Northern Hemisphere observers, the tail of
Comet McNaught
remained visible even after the comet's head set ahead of the Sun.

What's more, visible were bright but extremely rare
filamentary striae from the comet's expansive dust tail.

The cause of dust tail striae are not known for sure, but are possibly related to
fragmentation
of comet's nucleus.

The last comet to show
prominent striae was
Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997.

Pictured above, the tail of
Comet McNaught was caught just after sunset last Friday
above the
Carnic Alps of northern
Italy.




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