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The sun has just experienced a storm—not of explosive flares and hot plasma, but of icy comets.
"The storm began on Dec 13th and ended on the 22nd," says Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab in Washington, DC. "During that time, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) detected 25 comets diving into the sun. It was crazy!"
Sundiving comets—a.k.a. "sungrazers"—are nothing new. SOHO typically sees one every few days, plunging inward and disintegrating as solar heat sublimes its volatile ices. "But 25 comets in just ten days, that's unprecedented," says Battams.
"The comets were 10-meter class objects, about the size of a room or a house," notes Matthew Knight of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. "As comets go, these are considered small."
Battams and Knight think the comet-storm of Dec. 2010 might herald a much bigger sungrazer to come, something people could see with the naked eye, perhaps even during the day. "It's just a matter of time," says Battams. "We know there are some big ones out there."
Originally posted by NWOnoworldorder
reply to post by enemoplem
it IS possible yes...and 50/50 probability...the op is right that generally smaller comets precede a larger one, so in all probability there theres a 50/50 chance that something bigger could be heading the suns way....
"But 25 comets in just ten days, that's unprecedented," says Battams.
Originally posted by PuterMan
Comet Elenin is coming!
It is called Elenin since it was discovered by Leonid Elenin. I expect the internet to soon be ringing with rumors and news bytes about this comet. For now, there isn't much to say so I'm sharing what I've received in private from an astronomer at a big observatory that shall remain anonymous for the moment. He says:
1. It is too early to accurately predict the future path - it's orbital parameters haven't been revised.
2. Among the observable hyperbolic and parabolic comets (those that come from the Oort cloud) this one has the smallest perihelion distance and the smallest inclination to the ecliptic plane.
3. Comet Elenin's orbit may be unstable as it may encounter some dark bodies, for example, in the asteroid belt or even some Taurid objects. What would happen in those cases is a matter of luck.
4. This comet may carry a significant amount of material with it and if it follows the currently projected orbit, the Earth may very well pass through this material.
5. If Elenin is anything like what Victor Clube or James McCanney describes, we might be in for some surprises - good or bad, who knows?
When this was first discovered in December last year it was calculated that it would pass 8.8 Au (8.8 times the distance of the Sun form us) away. Now today the orbital calculation is down to 0.24 Au with a minimum as low as 0.15. This is being re-calculated all the time and could get even closer but it depends what it encounters in the Oort belt.
The Moon is 0.00256 Au form us to give you a comparison.
You should be aware the this comet could bring debris with it and we will pass through the debris trail – if it exists – around the 6th November 2011. Could this new long period comet (?) be the origin of the stories of Nibiru?
It is definitely something to be watching out for and I shall try and keep this thread updated with information as the closest approach draws nearer.
edit on 17/1/2011 by PuterMan because: Could not make the link work
Originally posted by totalmetal
reply to post by northwoods
I'm not sure as to how a comet storm would predict anything except a bunch of melted comets? Very flawed logic IMHO.