NASA Films ‘Dirty Snowball’ Comet Plunging Into Sun

Stock image: Artist’s illustration of a comet. NASA has captured imagery of a comet disintegrating as it passed too close to the sun.

NASA has captured images of a comet disintegrating as it passed too close to the sun.
Instruments onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)—a spacecraft jointly operated by NASA and the European Space Agency—observed the comet heading toward our star on August 6.
One day later, more images captured by SOHO showed the comet disappearing as it flew too close to the sun.
“The dirty snowball evaporated,” reported in an alert.
Comets are objects that consist of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the sun. The nuclei of these objects can reach tens of miles across, although many are much smaller.
As comets approach closer to the sun, they are blasted with increasing quantities of radiation. This causes the comet to heat up, leading to a release of gas and dust, which creates a temporary atmosphere known as a coma that forms around the nucleus of the object. Comet comas can be significantly larger than the Earth.
In addition, comets also form two tails as they approach closer to the sun—the gas tail and the dust tail, which can measure million of miles in length.
The gas tail appears due to the effect of the solar wind—charged particles emitted by the sun—on electrically charged gas particles released by the comet. Meanwhile, interactions between photons—particles of light—emitted by the sun, the solar wind, and vaporized dust in the comet’s coma lead to the formation of the dust tail.

Nasa identifies strange ‘alien seaweed’ debris found on Mars by Perseverance rover

Nasa has identified a bizarre, spaghetti-like tangle of material on Mars first seen by the US space agency’s Perseverance rover on 12 July.
The material is not of alien origin, biological or otherwise, but is instead a piece of tangled Dacron netting from the entry, descent and landing (EDL) gear that landed the rover on the Martian surface in February 2021.

Dacron is a type of synthetic fiber embedded with resin often used in high performance sail cloth, but in the case of Perseverance was likely a part of a thermal protection blanket, according to a Nasa blog.
“This particular piece of netting appears to have undergone significant unraveling/shredding, suggesting that it was subjected to strong forces,” the blog noted.


By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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