Discovering Comets

Astronomy Cast


I'm Freezer Cain publisher of university with me as always as Dr Pamela. Gay a senior scientist for the Planetary Science Institute and the Director of cosmic quest. How you doing I'm doing. Well how are you doing fraser? Great Full on Paradise is back here on the west coast of Canada. Everything is growing like crazy. I can't we'd fast enough to keep up with the the new plants that yes. Yeah yes I put eight bucky garbage pails out filled with yard waste for the garbage trucks to come and take away. This is madness. Yeah Yeah and it's it's beautiful like every everywhere you like. Oh it'll never like just looks like such horror show and then boy come. May everything just just paradise again. Love it up here. I did plant my ps too early and they have little frost tinged leaves for the ones that didn't get underneath my cold frame fast. Enough a weird we. We can plant our piece here January and that's pretty much can't plant them early enough. January's fine February. Yeah and then. That's the perfect timing because they like to be cold and then they come up and then yeah we actually have a very mild climate here on Vancouver Island compared to what you have. So Oh yeah well and you started your PS outside. I started mine inside. And you're like wait we. We don't like it out here to you. You always start them outside here. You don't you're it's crazy you're wasting your time you just dump you dump amount of peas into the ground and they are popping by by. March you start to get fresh peas off them by April. I didn't plan any this year. We've we've shifted everything deflowers because somebody likes flowers and hates hate peas although peas meek flowers flowers yeah but anyway let's get onto it so discovering comets is one of the fields that amateurs can still make regular contribution to astronomy but more and more comets are getting found by spacecraft automated systems and machine learning this week. We'll talk about how comets discovered in how you can get your name on one. Have you ever tried to be? Have you ever tried to discover a comment very briefly in graduate school? And then the fact that I had to do graduate. Schoolwork stopped that plan. Yeah so so. How did how did that work like man? I want my name on a comet. Well it was the Soho Data and so not every games. Yeah but it was just the I want to be the first one. It's it's like you see people who on threads on forms or like I and that's all they want to do. This is the comment equivalent of this. Because I just have to do everything nerdier so I wanted to be able to say I on an image of a comment and Soho data so all right so for I mean we've done episode whole epistle comments. We've talked about many things but for anyone who I guess I don't want I don't want to say like you don't don't don't explain what a comet is but explain explain in come off like this baby's first astronomy cast like. Let's let's bring things forward a little bit here. But at least let's talk about the features of comets as a relate to how and where we see them. Find them okay. So comets are small bodies in our solar system that when you apply enough heat grow a cloudy coma around them and a tale of debris that is getting pushed back from them by the solar wind their orbits tend to be a lot more elliptical than the orbits of Asteroids and so we often initially categorize something as asteroid or comet based on its orbit. Because when you find a comet far enough out you can't tell what its future may be but really the only difference between an asteroid and a comet is the ratio of things that melt and things that don't add inner solar system temperatures and we have those two varieties of commerce. We have the short period long period comets and. I'd say that we actually have three because we also have. Yeah sure you need to add behave like a long period comet and so short period comets they go around and around and around and they don't get that far away from the sun and they appear on a regular basis but I mean that can be Haley's comet once every seven years you see this thing flare back up again and again and again. While the long periods we're seeing them for the first time ever and chances are they've never been to the inner solar system and there's a really good chance that a lot of prior long period comets that we saw were actually interstellar and we just didn't know it because we didn't stop to think about it

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