Tag Info

New answers tagged comets

2

A bit late for an answer, but maybe still interesting: National Geographic called comet McNaught the biggest comet measured: In the case of comet McNaught, Ulysses found that the plasma tail slowed the solar wind inside the bow wave to half its normal speed. The solar wind usually travels at about 435 miles (700 kilometers) a second at that distance from ...

10

Van-der-Waals forces and gravitation are the main answer. The main property keeping together bodies smaller than a few $100 {\rm km}$ are their constituents surface forces between the grains (van-der-Waals) and chemical/ molecular bonding within the grains themselves. It's the same mechanic which makes the dust and grease in your flat stick to surfaces and ...

13

Yes, comets spin although measuring it can be tricky due to the coma and outgassing from the nucleus. It's easiest to measure the rotation period when the comet is inactive near aphelion although this is more difficult as the comet is fainter, necessitating a large amount of large (>4m) telescope time which is difficult to obtain. Searching the JPL Small ...

Top 50 recent answers are included