Solar Activity

Close Encounters: Comet Ison

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Waking Times-10/20/13, Julie Umpleby

Flickr - Comet Ison - UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The space-weather community is abuzz with Comet Ison, dubbed by many as ‘The Comet of the Century’.  As it travels deeper into our solar system en route to a close encounter with our sun later in November there are many watching with intense interest.

As some spectacular images of this significantly sized comet emerge (the comet nucleus is estimated to be anywhere between 0.5km – 4km in diameter), we would be wise to bear in mind the electrical nature of comets and the potential implications of its encounter with the sun. Far from being huge chunks of ice, comets are in fact more like asteroids and are highly electrically charged, with the nucleus acting as a charge capacitor. This often very high electric charge interferes with the plasma sheath of the sun, most often resulting in an outburst of plasma from the solar surface, a Coronal Mass Ejection.

Zusammenfassung der Sonnenaktivität vom 23.-24.02.2013

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Zusammenfassung der Sonnenaktivität vom 23.-24.02.2013
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