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And Then There Were Three

February 27, 2013

5063-AveburyHengeYou all might remember a post I made a few months ago regarding a crop circle that showed up in August of 2012 showing what I believe to be three comets in the inner solar system? If not the picture is at the left and here are some research/comments at the following site. There are a few different interpretations of it, one is warning of solar flares. At the time I only knew of two approaching, ISON and PannSTARRS. I thought at the time the third was 168P/Hergenrother, which broke up . While I think about it I WONDER WHERE THEIR NUCLEI GO WHEN THEY BREAK UP? I guess according to the experts they “sublime” in the -270 degree C temperature of space. Anyway I think I was wrong. It appears that the third comet is possibly Lemmon.

February 22, 2013 – SPACE – A GREEN LEMMON: At the moment there are three significant comets plunging toward the sun: CometISON, Comet Pan-STARRS, and Comet Lemmon. The most beautiful so far is this one: “Comet Lemmon has a beautiful tail with lovely fine structure,” says Phil Hart of Lake Eppalock, Victoria, Australia, who photographed it on Feb. 17th. The comet is now slightly closer to the sun than Earth. Solar heating has turned it into a binocular object (magnitude +5.5 to +6) barely visible to the human eye, but dazzling through backyard telescopes, as shown in Hart’s photo(below). Comet Lemmon’s verdant color comes from two of the gases boiling off ???? its nucleus: cyanogen (CN: a poisonous gas found in many comets) and diatomic carbon (C2). Both substances glow green when illuminated by sunlight in the near-vacuum of space. The combination of its colorful atmosphere and filamentary tail make this comet visually striking. Ultimately, Comet Pan-STARRS and especially Comet ISON could surpass it, but for now the most beautiful comet in the solar system appears to be a green Lemmon. –Space Watch

You know the other thing that is proposed to glow green in a vacuum is:

greenbeauty2_stripCherenkov Radiation

Vacuum Cherenkov radiation is the conjectured phenomenon which refers to the Cherenkov radiation of a charged particle propagating in the physical vacuum.

The classical (non-quantum) theory of relativity clearly forbids any superluminal phenomena including this one because a particle with non-zero rest mass can reach speed of light only at infinite energy (besides, the nontrivial vacuum itself would create a preferred frame of reference, in violation of one of the relativistic postulates). However, according to modern views coming from the quantum theory, physical vacuum is a nontrivial medium which affects the particles propagating through, and the magnitude of the effect increases with the energies of the particles.[6] As a result, an actual speed of a photon becomes energy-dependent and thus can be less than the fundamental constant of speed of light c=299,792,458 metres per second, such that sufficiently fast particles can overcome it and start emitting Cherenkov radiation.[6][7]

Other possibility arises in some Lorentz-violating theories when a speed of a propagating particle becomes higher than c which turns this particle into the tachyon. The tachyon with an electric charge would lose energy as Cherenkov radiation[8]—just as ordinary charged particles do when they exceed the local speed of light in a medium. A charged tachyon traveling in a vacuum therefore undergoes a constant proper time acceleration and, by necessity, its worldline forms a hyperbola in space-time.
comet tailNow, as a chemical engineer, I understand sublimation fairly well. What my brain is having a VERY hard time wrapping around is why in the cold of space, say -270 degrees C, where atoms are near absolute zero and sublimation should sloooow down, even in a vacuum, how you can get a tail of gas up to 500 MILLION MILES LONG that glows as bright as the sun.  SOMETHING DOES NOT COMPUTE.

I do realize basic math though and e=mc2 does yield a LOT of energy whenever you square the speed of light.  If the surface temperature of a 1e+10 kg micro black hole in space is approx. 1.227203e+10 K, maybe there is a bit of thermonuclear fusion occuring at the surface of those nuclei and showering  space with charged particles. This makes just as much sense to me as some proposed goofy gas trail 500 million miles long??



Copyright 2012 Stewart D. Simonson All Rights Reserved

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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