dust tail


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

dust tail

See comet tails.

dust tail

[′dəst ‚tāl]
(astronomy)
A comet tail that consists of particles, typically 1 micrometer in diameter and primarily silicate in composition, and is usually curved with a length in the range from 106 to 107 kilometers.
References in periodicals archive ?
These trails--a phenomenon related to, but separate from, the dust tails comets flaunt in visible light as they move near the sun--consist of larger, pebble-size debris that scatter sunlight poorly.
Additionally, you can take longer exposures to reveal the faintest extent of the comet's gas and dust tails, as well as faint deep-sky objects nearby.
Although the comet's brightness had fallen to about 4th or 5th magnitude, it's extraordinarily broad dust tail spanned an arc of no less than 110[degrees], even though its overall length didn't exceed a stubby 3[degrees] to 4[degrees].
The SOHO images obtained around 4:00 UT on December 15th showed the comet was about magnitude -1 and sporting a long, bright, slightly curving dust tail.
I was thinking of something that I and relatively few other observers detected in very dark, clear skies in late April and early May 1986: the mostly very faint but amazingly long dust tail of Halley's Comet.
A dust tail is produced by microscopic dust particles released from the comet by the Sun's heat and driven away by sunlight (solar radiation pressure).
In late November and December 1618 a great comet traversed the predawn sky from Libra to north of Ursa Major, developing a dust tail maybe 70[degrees] long as it passed Arcturus.
1-meter Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea, Henry Hsieh and David Jewitt (University of Hawaii) found that main-belt asteroid 118401, discovered in 1999, is ejecting a comet-like dust tail.
Bright moonlight obscured much of Halley's dust tail leading up to the full Moon on April 24th.
The hood's eastern end blended into the comet's broad dust tail, which itself was comprised of fine or wispy striations.