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NASA Space Science

Astronaut Photographs Comet Lovejoy ... From Space 25

Posted by timothy
from the just-in-the-neighborhood dept.
astroengine writes "The sungrazing comet that survived the plunge deep into the solar corona, only to escape after swinging behind the sun last week, has posed for an extraordinary photograph. Space station commander Dan Burbank caught Comet Lovejoy and its impressive tail hanging above the Earth's horizon as it begins its long journey back into deep space."
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Astronaut Photographs Comet Lovejoy ... From Space

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  • by rish87 (2460742)
    That's tails plural. one for dust, one for gas ;)
    • Re:tails (Score:5, Funny)

      by localman57 (1340533) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @04:08PM (#38463708)

      That's tails plural. one for dust, one for gas ;)

      yeah. Also, what's with the elipsis (...) ? As in ... From Space? I mean, that's kind of what you expect, right? I mean, he's a god-damn astronaut. If you wrote a headline that says Astronaut Takes Picture ... From The Sea Floor, that might require an elipsis. Or maybe "Plumber Takes Picture ... From Space " that would be cool. Or maybe even if it was something you wouldn't expect an astronaut to do. Like "Astronaut helps Stranded Motorist Change Tire ... From Space." I can see that. But I just don't get the use of ... here. I mean even that crazy chick astronaut who had a car full of duct tape and pepper spray didn't get an ... in her headlines.

      Cool picture, though.

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by ackthpt (218170)

        That's tails plural. one for dust, one for gas ;)

        yeah. Also, what's with the elipsis (...) ? As in ... From Space? I mean, that's kind of what you expect, right? I mean, he's a god-damn astronaut. If you wrote a headline that says Astronaut Takes Picture ... From The Sea Floor, that might require an elipsis. Or maybe "Plumber Takes Picture ... From Space " that would be cool. Or maybe even if it was something you wouldn't expect an astronaut to do. Like "Astronaut helps Stranded Motorist Change Tire ... From Space." I can see that. But I just don't get the use of ... here. I mean even that crazy chick astronaut who had a car full of duct tape and pepper spray didn't get an ... in her headlines.

        Cool picture, though.

        The ... give /. its only sense of ... drama! (Ha! One better, I used italics!)

        Yeah, not thinking this was astronaut on training at the bottom of a pool or in a flight simulator.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          yeah. Also, what's with the elipsis (...) ? As in ... From Space? I mean, that's kind of what you expect, right? I mean, he's a god-damn astronaut.

          Astronauts spend far more time on earth than from space, so I think the "from space" is warranted, especially since I'd be really disappointed if the headline read "Astronaut takes picture of comet" and it was a picture he took from his hotel room in Florida.

          • by nedlohs (1335013)

            Exactly. You'd be disappointed because you would expect it to be a photo from space, showing that there is no need for the ellipsis and qualifier.

      • Re:tails (Score:4, Funny)

        by ultramk (470198) <ultramk@pa[ ]ll.net ['cbe' in gap]> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @06:52PM (#38465860)

        Have you considered switching to a nice, soothing herbal tea? ;-)

    • Re:tails (Score:5, Informative)

      by pz (113803) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @04:09PM (#38463714) Journal

      You mean one for electrically charged stuff, and one for electrically neutral stuff, no? Sure, yea, that ends up mostly being ionized gas vs dust, but the reason there are two is because one is affected by the solar magnetic field in the guise of the solar wind, and one isn't.

      Oh, okay, I used Google. We're both wrong. There are three tails, as shown in the figure here http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q2805.html [astronomycafe.net] --- one for ionized gas, one for neutral gas (hydrogen, apparently), and one for dust.

    • True, but in the picture it's practically one tail.
    • Re:tails (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday December 22, 2011 @04:50PM (#38464356) Homepage Journal

      So it's plural for a horse's tail? One for bone, one for muscle, one for hair?

  • but did they travel through time?

  • by burning-toast (925667) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @04:12PM (#38463754)

    That's an amazing photo. And just seeing the stars in the background makes me really jealous (I'm in a suburb of a very large city, so I can barely see the major constellations even). Light Pollution [wikipedia.org] for the loss.

    - Toast

    • I remember my first time in the remote desert of Arizona and looking up at what I thought was some kind fuzzy haze but then realized it was just the stars. It was very impressive.
    • by kermidge (2221646)

      A great photo indeed, saved it.

      Living in even a smaller city, circa 50,000, not being able to see the night sky is something that's annoyed me for decades. Yet, for various reasons, I'm kinda stuck with it.

  • We have some astronomers in our club who are now able to take some pretty astounding photographs, thanks to dropping prices and advances in image capture technology. My best, so far was a comet at sunset, nothing like this though.

    Don't scroll to the bottom of the page, unless you want to think even less of the site, however. Geez.

  • I'm usually amazed with the pictures amateur astronomers can take. The equipment that is needed in many cases is astounding too, especially in regards to cost. In this case the camera and optics are probably very reasonable. But the cost of the camera mount, observatory and shipping are several orders of magnitude greater.

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"

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