The Lovejoy Meltdown

The Lovejoy Meltdown

In December 2011 the mainstream huddled around their computers to watch the fiery death of the Sun grazing Comet Lovejoy [designated C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy)] as it approached perihelion.

But when Comet Lovejoy emerged from the behind the Sun [on its return journey] the mainstream realised they were actually watching the meltdown of Settled Science.

Comet Lovejoy was discovered by Terry Lovejoy on 27th November 2011 and it was subsequently determined to be a member of the Kreutz family of sun grazing comets.

Terry Lovejoy

The Kreutz Sungrazers are a family of sungrazing comets, characterized by orbits taking them extremely close to the Sun at perihelion.

They are believed to be fragments of one large comet that broke up several centuries ago and are named for German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, who first demonstrated that they were related.

A Kreutz Sungrazers’s aphelion is about 160 AU from the Sun; these sungrazers make their way from the distant outer Solar System from a patch in the sky in Canis Major, to the inner Solar System, to their perihelion point near the Sun, and then leave the inner Solar System in their return trip to their aphelion.

Several members of the Kreutz family have become Great Comets, occasionally visible near the Sun in the daytime sky.

The most recent of these was Comet Ikeya–Seki in 1965, which may have been one of the brightest comets in the last millennium.

It has been suggested that another cluster of bright Kreutz system comets may begin to arrive in the inner Solar System in the next few years to decades.

Great Comets

Kreutz family comets are numerous and are usually only about 10 metres wide.

On average, new Kreutz-group comets are discovered every few days by spacecraft like SOHO, but from the ground they are much rarer to see and harder to discover.

Watch as Comet Lovejoy Takes a Death-Dive into the Sun – Nancy Atkinson
Universe Today – 15 December 2011

Kreutz sungrazers are typically small (~10 meters wide) and numerous.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory sees one falling into the sun every few days.

Comet Lovejoy Plunges into the Sun and Survives – 16 December 2011

SOHO has spotted over 2100 comets, most of which are from what’s known as the Kreutz family, which graze the solar atmosphere where they usually evaporate completely.

Science Nugget: Using Many Instruments to Track a Comet – 19 December 2011

Comet Lovejoy, however, was judged to be “somewhere in the in the 100 to 200 meter range.”

Based on its orbit, Comet Lovejoy was surely a member of the same family – except it was 200 meters wide instead of the usual 10.

Some Comets like it Hot – 12 January 2012

At the time of discovery, Comet Lovejoy appeared to be at least ten times larger than the usual Kreutz sungrazer, somewhere in the in the 100 to 200 meter range.

Comet Lovejoy Plunges into the Sun and Survives – 16 December 2011

Lovejoy has a core about 660 feet (200 meters) wide.

Comet Lovejoy Survives Fiery Plunge Through Sun – Mike Wall – 15 December 2011

It is not known yet how much of Comet Lovejoy’s core remains – which was 200 meters in diameter earlier this week — or how long it will continue to stay together after its close brush with the Sun.

Feisty Comet Lovejoy Survives Close Encounter with the Sun – Nancy Atkinson
Universe Today – 16 December 2011

We thought the comet was only a couple of hundred meters in diameter, based on its brightness prior to reaching the Sun, giving it no chance of survival.

The Great “Birthday Comet” of 2011, Chapter 2: Survival

The trajectory of Comet Lovejoy indicated that is was only about 18 days away from perihelion.

When discovered on November 27, C/2011 W3 had only ∼18 days to reach perihelion (which occurred on 2011 December 16.0 UT), and there was little hope for an accurate determination of the orbital period from preperihelion data, regardless of their quality.

Still, more than 100 astrometric positions were obtained during this two-week period (Spahr et al. 2011, 2012), the great majority of which were sufficiently accurate and mutually consistent to be used for deriving a high-quality set of elements, except for the orbital period.

Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy): Orbit Determination, Outbursts, Disintegration of Nucleus, Dust-Tail Morphology, and Relationship to New Clusters of Bright Sungrazers
Zdenek Sekanina and Paul W Chodas
The Astrophysical Journal – 1 October 2012 – 757:127 (33pp)

Lovejoy Trajectory

Comet Lovejoy Grazes the Sun (and survives)

Comet Lovejoy was also deemed [by the mainstream] to be a dirty snowball which would meet a “fiery fate” as it travelled through “the several million degree solar corona” at perihelion some 120,000 kilometres [or 140,000 km – depending upon source] above the stellar surface.

“I did not think the comet’s icy core was big enough to survive plunging through the several million degree solar corona for close to an hour, but Comet Lovejoy is still with us.”

In the SDO movies, the comet’s tail wriggles wildly as the comet plunges through the sun’s hot atmosphere only 120,000 km above the stellar surface.

Comet Lovejoy Plunges into the Sun and Survives – 16 December 2011

Announced on 2 December, the newly discovered comet Lovejoy is on a near-collision course with the Sun and is expected to plunge to its fiery fate late on 15 December.

At its closest approach, it will pass just 140 000 km above the solar surface.

At that distance, the icy comet is not expected to survive the Sun’s fierce heat.

Indeed, comets are such tenuous collections of ice and rocks that it could disintegrate at any moment.

The Beginning of the End for Comet Lovejoy – 14 December 2011

Sungrazing comets, particularly those of the Kreutz-group, have fascinated astronomers for decades, and no doubt terrified civilizations of the past, as their orbits hurled them through the solar atmosphere, resulting in a brilliant daytime illumination of these enormous ‘dirty snowballs’.

Comet Lovejoy reached perihelion on 16 December 2011 at 00:17 UTC, as it passed approximately 140,000 kilometres (87,000 mi) above the Sun’s surface at a speed of 536 km/s (333 mi/s), or 0.18% the speed of light.

Photosphere (effective): 5778 K
Corona: ≈ 5×106 K

Escape velocity (from the surface) 617.7 km/s

The corona is the next layer of the Sun.

The low corona, near the surface of the Sun, has a particle density around 1015–1016 m−3.

The average temperature of the corona and solar wind is about 1,000,000–2,000,000 K; however, in the hottest regions it is 8,000,000–20,000,000 K.

Solar Upper Transition Region Lukewarm Loop Models Matched to Successful Lower Transition Region Models – Janet Sheung – Advisor: Hakeem Oluseyi
Journal of Young Investigators – Issue 2 – December 2003

The stage was thus set for the Space Cadets to monitor [via 18 instruments on five different satellites] the eagerly anticipated vaporisation of Comet Lovejoy.

In less than 10 hours time, the comet will graze some 120,000km above the solar surface, through the several million degree solar corona, and — in my opinion — completely evaporate.

We have here an exceptionally rare opportunity to observe the complete vaporization of a relatively large comet, and we have approximately 18 instruments on five different satellites that are trying to do just that.

Comet Lovejoy Before

The Great “Birthday Comet” of 2011, Chapter 2: Survival

Then Settled Science started to experience a meltdown.

Firstly, the dirty snowball theory went into meltdown as Comet Lovejoy survived the “several million-degree solar corona” and re-appeared without its tail.

I don’t know where to begin. I simply don’t know.

What an extraordinary 24hrs!

I suppose the first thing to say is this: I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

And I have never been so happy to be wrong!

Somehow it survived being immersed in the several million-degree solar corona for almost an hour and has now re-emerged back into the views of the LASCO and SECCHI coronagraphs, almost as bright as before!

The only noteable exception is that it appears to have lost its tail, as you can see in the image opposite.

Comet Lovejoy without a Tail

The Great “Birthday Comet” of 2011, Chapter 2: Survival

Secondly, Newtonian Gravitational Theory went into meltdown as the Sun failed to gravitationally capture the cometary tail [which just followed “a straight line from the time it was ejected”] whilst Comet Lovejoy [travelling at 536 km/s] looped sharply around the Sun.

Comet Lovejoy Tail

So if the comet re-emerges on the right without its tail, does that mean the bright thing that flew out of the top-left of the image is its tail??


What we’re seeing is the comet streaming into our field of view with a vast cloud of dust and ice trailing in its wake.

The comet reaches the Sun, loops sharply around it, and head out around the back of the Sun.

But the tail material we see has already left the comet and is just going to carry on in a straight line from the time it was ejected, while at the same time be pushed away from the Sun by the radiation pressure from the Sun itself.

See movie:

The Great “Birthday Comet” of 2011, Chapter 2: Survival

Thirdly, Newtonian Tidal Theory went into meltdown because “tidal forces failed to disintegrate Comet Lovejoy as it breached the Sun’s 1,238,390 kilometre Roche Limit for “average” rigid comets by [about] 1,118,390 kilometres [90%].

The Roche limit, sometimes referred to as the Roche radius, is the distance within which a celestial body, held together only by its own gravity, will disintegrate due to a second celestial body’s tidal forces exceeding the first body’s gravitational self-attraction.

Inside the Roche limit, orbiting material disperses and forms rings whereas outside the limit material tends to coalesce.

The term is named after Édouard Roche, who is the French astronomer who first calculated this theoretical limit in 1848.

Roche Limit

Roche Limit Table

The mainstream embarrassment was further underlined as Comet Lovejoy’s tail wiggled “wildly” [for unknown reasons] as it travelled through the Solar Corona.

In the SDO movies, the comet’s tail wriggles wildly as the comet plunges through the sun’s hot atmosphere only 120,000 km above the stellar surface.

This could be a sign that the comet was buffeted by plasma waves coursing through the corona.

Or perhaps the tail was bouncing back and forth off great magnetic loops known to permeate the sun’s atmosphere.

No one knows.

Comet Lovejoy Plunges into the Sun and Survives – 16 December 2011

This one is a short animation of four frames from the STEREO-B EUVI instrument at the 171-angstrom wavelength (corresponding to about 1.5million degrees, I believe).

The comet is clearly visible racing away from the Sun, leaving a wiggly-tail in its wake!

Why the wiggles?

We’re not sure — we need to start studying that when we get all of the spacecraft data from STEREO-B this weekend.

However, we think there may some kind of helical motion going on, or perhaps there’s a projection affect and we’re seeing tail material magnetically “clinging” to coronal loops and moving with them.


The Great “Birthday Comet” of 2011, Chapter 2: Survival

Then, in a confounding gesture of defiance, Comet Lovejoy became “even brighter and bolder” as it moved away from the Sun.

Since proving me completely wrong and surviving its brush with the Sun, Lovejoy has re-emerged back into the HI-1 images looking even brighter and bolder than when it went in.

It’s visible in the HI-1 instruments on both STEREO spacecraft, but STEREO-A gives us the best view simply because it a little closer to the comet.

Comet Lovejoy with a new Tail

The Great “Birthday Comet” of 2011, Chapter 2: Survival

Faced with this series of meltdowns the Space Cadets were really stuck [unless they came clean] because explaining away one meltdown resulted in the meltdown of another theory.

The knee-jerk reaction to save the dirty snowball theory was to increase the size of Comet Lovejoy to 500 metres although this expansion exacerbated the Roche Limit meltdown.

Now we know it has survived, and therefore must be bigger than we thought.

The rough guideline is that a comet would need to have a nucleus of about 500m to be able to survive as well as Lovejoy has, so my latest estimate of the (pre-perihelion…) nucleus size would be something on that order.

It’s going to be much smaller now as the intense solar heating would have taken its toll.

In March 2012 a valiant attempt was made to revive the dirty snowball and Roche Limit theories by upping the size of Comet Lovejoy to “between 0.2 km and 11 km” and by introducing the “outgassing of sublimated icy material”.

How did a loosely-packed ball of ice and rock manage to withstand such a close pass through the Sun’s blazing corona, when all expectations were that it would disintegrate and fizzle away?

A few researchers from Germany have an idea.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and the Braunschweig University of Technology have hypothesized that Comet Lovejoy managed to hold itself together through the very process that, to most people, defines a comet: the outgassing of sublimated icy material.

In the case of Lovejoy, which was on a direct path toward the Sun, the sublimation itself may have provided enough outward force across its surface to literally keep it together, according to the team’s research.
Using that equation, the team concluded that the diameter of Comet Lovejoy’s nucleus is anywhere between 0.2 km and 11 km (.125 miles and 6.8 miles).

Any smaller and it would have lost too much material during its pass (and had too little gravity); any larger and it would have been too thick for outgassing to provide enough counterbalancing force.

How Did Comet Lovejoy Survive Its Trip Around The Sun? – Jason Major
Universe Today – 14 March 2012

This wonderful mainstream confection conjured up an steaming dirty snowball with an oxymoronic “high tensile” nucleus that could survive the Sun’s Roche Limit down to 120,000 kilometres above the Solar surface whilst travelling through the several million degree Solar Corona after being bombarded by intense Solar radiation for days on end.

In this work, a novel approach to explain the survival of sungrazing comets within the Roche limit is presented.

It is shown that in the case of low tensile strength of the cometary nucleus, tidal splitting of the nucleus can be prevented by the reaction force caused by the sublimation of the icy constituents.

The survival of Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) within the Roche limit of the Sun is, thus, the result of high tensile strength of the nucleus, or the result of the reaction force caused by the strong outgassing of the icy constituents near the Sun.

A note on the survival of the sungrazing comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) within the Roche limit
B Gundlach, J Blum, Yu V Skorov and H U Keller
Cornell University Library

However, this concocted confection crumbled when a subsequent Comet Lovejoy study reported:

1) The proposed high tensile nucleus had actually “entirely disintegrated” by Dec 20th.
2) The “surface was essentially free from ice”.
3) The outgassing oxygen was produced by the photodissociation of silicate molecules.

But the stunning change in the comet’s appearance between December 19 and 20 strongly suggests that during this episode, portended by the morphological changes during the previous days, the nucleus entirely disintegrated.

Although we surely do not rule out the presence of water ice intimately mixed with dust in the nucleus of C/2011 W3 even near and after perihelion, we expect that at these times the surface was essentially free from ice, with possible exceptions of areas that had for long remained shielded from solar radiation before perihelion (due to rotation, for example).

We suggest that the neutral oxygen was produced primarily by the photodissociation of molecules of the sublimating silicate grains rather than water vapor from subsurface ice, although the latter may have contributed.

Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy): Orbit Determination, Outbursts, Disintegration of Nucleus, Dust-Tail Morphology, and Relationship to New Clusters of Bright Sungrazers
Zdenek Sekanina and Paul W Chodas
The Astrophysical Journal – 1 October 2012 – 757:127 (33pp)

Furthermore, explaining away the “bizarre appearance of the comet’s dust tail” pushed Solar Coronal Theory in meltdown when it was concluded the disappearing cometary tail was caused by the “sublimation of all dust at heliocentric distances smaller than about 1.8 solar radii.”

The bizarre appearance of the comet’s dust tail in images taken only hours after perihelion with the coronagraphs on board the SOHO and STEREO spacecraft is readily understood.

The disconnection of the comet’s head from the tail released before perihelion and an apparent activity attenuation near perihelion have a common cause – sublimation of all dust at heliocentric distances smaller than about 1.8 solar radii.

Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy): Orbit Determination, Outbursts, Disintegration of Nucleus, Dust-Tail Morphology, and Relationship to New Clusters of Bright Sungrazers
Zdenek Sekanina and Paul W Chodas
The Astrophysical Journal – 1 October 2012 – 757:127 (33pp)

To be transformed directly from the solid to the gaseous state or from the gaseous to the solid state without becoming a liquid.

The sublimation of cometary dust in the Corona [out to about 1.8 solar radii] triggers a Solar Coronal Theory meltdown in a simple four step logic chain.

i) A dustless Corona is invisible [i.e. no sunlight bouncing off dust].
ii) An invisible Corona can’t produce Fraunhofer [absorption or emission] lines.
iii) Without Fraunhofer lines there isn’t any “highly ionized iron (Fe-XIV)” in the Corona.
iv) Without “highly ionized iron (Fe-XIV)” the Corona isn’t “in excess of 1,000,000” K.

The high temperature of the Sun’s corona gives it unusual spectral features, which led some in the 19th century to suggest that it contained a previously unknown element, “coronium”.

These spectral features have since been traced to highly ionized iron (Fe-XIV).

Bengt Edlén, following the work of Grotrian (1939), first identified the coronal lines in 1940 (observed since 1869) as transitions from low-lying metastable levels of the ground configuration of highly ionised metals (the green FeXIV line at 5303 Å, but also the red line FeX at 6374 Å).

These high stages of ionisation indicate a plasma temperature in excess of 1,000,000 kelvin.

Light from the corona comes from three primary sources, which are called by different names although all of them share the same volume of space.

The K-corona (K for kontinuierlich, “continuous” in German) is created by sunlight scattering off free electrons; Doppler broadening of the reflected photospheric absorption lines completely obscures them, giving the spectral appearance of a continuum with no absorption lines.

The F-corona (F for Fraunhofer) is created by sunlight bouncing off dust particles, and is observable because its light contains the Fraunhofer absorption lines that are seen in raw sunlight; the F-corona extends to very high elongation angles from the Sun, where it is called the zodiacal light.

The E-corona (E for emission) is due to spectral emission lines produced by ions that are present in the coronal plasma; it may be observed in broad or forbidden or hot spectral emission lines and is the main source of information about the corona’s composition.

Coronal Layers


Structure of the Solar Dust Corona and its Interaction with the other Coronal Components
Y Y Shopova, D A Stoykova, K Stoitchkova, L T Tsankov, A Tanev, Kl Burin, St Belchev, V Rusanov, D Ivanov, A Stoev, P Muglova, I. Iliev
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics – 2008 – 70 – 356–364

A mainstream miasma masks these meltdowns in the media as Settled Science confidently looks forward to the return of the disintegrated Comet Lovejoy in about 600 years.

Only a few days after it left the sun, the comet showed up in the morning skies of the southern hemisphere.

Observers in Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand likened it to a search light beaming up from the east before dawn.

The tail lined up parallel to the Milky Way and, for a few days, made it seem that we lived in a double-decker galaxy.

As January unfolds, the “Comet that liked it Hot” is returning to the outer solar system, still intact, leaving many mysteries behind.

As January unfolds, the “Comet that liked it Hot” is returning to the outer solar system, still intact, leaving many mysteries behind.

“It’ll be back in about 600 years,” says Knight.

“Maybe we will have figured them out by then.”

Some Comets like it Hot – 12 January 2012

Next perihelion c. 2633?

But the stunning change in the comet’s appearance between December 19 and 20 strongly suggests that during this episode, portended by the morphological changes during the previous days, the nucleus entirely disintegrated.

Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy): Orbit Determination, Outbursts, Disintegration of Nucleus, Dust-Tail Morphology, and Relationship to New Clusters of Bright Sungrazers
Zdenek Sekanina and Paul W Chodas
The Astrophysical Journal – 1 October 2012 – 757:127 (33pp)

Diagram of the orbit of C-2011 W3 (Lovejoy)

3D Diagram of the orbit of C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) by Dominic Ford

Settled Science has evidently developed a thick skin and can take the heat just like Comet Lovejoy.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Astrophysics, Atmospheric Science, Electric Universe, Gravity, Solar System, Tides. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Lovejoy Meltdown

  1. Self-gravitation – a quite nonsensical concept. Gravitational attraction is between two independent objects separated by, …, hmm, space, non solid matter, gas, plasma, … , a distance. This gravity force is simply G(M1xM2)/D^2.

    Self gravitation means there are no distances between the clumps making an object, so we could say ‘ and object is made of clustered clumps. But then in a Newtonian sense this clump of clusters of matter is itself but 1 object, but physically heterogenous due to different clumps adhering to each other by ‘gravity’.

    So if gravity force is between at least two objects separated by a distance, then if there is no distance between the objects, how then the attraction per the equation above? After all you cannot have D=0 as division of by zero is illegal and actually nonsense.

    And if we have an isotropic object comprised of one mineral, here Carbon as in diamond, then a large lump of diamond in orbit around a primary cannot have a Roche limit because there is no self gravitation operating in the diamond crystal; it is one object, after all.

    It all depends on what we mean by ‘object’ and what we mean by ‘space’.

    Please have fun observing your minds implode making sense of this non-sense.


  2. omanuel says:

    Thanks for this reminder, “settled science” is the code phrase for false government propaganda, as revealed when AGW proponents lost the debate but retained all the political power and all the federal resources used to promote this and many other scientific scams.

    The question is, “Why did/does our government use public tax funds to deceive the public?

    Nobody wants to admit it, but Stalin effectively won WWII and united nations [UN] and once independent national academies of science [NAS] into an Orwellian Ministry of Consensus Science Truth on 24 Oct 1945:

    Click to access Introduction.pdf


    Fear of nuclear annihilation in Aug-Sept 1945 convinced world leaders to unite nations (UN) and national academies of sciences (NAS) into an Orwellian Ministry for Scientific Truths on 24 Oct 1945 to prevent public knowledge of nuclear and solar energy in a seventy-year social experiment that successfully avoided nuclear war but destroyed the integrity of government science and civilian control over government. This experiment in social geo-engineering also:

    a.) Created the false belief that the physical sciences conflict with spirituality.

    b.) Obscured the Sun’s control of atoms, lives and worlds in the Solar System.

    c.) Destroyed the integrity of science and constitutional limits of government.

    d.) Left mankind unprepared to survive one AU from the pulsar-centered Sun, e.g.,

    It is even possible that magnetic fields connect Earth directly to the Sun’s powerful pulsar core:

  3. oldbrew says:

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Tim Cullen analyses the ‘comet that didn’t die’ and gives the Roche limit and other cherished concepts of ‘settled science’ a sharp poke in the ribs.

  4. Brian H says:

    Musta bin a snowy dirtball.

  5. Peter Shaw says:

    Two questions for the gurus on the “outgassing” hypothesis:
    Consider the comet divided into “nearside”, “middle”, and “farside”. Within the Roche limit, tidal forces direct nearside into lower orbit, and farside *equally* into higher. Gas-reaction sufficient to hold nearside won’t stop farside separating, allowing more farside to go… to complete disintegration. Gas-reaction sufficient to hold everything together must(?) produce significant change to the comet’s subsequent orbit, unless *both* nearside and farside outgas roughly equally.
    Where is the gas pressure exerted? If not at the surface, the latter will separate, exposing more surface… If at the surface, this must(?) be a mechanically-competent one with pinholes.

  6. omanuel says:

    The Lovejoy comet was one in a long series of experimental observations that threatened to expose the solar facts NASA was trying to hide from the public.

    “The Great Social Experiment of 1945-2015” explained why world governments hid from the public the source of energy in the core of the Sun that

    1. Made our chemical elements,
    2. Birthed the entire solar system,
    3. Sustained life’s origin & evolution,
    4. Controls Earth’s climate today, . . .

    Click to access Social_Experiment.pdf

    An intriguing and extremely well-done video response described this same seventy-year period of totalitarian rule as “The Long Peace of 1945-2015:”

    World leaders may see no other option than:
    _ a.) Worldwide nuclear war
    _ b.) Tyrannical world rule, or
    _ c.) Nuclear energy paranoia

  7. omanuel says:

    The Galileo probe that entered the atmosphere of Jupiter in 1995 provided embarrassing confirmation of “strange xenon,” as predicted in our 1983 paper reporting the most abundant element element in the Sun is iron (Fe).

    NASA hid the data until the NASA Administrator was confronted in 1998 while being video-taped by CSPAN News. This video shows the NASA Administrator ordering NASA scientists to release the data:

  8. malagabay says:

    The first point to note is that the “dirty snowball” cometary model is purely based upon Fred Whipple’s clairvoyant visualisation technique.

    Unfortunately for astronomy Fred Whipple abandoned the Scientific Method and resorted to the “visualized” technique [i.e. imaginative invention].


    The second point to note is that the “outgassing” of rocky comets is primarily driven by surface spallation and sputtering – identical to the processes that occur on the Moon.

    Nuclear spallation occurs naturally in Earth’s atmosphere owing to the impacts of cosmic rays, and also on the surfaces of bodies in space such as meteorites and the Moon.

    Evidence of cosmic ray spallation (also known as “spoliation”) is evidence that the material in question has been exposed on the surface of the body of which it is part, and gives a means of measuring the length of time of exposure.

    Sputtering is a process whereby atoms are ejected from a solid target material due to bombardment of the target by energetic particles.

    It only happens when the kinetic energy of the incoming particles is much higher than conventional thermal energies (≫ 1 eV).

    This process can lead, during prolonged ion or plasma bombardment of a material, to significant erosion of materials, and can thus be harmful.

    Sputtering is one of the forms of space weathering, a process that changes the physical and chemical properties of airless bodies, such as asteroids and the Moon.

    The upper Fe and Mg bands [from 160 kilometres and counting] are well above the usual altitude range of 76 to 100 kilometres associated with the vaporisation of meteorites and the mainstream appear to be baffled regarding the origins of the Sporadic E layers.



    The third point to note is that the post-perihelion size of Comet Lovejoy was “equivalent to a sphere 150–200 m across” as apposed to the pre-perihelion estimate [based on its orbit] of 200 metres.

    Based on its orbit, Comet Lovejoy was surely a member of the same family – except it was 200 meters wide instead of the usual 10.

    Some Comets like it Hot – 12 January 2012

    The delayed response to the hostile environment in the solar corona is at odds with the rubble-pile model, since the residual mass of the nucleus, estimated at ∼1012 g (equivalent to a sphere 150–200 m across) just before the terminal event, still possessed nontrivial cohesive strength.

    Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy): Orbit Determination, Outbursts, Disintegration of Nucleus, Dust-Tail Morphology, and Relationship to New Clusters of Bright Sungrazers
    Zdenek Sekanina and Paul W Chodas
    The Astrophysical Journal – 1 October 2012 – 757:127 (33pp)

    Therefore, it can be argued that Comet Lovejoy only experienced surface spallation and sputtering caused by Solar shortwave radiation during her perihelion round-trip around the Sun and that the observed “outgassing” was purely superficial.

  9. omanuel says:

    In 2000 NASA’s Wind Spacecraft confirmed solar mass-fractionation & the iron-rich mantle that surrounds the Sun’s pulsar core.

    The Wind Spacecraft flew over an impulsive solar flare and found that three groups of selectively heavier elements from selenium (Z=34) to lead (Z=82) were enriched by selectively greater factors of 10, 100, 1000.

    Click to access 00HiZ.pdf

    At the SOHO/GONG Conference on Helio-seismology in 2002, Professor Stig Friberg and I reviewed decades of measurements that indicate the Sun is the iron-rich remnant of a supernova that made our elements and birthed the solar system.

    Click to access gong-2002.pdf

  10. P.A.Semi says:


    If the body holds together by self-gravitation, it is meant, that every part is attracted to the whole of the rest. The attraction of direct neighbour is almost negligible – even the separation of atoms is not zero and is far enough, that their weight can be ignored… The separation between neighbour bricks in the wall is big enough, that attraction between neighbour bricks can be ignored.

    It is a question what gravity is inside the body? Far out from the body, you can simplify it to a single mass-point. If nearby (as Earth with Moon), the simplification is not correct any more – there are “figure” effects. If you stand beside a huge mountain, the downward vector is inclined little toward the mountain (even if little – it does not matter how much, the principle is important)…

    There are two possibilities:
    Classical Newtonian – every atom attracts every atom, and you can integrate over the whole body, if standing far from it. Inside, at the center of the body, the gravity is 0 – amount of atoms to the left side is same as that on the right side, one part pulls here and other pulls there and the sum is 0. (Clearly the simplification to the mass-point is incorrect inside the body – inside every body including a simple apple there will be a black-hole? No.) Could you think then of a body center as a sixth Lagrangian point?

    Relatitivity – the gravity is due to space curvature, which inside the body depends only on the mass-energy density. Then inside at the center of the Earth there will be slightly bigger gravity than just below the surface, approximatelly 4x bigger as density is 4x bigger…? (I’m not sure at the moment, what is an exponent there, maybe it is 4^(3/2) = 8x bigger gravity with 4x bigger density?)

    This distinction becomes important for molecular clouds and inter-stellar medium. For the relativity concept of gravity due to space curvature, the attraction of nearby interstellar medium with 1e4 .. 1e5 protons per m^3 may be little bigger, than the attraction to the galaxy center – which nicely explains, why galaxies rotate as fixed objects and not by Keplerian laws, because they actually are fixed objects, wheels with spokes, with the spiral arms holding together better, than what is an attraction toward the galaxy center… (then the whole of a dark-matter concept would be just a hoax to explain the bad concept of seemingly strange galaxy rotation curves…)

  11. P.A.Semi says:

    About the Lovejoy comet – the Roche limit is for a body, holding together by self-gravity. But if it is a snow-ball, better an ice-ball, it holds together not only by self- gravity, but as a piece of ice, much stronger… This just explains, why it did not break by Roche limit just during its passage by. It finally did broken, probably by partially melting?
    On Lasco+304 image video, linked from the article, the commet comes from lower right, the tail continues to upper left, but what is that sharp ball returning right down? May it be a body without a tail, that was not visible on 304 orange image at the center? Otherwise it could not be a planet, they move much closer to the Solar equator…

    About the Moon, linked from the discussion. The electricity is interesting… May it be short-circuiting Earth magnetotail during full-moon? There are weather anomalies of usually cleared sky during full-mooon and I have been thinking, whether it is by a light and warming, but better it may be an electrical (electro-magnetical) effect?

    About Moon albedo – value 0.12 is clearly a nonsense – may it be derived from rock samples brought back from the dark plages, where Apollo landed? Did they land in the darker places…? That the moon-light is reflected Solar light is clearly seen during Moon-eclipse, it does not much shine by itself…

  12. Pingback: The Atomic Comet: The Great Snowball of 1950 | MalagaBay

  13. Pingback: Parallax Postscript | MalagaBay

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