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Figure 3-24 shows comet Kohoutek as it appeared in 1973. Like all comets, it moves around the Sun exerts on it. The nucleus of the comet is a relatively massive core at a position indicated by P. The tail of a comet is produced by the action of the solar wind, which consists of charged particles streaming outward from the Sun. By inspection, what if anything, can clues of the comet? What about the direction in which the nucleus is being accelerated? What about the direction in which the comet is moving?

5 years ago

Answers : (1)

Deepak Patra
askIITians Faculty
471 Points
							Comets consists of three main parts; tail, coma and the nucleus. Sunlight striking dust grains imparts a tiny force to them, a process known as radiation pressure. The tail of a comet pushed out by radiation pressure is made of dust particles. Magnetic fields carried along by the solar wind enhance its effect on the comet’s tail, helping to drag matter out of the coma and channel its flow, just as magnetic fields in the Earth’s atmosphere channel particles to form the aurora.
The two forces, radiation pressure and the solar wind, act on the comet to drive a tail. Because those forces are directed away from the Sun, and the tail even points out ahead of the comet as it moves away from the Sun. The comets nucleus is a block of ice and gases that have frozen in the extreme cold of the outer solar system into an irregular mass. It contains most of the comet’s mass.
The direction of the force that acts on the nucleus of the comet will be in the direction of moving comet.
The direction in which the nucleus is being accelerated will be in the direction of net force acting on the comet.
The direction in which the comet is moving will be the direction of net force acting on the comet. This is the direction of comet’s head.
5 years ago
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