Of or relating to or resembling a → comet.
Fr.: activité cométaire
The appearance of → gas and → dust features from the rocky-icy nucleus of a comet when approaching the Sun (→ cometary atmosphere, → cometary tail). The → sublimation of → water can explain cometary activity at distances from the Sun up to about 4 → astronomical units. At larger distances, the average temperature of the → comet nucleus' surface is less than 140 K, too low for efficient sublimation of water → ice. However, there are many examples of cometary activity at larger distances. This can probably be due to the sublimation of more → volatile → chemical species. Indeed, radio spectroscopic observations of comets at large distances have revealed an important → outgassing of → carbon monoxide (CO), which can sublimate at temperatures as low as 25 K.
javv-e donbâledâr, havâsepehr-e ~
Fr.: atmosphère de comète
The envelope of → gas and → dust around a → comet nucleus, also known as → coma. As the comet approaches the → Sun, the frozen materials → sublimate and give rise to an expanding atmosphere. The atmosphere is composed of dust, → molecules, → radicals, and molecular → ions released from the inner coma with velocities ~ 0.5 to 1 km s-1, well above the → escape velocity for the nucleus. The → chemical species observed in cometary spectra can be divided into several categories: (i) atoms and molecules related to → water (H, O, OH, OH+, H2O, H2O+), (ii) carbon and related molecules (C, C+, CO, CO+, CO2+, C2, CH, CH+, HCO, H2CO), (iii) → nitrogen and related molecules (CN, CN+, HCN, CH3CN, NH, NH2, N2+, NH3, NH4), (iv) → sulphur and related molecules (S, CS, S2, H2S+), (v) → metals (Na, K, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, V, Fe, Mn, Ni). For a typical average comet the neutral atmosphere is first seen when the heliocentric distance is d ≤ 3 → astronomical units.
→ cometary; → atmosphere.
Fr.: globule cométaire
A relatively small cloud of → dust and → gas in the → interstellar medium shaped like a comet with a bright-rimmed head. Cometary globules are situated near young → massive stars with a strong → stellar wind. The wind ionizes gases on the side facing the → O stars and sweep away the low-density gas toward the tail. Cometary globules are believed to be → molecular cloud condensations, which are so dense that they are not disrupted when an → H II region expands into the molecular cloud surrounding it. The → Rosette nebula is a good example of an H II region which shows an abundance of cometary globules.
haste-ye donbâledâr (#)
Fr.: noyau cométaire
Fr.: orbite de comète
The → path followed by a → comet in the → solar system around the → Sun. Most cometary orbits appear to be → elliptical, or in some cases → parabolic. The orbits of → short-period comets are elliptical, carrying them out to a region lying from → Jupiter to beyond the orbit of → Neptune. Those of → long-period comets are very elliptical. The orbits may be strongly influenced if they pass near the Jovian planets, particularly Jupiter itself. The cometary orbits are also influenced to some degree by gases shooting out of comets, so their orbits are primarily but not completely determined by gravity. Newton (1644-1727) was the first to compute a cometary orbit. He found that the comet of 1680 was following a parabolic orbit around the Sun. Edmond Halley (1656-1742), following the methods of Newton, computed the → orbital elements of 24 comets. He realized that the comets of 1531, 1607 and 1682 had very similar elements and postulated that they were in fact the same object, orbiting an elongated ellipse. He predicted the next return to occur in 1758 or early 1759. The return of what is now called Halley's comet was observed after his death, This first observation of a "predicted" comet is manifestly one of the major successes of → celestial mechanics.
Fr.: queue de comète
A formation of → gas and/or → dust that streams away from the → coma of many comets under the influence of the Sun's → radiation pressure and the → solar wind. See also: → dust tail, → gas tail, → ion tail, → plasma tail, → sodium tail, → Type I tail, → Type II tail, → antitail.