The recent invasion of the comet to the Sun may herald the approach of a larger guest.
NASA spacecraft SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, Solar and geliosfericheskaya Observatory) since its launch in 1995, took a picture of two thousand original solar comets. Most of them — a relatively small body, many of which evaporate after a few hours after exposure to the lens. They usually arrive every few days, but with 13 to 22 December, SOHO saw more than two dozen comets.
After recovering from the surprise, Carl Bettems and his colleagues from the Laboratory of Naval Research SShApredpolozhili that they were just going after the parent fragments of the comet. If it would be big enough, humans were expecting a good celestial show.
According to scientists, the guest can resemble a comet Ikeya — Seki in 1965, which had a 5 km in diameter and close to the sun for 450 thousand miles. It did not burn, but the light is so bright that the sky on the earth it could be seen even in daylight. As at that time did not exist like SOHO, is unknown, it was preceded by a rain of comet debris.
However, the famous comet hunter David Levy (his name was given to the comet Shoemaker — Levy 9, will meet with Jupiter in 1994) believes that small bodies can not follow anything, "Comets — extremely fragile education, and the current comet rain can be simply the last gasp of a larger body, has ceased to exist. "
In general, the number of original solar comets, fixed apparatus, for his years increased markedly in 1997 — 69 space travelers, in 2010 — 200. It should be noted that the probe does not hunt for comets, he is studying the solar atmosphere. Comet on his photographs reveal the earth scientists and amateur astronomers. But even if we take into account the fact that interest in the past in these heavenly bodies in recent years has increased and that the equipment is set up SOHO today is better than ten years ago, the growth in the number of comets is still quite remarkable.
Prepared according to the National Geographic.