(Today’s astronomical photo) Complex ion tail of Comet Ponce-Brooks – Chosun Biz – Chosun Biz VRESP

Changes in the ion tail of Comet Ponce-Brooks./NASA

This is the appearance of Comet 12P/Ponce-Brooks, which was observed for 9 days from the 6th to the 14th. On some days, the comet’s ion tail becomes noticeably longer and more complex. There are a variety of reasons why the properties of the tail change, including the rate at which material is ejected from the comet’s nucleus, the strength and complexity of the solar wind, and the speed of the comet’s rotation. Changes in how comets are viewed from Earth also come into play.

Typically, a comet’s ion tail points away from the Sun as gases emitted from the comet are pushed out by the solar wind. During the total solar eclipse that will be visible in North America on the 8th, the Sun will be completely obscured by the Moon, and you may be able to see Comet Ponce-Brooks in the middle of the day.

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