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Monday, November 19, 2007

 
[#] [2]
when i read this about comet holmes last night, i doubted my interpretation of it, which is why i wrote about fomalhaut & capella instead:

"The dust cloud created by whatever cataclysmic event caused its million-fold brightening on October 23rd now has an apparent diameter that is about as large as that of the Moon. In real terms this translates to a physical size that’s larger than the Sun! For now Comet Holmes is the largest structure in the solar system, and it shows no signs of rapidly fading for the near-term future."

REALLY? comet holmes is as big as the sun? it seemed too fantastic: i figured i must not be reading it right.

fortunately, carl confirmed the awesomeness of this astronomical event this morning: "The Sun is no longer the largest object in the Solar System. Okay? Not the largest object in ITS OWN SYSTEM."

he linked to the intitute for astronomy at the university of hawaii, which pretty much disambiguates it: Comet Holmes Bigger Than The Sun.

so poetically, the largest objects in our solar system are diameterically opposed: one hot star and one cool comet. it's the niftiest form of a binary system i've ever seen.

Comments:
You can say the comet is the largest object in the solar system if you want to call an enormous dust cloud an object. Bigger than the sun maybe, but who would win in a gravity contest? The sun could whip that comet's ass, and in fact, it does the whip the comet around like a flea hanging onto the end of a cosmic lasso.

Dan the Sun Defender
"Standing tall for our favorite fusion ball."
 
i think the sun can stand up for itself, dang. ;) and just because something's strong doesn't mean anything to me: i mean, the sun's been the biggest bully of the solar playground for a long time, and so i'm going to cheer on this small victory of the shy little comet.
 
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