Latest Dennis Bodewits Stories
An outbound comet that provided a nice show for skywatchers late last year is the target of an ongoing investigation by NASA's Swift satellite. Formally designated C/2009 P1 (Garradd), the unusually dust-rich comet provides a novel opportunity to characterize how cometary activity changes at ever greater distance from the sun. A comet is a clump of frozen gases mixed with dust. These "dirty snowballs" cast off gas and dust whenever they venture near the sun. What powers this activity is...
NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Explorer satellite rocketed into space in 2004 on a mission to study some of the highest-energy events in the universe. The spacecraft has detected more than 380 gamma-ray bursts, fleeting flares that likely signal the birth of a black hole in the distant universe. In that time, Swift also has observed 80 exploding stars and studied six comets.Comets? ... Comets are "dirty snowballs" made of frozen gases mixed with dust. X-rays come from superhot plasmas. What do cold...
- Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
- Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
- Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
- A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.