Solar and Mars

5 Oct 2017

At ... a huge solar storm doubled radiation levels on the surface of Mars - back in September. It was observed and recorded by NASAs Mars mission in orbit and on the ground.

Meanwhile, at ... this is another in a series of posts on comets and how they do not conform with mainstream theory - big time. At the site you can click onto to other posts in the series - and they are all quite interesting. In the link above Tim Cullen begins by saying the standard explanation for light emitted by comets has remained largely intact for the last 100 years. It is attributed to i) the incandescence of gases, and ii) sunlight reflected from the solid parts. Both the coma and the tail are illuminated by the Sun and may become visible when a comet passes through the inner solar system as the dust reflects sunlight directly while the gases gleam from ionisation (see ). In the early 1950s Fred Whipple visualised comets as a conglomeration of ices that reflected sunlight. However, in 1954 Fritz Kahn contradicted him by saying a hidden source of energy was required to produce and ionise a cometary cloud of carbon compounds and cyanogen etc. In 1982 this hidden source of energy was designated as the 'ionisation enigma' but was subsequently shunted into a cul de sac and ignored, which is aptly described by Cullen as the 'black memory hole from where no enlightenment escapes' after it was realised solar irradiance could not explain away Comet Halley's increased 'total visual magnitude' as it sped away from the Sun following perihelion. In the 1990s cometary x-rays were discovered during observation of Comet Hyakutake. X-rays surprised researchers because they are usually associated with very high temperatures - and comets are regarded as very cold bodies (conglomerates of ice and other stuff). They then discovered the flow of ions around a comet 'are heated to about one million Kelvin' (while observing Comet Borelly in 2001). It is now thought cometary x-rays are caused by an interaction between comets and the solar wind.