In a world already grappling with its fair share of apocalyptic concerns, scientists have recently reported a celestial spectacle that has left many both awestruck and bewildered. It’s the story of a “horned” comet, an icy behemoth three times the size of Mount Everest, on a collision course with Earth. This colossal cosmic event transpired on October 5th, originating from a place few would imagine – a cryo volcano known as 12p Pon Brooks.
Size of Comet
For those uninitiated in the world of celestial phenomena, a cryo volcano differs from the fiery eruptions we typically associate with terrestrial volcanoes. Instead of spewing molten lava, a cryo volcano ejects icy materials, making it a cold and enigmatic natural wonder. The comet in question, ominously referred to as “12p,” measures a staggering 18.6 miles in diameter, akin to the size of a small city. To put things into perspective, Mount Everest, Earth’s tallest mountain, reaches a mere 29,000 feet, approximately 5.5 miles in height.
The British Astronomical Association, diligently keeping an eye on 12p, was quick to react to this explosive development. Their attention was drawn when the comet suddenly appeared dozens of times brighter, primarily due to the increased light reflecting from its coma – the cloud of gas enveloping its core. What made this particular celestial event truly unique was the mesmerizing appearance of “horns” on the comet’s head. It’s an image reminiscent of an intergalactic beast or, according to some experts, the iconic Millennium Falcon from the world of science fiction.
The origin of this horned shape remains shrouded in mystery, but experts speculate that it might be linked to the comet’s nucleus. In essence, it’s akin to an interstellar pasta strainer, shaping the coma in a specific manner as it journeys through space.
When is it coming?
While the idea of a colossal comet with mysterious horns hurtling toward Earth might sound ominous, there’s no need to prepare for a “Deep Impact” scenario just yet. The celestial hailstone is not projected to reach its closest point to Earth until 2024, and it will only become visible to the naked eye at that time. After its fleeting rendezvous with Earth, it will once again be propelled back into the solar system, with its cosmic comeback tour scheduled for the year 2095. This intriguing comet follows an orbital path that sees it return to the vicinity of the Sun every 71 years, and this recent explosion marks the second such event since July 20th.
Intriguingly, this celestial occurrence presents a fascinating opportunity for scientists and astronomers to delve into the mysteries of our solar system. It’s not every day that a comet of this magnitude and peculiarity graces the cosmic stage. As they prepare for its passage in 2024, experts are eager to unravel the secrets hidden within this celestial visitor.
To fully appreciate the significance of this cosmic event, it’s important to delve into the details of the comet itself. The “horned” comet, 12p, is a colossal body composed primarily of ice and dust. Comets like 12p are often described as “dirty snowballs” due to their combination of volatile gases, water ice, dust, and rock. These celestial wanderers are remnants from the early days of our solar system and can provide valuable insights into its formation and evolution.
A key aspect of this recent comet’s notoriety is its size. At 18.6 miles in diameter, it rivals the dimensions of a small city. To put this into perspective, Mount Everest, Earth’s tallest peak, measures a mere 29,000 feet in height. The enormity of 12p is truly remarkable and emphasizes the diversity of objects that inhabit our solar system.
What makes this comet even more intriguing is its cryo volcano origin. Unlike the fiery eruptions we associate with terrestrial volcanoes, cryo volcanoes erupt with ice. This unique characteristic adds to the mystique of the comet, and scientists are eager to study the composition of the materials it expels.
The British Astronomical Association’s involvement in monitoring 12p highlights the collaborative efforts of the scientific community in understanding these cosmic phenomena. The sudden increase in the comet’s brightness, attributed to the reflection of light from its coma, prompted astronomers to investigate further. The coma, a cloud of gas surrounding the comet’s core, plays a crucial role in its appearance and behavior.
Perhaps the most captivating aspect of 12p is the formation of its horned appearance. While the precise cause of this phenomenon remains elusive, experts speculate that it may be related to the comet’s nucleus. The idea of an “interstellar pasta strainer” aptly captures the imagination, and further studies will be conducted to shed light on this enigmatic occurrence.
Despite the initial sense of foreboding associated with a comet of this magnitude hurtling toward Earth, there’s no need for alarm. The comet is not expected to come perilously close to our planet until 2024. At that point, it will become visible to the naked eye, allowing astronomers and stargazers to witness this celestial marvel. Following its brief encounter with Earth, 12p will be sent on a journey back into the depths of the solar system, only to return in 2095. This cyclic pattern, with an orbital period of 71 years, provides astronomers with unique opportunities to observe and study this intriguing comet.