If a comet were to hit the sun, would we lose it in glare?

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willpittenger

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Suppose a comet or asteroid were to hit the sun. (I am ignoring any effect that would have on the sun for now.) Would we be able to track it all the way to impact or would we lose it in the glare?<br /><br />While the glare might not be too bad in the ultra-violet or x-ray spectrums, I doubt that the comet or asteroid would show up well there. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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qso1

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Actually, I recall a comet hiting the sun in 1979 I think, that was imaged but I cannot recall what satellite imaged it, what type of image (IR, UV) or what comet it was. As for effects on the sun...negligable if any at all considering the size of comets, roids, and the sun. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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So the scenario in the badly named movie <i>Super Nova</i> is not likely? <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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newtonian

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willpittenger - What scenario is that?<br /><br />Now, if a brown dwarf hit the sun it would have effects. In fact, in about 4 billion years when our sun is thought to be near to exhausting its available hydrogen (based on the assumpltion of zero mixing from core to surface) a brown dwarf collision at the right speed and trajectory could rejuvenate our sun back to early main sequence.<br /><br />See the Scientific American article 'When Stars Collide.'<br /><br />A small comet, however, would have little impact - pun intened.
 
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willpittenger

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>willpittenger - What scenario is that? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />I was afraid I might have to do this.<br /><br /><br /><font color="red"><b><i>*** Spoiler warning ***</i></b></font><br /><br />In the movie, a rock from interstellar space hits the sun. This breaches the outer layers. The sun responds by coronal ejection after coronal ejection. Most of those head for Earth (rather than missing as they would in the real world). St. Louis and Sydney are destroyed. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Problem: a Brown Dwarf really has no Hydrogen fuel to speak of. Rather than cause our sun to reignite, such as it were, it would only add to the problem. The sun would increase in mass, but no additional benefit. In fact, it might push it over some sort of mass limit - with catastrophic results. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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steampower

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no problem :), an advanced civilisation that is still living on earth will merly tow a few super gas giants from nearby star systems and use them to refuel the Sun while draining off the fusion residue products to use in industry (high purity Iron etc) , a trivial task for a civilisation that has colonised a big chunk of the universe and built Dyson spheres around the innermost colony stars, yet still fond of enough of "home" to want to save it (so I`m an optimist...shoot me :p )<br /><br />steampower
 
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qso1

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willpittenger:<br />So the scenario in the badly named movie Super Nova is not likely? <br /><br />Me:<br />Correct, that is if the comet hitting the sun is suppose to do something drastic. Comets, and I'm sure small asteroids hit the sun fairly frequently but I haven't found the specific examples I was looking for to better answer your question. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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Comets and small asteroids are not even a drop in the bucket. They add very little to the overall mass of a star. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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qso1

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Exactly, they are far too small to really do much of anything to the sun. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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An asteroid the size of the earth would have no effect on the sun... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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I think we would lose the comet to the glare.<br /><br />Comets are known to plunge into the Sun from time to time. SOHO discovers a lot of these, with its nearly constant eye on the Sun. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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