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Old December 3 2013, 06:13 PM   #17
rhubarbodendron's Avatar
Location: milky way, outer spiral arm, Sol 3
Re: Comet ISON has been destroyed

LOL! Great minds! I was just going to say that the comet is a bit like Obi Wan: it duels, sheds its cloak and dissolves. Perhaps to return unexpectedly in a different form.

Was the tail somewhere on our planet's plane? Any chance we might fly through it? With a little luck there could at least be a few meteorites.

What puzzles me thoroughly is the trajectory. I mean, look at the pic: there was not much of a change of course after the encounter. The new course was very close to what one would expect after an undamaged swing-by.
That would indicate only a small loss of mass. So, how can the big rest of that mass suddenly vanish?
Had it split up into several bits, we'd have seen it, wouldn't we? There would be several fragments fanning out.
If it really got destroyed, it would have to have crumbled into dust very suddenly. We would have seen an explosion and there appears to have been none.
But what else could cause such a sudden disruption?

Could it possibly have crashed into something we didn't notice? A tiny asteroid perhaps, or some piece of space junk?
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