Blue Tailed Comet Loses Its Tail

During the time frame of November 8-9, the strongly blue tail of Comet 17P/ Holmes broke away from the green nucleus. The event was observed by several large telescopes, and was attributed to high solar wind activity in the vicinity of the comet.

A picture of the event can be found at:

The tail of comets are always pointed away from the Sun, and are caused by the vaporization of nuclear material as the comet nears its perihelion, and picks up heat from Sol.

Comet Holmes was a million times its normal brightness during the events leading to the separation of the head from the tail. It is expected that Comet Holmes will again produce a tail, and perhaps again give a spectacular show in the future.

[tags] Comet 17P, Comet Holmes, solar phenomenon, sublimation, ion cloud, perihelion [/tags]