Pan-STARRS

20 Mar 2013

Comet Pan-STARRS has emerged from it passage around the back of the Sun intact - see http://phys.org/print282814278.html ... but it is glowing brighter than a first magnitude star - and can now be seen without the aid of binoculars. The official reason for its brightness is that it has been heated up by the Sun - but the EU has a different perspective - see www.thunderbolts.info

Pan-STARRS is also producing a lot of dust and gases. Karl Battams of the Naval Research Laboratory says, 'the fine structure is breathtaking (the cloud of dust). We think this is caused by fairly complex interactions between the solar wind and the comet's rotating nucleus. It's going to take a computer model to sort this out ...' he added.

Meanwhile, at http://phys.org/print282824224.html ... the latest CME has produced an aurora in the far north but the geomagnetic storm is considered to have been mild, as far as strengh is concerned.