Rosa M. Ros1, Sakari Ekko2 and Veselka Radeva3

EAAE Summer School Working Group (1Spain, 2Finland, 3Bulgaria)


A great comet is simply a beautiful spectacle. The late 20th century saw a lengthy gap without the appearance of any great comets, followed by the arrival of two in quick succession: Comet Hyakutake in 1996, followed by Hale-Bopp, which reached maximum brightness in 1997 having been discovered two years earlier. The first great comet of the 21st century was Comet McNaught which became visible to naked-eye observers in January 2007. It was the brightest in over 40 years. In the last few months of the year 2007 Comet Holmes had taken on a “special” appearance.

This paper is based on a set of photographs that allow us to know something more about these fascinating bodies. This workshop about comets will also include simple models to help us understand them better. We will also carry out some simple calculations using measurements taken from the photos. The main objective of this workshop is to suggest a set of activities that each teacher can adapt for the students in order to promote comet observations.

If the teachers are not experienced in photography, photos can be found on the internet. It is only necessary to know when the photos have been taken (day.month.year) in order to prepare similar activities to those we presented in this work.

Full version (PDF).


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