Comet ISON plays Icarus… and wins

Like I’ve tried to tell so many people who don’t get Reddit, it’s pretty useless if you don’t sign up for it and subscribe to only the subs you like. Indeed, the first thing I saw on my personalized feed this morning was this post. Comet ISON, for a short time last night, was thought to have been burned up by the sun. 

gif courtesy bsteinfeld, compiled from NASA thumbnails

As you can see, at least some of the comet made it.

It made me wonder just how fast this sucker’s moving. Phil Plait calculates it’s moving 1500 times faster than a commercial jet or 0.1% the speed of light. He originally calculated it was moving twice that speed, but posted a correction with the following message:

“making mistakes are a part of life. The best thing to do is own up to them… and then use them as an excuse to talk about physics. Yeah, I think that’s for the best.”

Words to live by. See this website for more on the comet’s predicted trajectory.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s