The sun was subjected to "attack" of comets.
Sun in the second half of December was subjected to this “comet attack” – a period of ten days in the light of the “dove” over 20 comets, according to NASA.
“Comet” storm “began on 13 December and ended on December 22, 2010. During that time, space solar observatory SOHO has discovered 25 comets, deep in the Sun “- says Karl Bettems (Karl Battams) from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington.
So-called “solntsetsarapayuschie comet” was first detected with the beginning of systematic satellite observations. Typically, the observatory SOHO every few days captures one such comet plunging to a light or vaporized in its beams. Since its launch in 1996, the unit found more than two thousand comets.
“But 25 comets in just 10 days – it is unprecedented,” – said Bettems.
Comets are 10-meter class of objects – pieces of a “dirty ice” the size of a small house or room. “Comet storm was first detected in images SOHO Polish amateur astronomer Kusyak Michal (Michal Kusiak).
Kusyak and Bettems believe that the December comet storm can be a harbinger of the emergence of a giant and a much more vivid comets, such as Ikea-Seki comet suddenly appeared in 1965 and overflying only 450 kilometers from the sun’s surface.
The diameter of the nucleus of this comet was five miles, she went through convergence and became one of the brightest comets millennium – it can be seen even in the daytime.
“Solntsetsarapayuschie” comets are related to each other: according to modern concepts, 90% of them belong to the “family Creutz and are remnants of extinct giant comet. American astronomer Brian Marsden (Brian Marsden) calculated that, perhaps, their ancestor was the Great Comet observed in 1106.
Every day some of these comets pass near the Sun and fall, but most of them are small and unobtrusive.
SOHO satellite for 13 years has found more than 1,5 thousands of comets approaching the Sun. In 2007, astronomers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory published in the Astrophysical Journal article, according to which the possible imminent appearance in the solar neighborhood giant members of the family Creutz.
According to estimates by Matthew Knight (Matthew Knight) of the Lowell Observatory behalf, if in 1997, SOHO has recorded 69 comets, then in 2010 they numbered 200.
“We have not seen the really big family comets Creutz since the beginning of an era of space coronagraph … We can not know how soon we are honored to see a real monster”