Saturday, December 17, 2011

It lives!!!!

Head and Tail of Comet Lovejoy After It Survived the Sun

All hope is lost.  The protagonist is inexorably hurtling toward a certain death.  One we know will be spectacular.  We cannot look away.  It is simply human nature to continue to watch as death comes in a firey culmination of a long and often perilous journey.  But then, against all logic and impossibly long odds, death is cheated and our hero survives!  A morality play? Made for TV movie?  Romance novel?  No!  The true cosmic story of the Comet Lovejoy.  The arc of travel for the comet had it plunging to within 87,000 miles of the Sun at 7PM EST last night.  Temperatures in the Sun's corona exceed 2 million degrees Fahrenheit at that cozy place in our solar system.  No wonder all of the astronomical big wigs assumed that Lovejoy, an icy little bundle about 660 feet thick at its solid core, would die an explosively brilliant death.  Predictions were that the fireball would eclipse the brilliance of Venus in our nighttime sky.  But then a funny thing happened on the way to the funeral.  Lovejoy, our plucky little cometary everyman, emerged from the other side of the seemingly omnipotent fireball of death that is our Sun.  Godspeed, little Lovejoy.

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