Image: caught a bright beam of light coming out of Mercury and not a comet

German astrophotographer Sebastian Voltmer captured the… Picture of Mercury with a tail resembling a comet’s tailAlthough they are of a different nature. the origin of this The footprint is solar wind and micro-meteorites They shoot sodium atoms from the planet’s surface and drift into space, drawing a long, glowing tail.

“This is not a comet, but #planet #mercury”Voltmer tweeted on Wednesday. “The solar wind blows sodium atoms from the surface of Mercury into #space. This creates a #tail […] Interested in seeing my team for this photo? “

To take the photo, he explained that he settled in a place “with the best northwest perspective” on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, taking advantage of Mercury’s proximity to the Pleiades, He was able to photograph the yellow-orange tail Through a special filter 589 nm.

The fingerprint of sodium on Mercury was predicted in the 1980s, although it was not discovered until two decades later. Later, astronomers were able to study this phenomenon in greater depth by observing the planet using NASA’s Messenger space probe. Currently, this tail is estimated to be about 2.5 million kilometers long, as published RT.

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