Friday, May 6, 2011

A Fireball the Size of the Earth, Meteor Shower From Halley's Comet






On May 2nd, amateur astronomer Jan Timmermans of Valkenswaard, The Netherlands captured something spectacular. When the sun rose, he was surprised to see that a fully detached solar prominence at the southwestern edge of the solar disk. A prominence is a large, bright feature extending outwards from the sun. While most prominences are in the shapes of loops connected to the suns surface. This detached "fireball" prominence, the size of the earth, is unique.

The annual Eta Aquariids meteor shower is here again. The Earth is passing through a stream of dusty debris from Halley's Comet. Although visible from mid April to late May each year, it's going to peak between 3:30 am and 5:30 am on Saturday May 7th. The meteors will be appearing near the constellation Aquarius, which is where they get their name. An estimated 10 to 12 meteors per hour will be visible, which should make for a very good show.

31 comments:

  1. Holly crap, glad that fireball is far away xD

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  2. That is just a fireball, imagine if a huge chunk of it fell off the sun and orbit all the way to eart-BOOM

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  3. That's incredible. I feel small all of a sudden lol.

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  4. That is so beautiful! Thanks for reminding me about the meteor - I usually forget things like that >.<

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  5. Thanks for telling about meteor! and wow that picture is pretty cool wonder if there's more

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  6. God, these articles always make me feel so insignificant. A fireball the size of my planet? From a star that's not even that large? yeah...

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  7. I love Astronomy. <3
    Thanks for the info.

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  8. cool to think of our sun as just shooting off earth sized fireballs and still being so bright

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  9. wow is that gonna kill us?

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  10. That's very intense. It's things like this that put our small size and insignificance in the universe in place.

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  11. He must have had a keen eye to catch that.

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  12. Would look so small to the normal person

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  13. To put this in to perspective, the sun has a 1.3 million kilometer diameter whereas VY Canis Majoris, the largest star currently known has a diameter of around 1.7 Billion kilometers.

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  14. @Mike
    My mind is full of fuck now, thanks...

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  15. I love this stuff. I read about a solar flare that, based on visual estimates, was as long as 70-80 Earths in a row. How does one even comprehend that kind of number?

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