During the month of July we will have to look at the sky, because an astronomical event promises: the explosion of aerosol dust from kite largest in the cosmos, courtesy of comet 17/P Holmes.
Maria Gritsevich, a planetary scientist at the University of Helsinki in Finland, who measured a similar spectacle as early as 2007, discovered the new event.
Particles left behind by the outburst in an elliptical orbit between the original outburst point and a point on the opposite side of the dust trail’s travel around the sun, which is visible from the southern hemisphere, will now also be visible in the northern hemisphere .
Comet 17P/Holmes orbits between Mars and Jupiter. English astronomer Edwin Holmes first discovered it in 1892, when it blew up with a burst big enough to draw his attention while he was looking at the Andromeda galaxy.
“Other comets in similar orbits around the Sun don’t produce these kinds of large periodic outbursts, so 17P/Holmes itself is probably special,” wrote study co-author Markku Nissinen, an astronomer at the Finnish Astronomical Association in Ursa.
In the new study, published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Societythe researchers modeled the physics of the dust trail to understand how its initial shape led to the observed orbit that will pass by Earth in July.
The particles are tiny, down to fractions of a millimeter in size, but they reflect sunlight, making them visible through a telescope as a blur in the night sky.