Cometary Sunday

NEW IMAGES OF COMET BORISOV: It’s definitely a comet. New color images from the Gemini telescope atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano show that C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) has a tail. “We really had to scramble for this one since we got the final details at 3:00 am on Sept. 9th and were observing it by 4:45!” says Andrew Stephens of the Gemini Observatory who coordinated the observations.

There are thousands of comets in the Solar System, but this one is special. Comet Borisov is interstellar. The newly-discovered comet is following a hyperbolic orbit with an eccentricity greater than 3.7. This means it is unbound to the sun. Indeed, Comet Borisov is moving 30.7 km/s (68,700 mph) too fast for the sun’s gravity to hang onto it. It must have come from the stars.

This is the first time an interstellar visitor to our Solar System has clearly shown a tail due to outgassing. The only other known interstellar visitor was ‘Oumuamua in 2017-2018, a cigar-shaped object with no visible comet-like emissions. ‘Oumuamua’s shape and apparent lack of outgassing led some credible scientists to wonder if it might be an alien probe. The Gemini photo of Comet Borisov shows that it, at least, is a natural object.


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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14 Responses to Cometary Sunday

  1. Micki says:

    Rainy here!



  2. David B. Benson says:

    “One Person, No Vote” by Carol Anderson


  3. Carol says:

    Overcast most of the day, especially now and drizzling. Just as I’m about to take them to Jill’s so they can run around before their 3:00 dinner. I’ll let them back out to play and sniff around after.

    But if it it’s raining, they’ll have to stay in. Quincy hates to get wet, hates rain. Addy doesn’t seem to care.


  4. Carol says:

    Everything is horrible, HAS been horrible, but those do-nothing Democrats in the house are wearing everyone down with their inaction. Oh, sure, they are subpoenaing this person and that person, but no one has to honor a subpoena except us.

    Someone might as well take an eraser to the Constitution since so many things in it are ignored, like the Emolument’s clause. Or how bad a guy has to be in order to be Impeached. Add to the list “cruel and unusual punishment.” The U.S has broken THAT one forever now.

    I scan thru anything on MSNBC that is talking about the “candidates.” I could give a shit about any of them and will vote for any D that gets the nod. As for now, not interested in listening to their bull shit. I already know where all of them stand. That is shortening the time I have to put in, watching the news shows. That’s a plus.

    Jill and Brian heading to Amsterdam tomorrow and will head home from there Wednesday. Pete & I will pick them up at Detroit Metro around 1:00 p.m. I asked her permission to tag along, she gets mad at me at the drop of a hat so I had to make sure I would be welcome. I am, thank goodness. I want to hear about their trip, and if they’re telling Pete things and I’m there, they won’t have to repeat it to me later.


  5. David B. Benson says:

    Happy birthday, Alexander von Humboldt.


  6. Micki says:

    What the heck?!?

    We have an excellent weekly newspaper in our town that covers local stories in Whatcom (and some in Skagit) counties.

    Now, we find out via an indie alternative newspaper in Seattle, The Stranger, that The Cascadia Weekly (here) has been stealing movie reviews for over a decade. It isn’t considered plagiarism because CW included the writers’ byline.

    Why on earth would a good newspaper like The Cascadia Weekly do that? Especially for MOVIE REVIEWS of all things– movie critics are kinda like do-do birds anyway. They are mostly irrelevant — everyone is a critic these days. 😉

    Depending on how this goes, there is a clear possibility that Cascadia Weekly could be subjected to fines that could put them out of business. The publisher is hoping that “reasonable remedies” are possible.

    Oy! The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy paper, is a lackluster rag that no longer publishes letters to the editor or original editorials from local staff.

    Makes me sad.

    P.S. Where’s Jim again? Helloooooooo….!


  7. Den says:

    Yea Jim, Nevada is about to gain another resident, closing this week supposedly.


  8. Den says:

    When fish fight back:


  9. David B. Benson says:

    Comet Borisov might well have come from the Oort cloud. In a sense that is just barely part of the Solar System.


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