Comet McNaught’s Two Tails

Check out my favorite photo of Comet McNaught taken by Jim Thorpe in Australia (hat tip to SpaceWeather.com)

It is so clear, that you can make out the two tails.

https://i1.wp.com/www.spaceweather.com/comets/mcnaught/22jan07/Thomas1_lab_jpg.jpg

“When comets are warmed by sunlight, they spew a mixture of dust and gas into space. Instead of forming a single tail, however, the two substances drift in different directions. Dust lingers behind the comet and traces its curved orbit. Gas is pushed by the solar wind into a straight line pointing away from the sun. Comets, therefore, have two tails, the dust tail and the gas tail. (The gas tail is also known as the “ion tail.”) The two tails of Comet McNaught are obvious in most photos since Jan. 22nd.”

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Astronomy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s