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The comet is showing its horns again. It changed shapes overnight


On November 14, the famous “horned comet” (12P) resembled a perfectly round ball. The next day, onlookers almost didn’t recognize her. A dark wedge cut through her silhouette. It was as if she had been separated.

Comet 12P was first noticed in 1812. It visits the solar system every 71 years and is famous for its tendency to explode. This year, however, she outdoes herself. It erupts every few weeks, which gives it characteristic “horns”.

The comet exploded again

This happened already in July and October, and now we have the opportunity to see it happen again.

“On Friday evening I observed 12P. What a surprise… I saw a very distinct dark streak in the sphere surrounding the comet.” – Spanish comet observer, Lars Zielke.

The rest of the article is below the video

The rest of the article is below the video

This event causes observers on Earth to perceive the comet as brighter, but also worries about its condition. It seems to be falling apart. It does indeed do this, but it is only a step leading to transformation.

Comet “gets horns”

The reasons why comet 12P erupts are not confirmed, but one of the most common hypotheses is that it is full of active ice volcanoes. The comet’s surface hides a type of icy magma (a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons and gases). If the sun’s rays make a crack in it, an explosion occurs.

This is how astronomers also explain the tendency of comet 12P to add “horns” to itself. According to Richard Miles of the British Astronomical Association, they are made of cryovolcanic material that is expelled through a large but irregular vent.

Katarzyna Rutkowska, Wirtualna Polska daily


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