Talk:Kreutz Sungrazers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Kreutz Sungrazers is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on July 6, 2005.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
March 29, 2005 Featured article candidate Promoted
November 19, 2008 Featured article review Kept
Current status: Featured article
WikiProject Solar System (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Solar System, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the Solar System on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
For more information, see the Solar System importance assessment guideline.
WikiProject Astronomy / Astronomical objects  (Rated FA-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon Kreutz Sungrazers is within the scope of WikiProject Astronomy, which collaborates on articles related to Astronomy on Wikipedia.
Featured article FA  This article has been rated as FA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Astronomical objects, which collaborates on articles related to astronomical objects.

A family tree image[edit]

I've had a bash at creating an image showing a 'family tree' of how the Kreutz group's major members have come to exist. I think a nicely-done graphic could really illustrate the article well, but I'm not sure what I've done is very good at all, so thought I would put it here first. Would appreciate comments, and if anyone can design a better-looking diagram that would be great! Worldtraveller 02:15, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

File:Kreutz Group family tree.gif
My attempt at a Kreutz family tree
On your image there is a confusion between groups I and II. This image is incorrect and should be deleted. Instead of this I inserted an original image by Sekanina (2004). I requested deletion of this image on Wikimedia Commons. — Chesnok (talk) 08:03, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Did you copy-paste the image from the Sekanina's article? Ruslik (talk) 12:12, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I did. I think, this image is a simple chart and ineligible for copyright. — Chesnok (talk) 09:39, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Copy-paste=copyvio. The diagram should be independently recreated, not copied. Ruslik (talk) 10:59, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
✔ Done. — Chesnok (talk) 09:01, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


The images in particular, both of the sungrazer and the family tree above, make my heart sing. +sj + 05:56, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Excellent, very pleased to hear it! In the hope that it might make more hearts sing I've now put the image on the article page. Worldtraveller 14:13, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Does anyone have any info on the aphelion or eccentricity of these comets? Google doesn't seem to know. --Doradus July 6, 2005 04:07 (UTC)

Marsden 1967 (ref 4 in the article) gives 200AU as a typical aphelion and 0.005AU as typical perihelion. e=\frac{A-P}{A+P} where A and P are aphelion and perihelion distances, so that gives typical eccentricity as 0.99995 by my reckoning. Do you think this info should be in the article? Feel free to add it wherever you think best.
By the way, interesting addition of yours about the energy reaching the surface of a sungrazer at perihelion - was it your own calculation or does it come from somewhere we can add a link or reference for? Worldtraveller 6 July 2005 09:44 (UTC)
It was my own calculation, and I think it was wrong, so let me explain myself, and others can confirm. The angle comes from sin {\Theta/2} = 1/1.3 , giving \Theta \approx 100°. The Sun subtends 0.53° from Earth, which is 192 times smaller, giving an area roughly 36,700 times smaller. I assume the sun's image in the sky is simply magnified by this factor (which isn't exactly right but should be close enough for first-order estimates). The Sun's radiation is 13600 kW/m2 at the distance of the earth, so it should be 36,700 times larger on a Sungrazer, giving about 500 MW/m2. --Doradus 01:45, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

I was confused by this section... "This comet was found to have passed just 200,000 km (0.0013 AU) above the sun's surface, equivalent to about half the distance between the Earth and the Moon. It thus became the first known sungrazing comet. Its perihelion distance was just 1.3 solar radii. "

Isn't perihelion the point of closest approach to the sun? How can that distance be both half the distance between Earth and Moon, and 1.3 solar radii? I must be reading it wrong... can someone clarify? Wordie 9 July 2005 04:14 (UTC)

The distance between the Earth and Moon is almost 400,000 km. 200,000 km is about half that. Meanwhile, the solar radius is 700,000, so 200,000 is about 0.3 of that. Does that answer your question? --Doradus 01:45, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

Brightness of Sun from sungrazing comet[edit]

I've recalculated the numbers in the section describing the brightness of the Sun as seen from a sungrazer - here's my thinking:

  1. Earth is about 215 solar radii away from the Sun. The sungrazer in question was 1.3 solar radii away from the centre of the Sun. It was 165 times closer, so the Sun would have appeared 165 times wider than it does to us. It's about 0.5° across from here so over 80° across from there.
  2. The angular area of the Sun from the comet would be (165)² times greater than it is from Earth; and the amount of light received would also be (165)² times greater (inverse square law).
  3. The solar constant at Earth is 1.37kW/m². This also follows an inverse square law, so would be (165)² times greater at the Sungrazer: 37.3MW/m²

Does that make sense? Worldtraveller 09:29, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Nice article[edit]

I randomly stumbled on this article while perusing a list of articles with "Great" in the name and arriving here from Great Comet of 1882. Really nice introduction to something I hadn't heard of before. Carcharoth 15:02, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Not a descendant of Aristotle's comet[edit]

Per the Great Comet of 1882 article as cited there:

Current models do not support the frequent supposition in the prior literature that the famous comet of 372 BC is in fact the ultimate parent of the Sungrazers. The comet of 372 BC is often associated with Aristotle who, along with others from his time, described that comet in his writings. However, Aristotle was only twelve at the time of the comet's appearance and the historian, Callisthenes of Olynthus, who also wrote about it was born ten years after its appearance. Consequently, their reports should not be taken as eye-witness accounts. Further, there is no mention of the comet in Chinese literature of the time. Instead either the comet of February 423 or of February 467 with orbital periods of around 700 years is now considered the likely progenitor of the Sungrazers. The fragments of the Great Comet of 1882 will return in several hundred years time, spread out over perhaps two or three centuries.

I think this article needs to be updated to reflect this modern opinion. The diagram of the family tree would need to be updated.

WilliamKF 02:35, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I update the article in this respect. Ruslik (talk) 12:11, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Audio link[edit]

The audio link on the pronunciation of Kreutz actually links to the word "sungrazers". Rsduhamel (talk) 20:07, 9 July 2009 (UTC)