[meteorite-list] Sun Eats Another Comet
From: Rob Matson <mojave_meteorites_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 12:01:55 -0700
Resending from home e-mail:
> Sun Eats Another Comet
> Question: Is this something new? Or has this been happening since
> the beginning of our solar system and we're just now "tuning in"
> to the show?
Perhaps the most accurate answer to your question is "neither". ;-)
Kreutz comets are not "new" (e.g. in the sense of having just burst
on the scene in the last few years). But they haven't been around
for millennia either. The Kreutz family of sungrazers have been
putting on their show for almost a thousand years, and include the
Great Comets of 1843 and 1882, as well as Comet Ikeya-Seki in 1965.
They all trace their lineage to a single progenitor comet, which
may have been the Great Comet of 1106. You can read more about the
I discovered my first Kreutz comet in 1992 -- SOHO comet #445.
My most recent Kreutz comet was SOHO #1798 (my 84th Kreutz), which
I found in January of this year. So as you can see, SOHO has
discovered over 1300 comets in the last 8 years, most of them
members of the Kreutz family).
P.S. Most Kreutz comets do not actually "hit" the sun. Their
perihelion distances are typically around 0.005 a.u. (748,000 km),
which is about 7% more than the sun's radius.
Received on Sat 10 Apr 2010 03:01:55 PM PDT