Linked Questions

37
votes
2answers
6k views

How can comets have tails if there's no air resistance in space?

I understand that solar radiation causes material to vaporize out of a comet into dust but why does the dust then trail behind the comet like a "tail"? Assuming gravity is the only applied force ...
13
votes
2answers
209 views

Why would the Perseids meteor rate fall off after maximum faster than the increase before maximum?

Writing about the 2018 occurrence of the annual Perseids meteor shower, the EarthSky.org Astronomy Essentials article Start watching for Perseids now says: People tend to focus on the peak mornings ...
7
votes
2answers
525 views

Why do particles from a comet that result in meteor showers spread out mostly along the comet's orbit?

My understanding of the meteor showers that repeat yearly is that the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet that is nowhere near us, and might not even exist anymore, yet it's orbit is filled with ...
3
votes
2answers
848 views

Why are these objects moving at Vastly Different Speeds along the same orbit?

UPDATE: The on-line simulation seems to be working beautifully now! I'd recommend anyone to go back and take another look to enjoy both the mathematical beauty of orbital mechanics, and the aesthetics ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Meteor shower predicted to be best viewed BEFORE midnight (for reasons other than the moon)?

Reading that the Leonids meteor shower is almost upon us, I clicked some links (e.g. EarthSky.org and NatGeo) to read more of the prediction; especially the part about when to best view them. I had a ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

What makes some meteor showers continue for days, while the “Unicorn shower” can be shorter than one hour?

The Washington Post's One hundred meteors in 15 minutes? ‘Short-lived outburst’ of shooting stars forecast for Thursday night. says: A “short-lived outburst” is forecast for Thursday evening around ...
2
votes
1answer
162 views

How significant are the recent results that Scholz’s Star has perturbed several observed hyperbolic objects?

The Gizmodo article A Visiting Star Jostled Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago refers to the the three year old ApJ. paper The Closest Known Flyby of a Star to the Solar System (also arXiv) which ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Did I see a meteor(oid) or space debris or something else?

About three years ago I think, at night I've seen something enter the atmosphere in a glowing bright fireball. But I think it wasn't the fire from burning up, but because of ionization (what also ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Why are Delta Aquariids “for the southern hemisphere” while the Perseids are “for the north”?

In the video How to spot Comet NEOWISE, plus the largest 3D map of the Universe | Night Sky News July 20 after 05:28 Dr. Becky (Smethurst, Oxford astrophysicist) ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Have meteor showers been predicted for planets or solar-system bodies other than Earth? Have attempts been made to detect them?

Per the linked Q's and A's in Why do particles from a comet that result in meteor showers spread out mostly along the comet's orbit? and it's answer, meteor showers happen on Earth when it passes ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What meteor shower has the radiant that appears furthest west after sunset, and why?

When it finally gets answered, answers to How to calculate the position of a meteor shower's radiant point based on its associated comet's orbit? will help us understand why the radiant points ...