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Comets crumble

点击量:   时间:2019-03-06 02:20:02

The brightest comet of the past three years has blown itself to bits. Mark Kidger of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canaries used the 1-metre Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope on La Palma to track comet LINEAR as it passed by the Sun. Between 24 and 25 July, the teardrop-shaped cloud around the comet’s icy nucleus stretched out and became uniformly bright. On subsequent evenings, the cloud grew bigger and dimmer, indicating that the nucleus had completely disintegrated. “If LINEAR is typical,” Kidger says,