Comet’s close encounter

The BBC picked up on this fascinating time-lapse footage of Comet Encke buffeted by a solar storm as it nears the Sun – the images are part of a study of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and come from NASA’s STEREO satellites. [Footage credit: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory/Naval Research Laboratory/University of Birmingham]
Previously STEREO captured images of Comet Encke taking a direct hit from a CME. [Video credit: NASA]

And here’s a short animation on CME’s and the interaction they have with the Earth’s magnetic field [Video credit: NASA]

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  • The Raven

    Pete….keep this stuff coming.

    My astronomy may only extend to Brian May’s Bang! and ownership of a Celestron Powerseeker, but you pick up the stuff I’d miss.

    It’s appreciated.

  • Wilde Rover

    I find these threads to be both fascinating and terrifying.

    I trust that if the Big One ever hits then Pete will post a “The End is Nigh” thread and correct the inaccuracies in the comments section to the very end 😉

  • joeCanuck

    What has this to do with Northern Ireland?

    Just filling in for those asleep.

  • Greenflag

    JC,

    ‘What has this to do with Northern Ireland?’

    Eh? I suspect that without the Earth having a magnetic field to deflect those rays we might resemble melted pizza hanging off skeletons 🙁

    Perhaps Pete can enlighten us on what would happen if these Coronal mass ejections were not deflected by our magnet field ?

    Thanks as usual Pete 🙂

  • joeCanuck

    Pete might tell you, GF.

  • Wilde Rover

    “Perhaps Pete can enlighten us on what would happen if these Coronal mass ejections were not deflected by our magnet field ?”

    If I could hazard a guess, might there be eternal peace and tranquility between green and orange?

    And if it does mean everyone would be a deep fried mars bar how are space ships meant to go through the galaxy without special magnetic shielding?

  • Greenflag

    wilde rover

    ‘how are space ships meant to go through the galaxy without special magnetic shielding?

    They are’nt well not with human beings aboard .

    It’s believed that the prohibitive 400 billion dollar cost was the main reason why Bush 1/Bush 11 did not pursue the Mars landing strategy and instead focused on a Baghdad takeover as the main foreign policy goal of their administrations.

    The other reason as you hint at is that any astronauts would of course be ‘microwaved ‘ by deep space radiation outside the protection of Earth’s magnetic field. Looks like we are ‘prisoners’ in our corner of the solar system until this ‘barrier’ is overcome .