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Solar storm rips off green comet Nishimura’s tail

Comet Nishimura, which survived its closest approach to the Sun, encountered a possible coronal mass ejection. He cut off his tail for a short time. The rare event was captured by NASA’s STEREO-A spacecraft.

Comet Nishimura, also known as C/2023 P1, was first detected by Japanese amateur astronomer Hideo Nishimura on August 12. Its steep orbit initially hinted that it might be an interstellar object like ‘Oumuamua. It was believed to have left the solar system after orbiting a star. But later observations showed that the comet originated in the Oort Cloud, a reservoir of comets and other icy bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune, and had an elliptical orbit. If he survives, he will return to Earth in 430 years.

The comet reached its minimum distance from the Sun, known as perihelion, as it passed around our star at a distance of 33 million km on September 17. Such a close encounter often causes comets to burn and break apart. But astronomers soon discovered that Nishimura had survived the maneuver despite overheating and strong gravity.

As Nishimura began moving away from the Sun, he passed in front of STEREO-A, which was tracking the fleeing comet. Then on September 22, the Sun emitted a massive plasma wave, either due to a powerful burst of solar wind or a coronal mass ejection (CME), according to Spaceweather.com. The Sun’s CVM severed the comet’s tail. According to experts, this effect is only temporary and “completely harmless” to the comet. After separation, the comet’s tail will regrow, spewing out new amounts of dust and gas. Source

Source: Port Altele


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