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Sample records for actin comet tails

  1. A model actin comet tail disassembling by severing

    PubMed Central

    Michalski, P J; Carlsson, A E

    2011-01-01

    We use a numerical simulation to model an actin comet tail as it grows from the surface of a small object (a bead) and disassembles by severing. We explore the dependence of macroscopic properties such as the local tail radius and tail length on several controllable properties, namely, the bead diameter, the bead velocity, the severing rate per unit length, and the actin gel mesh size. The model predicts an F-actin density with an initial exponential decay followed by an abrupt decay at the edge of the tail, and predicts that the comet tail diameter is constant along the length of the tail. The simulation results are used to fit a formula relating the comet tail length to the control parameters, and it is proposed that this formula offers a means to extract quantitative information on the actin gel mesh size and severing kinetics from simple macroscopic measurements. PMID:21566272

  2. Mechanics of biomimetic systems propelled by actin comet tails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Hyeran; Tambe, Dhananjay; Shenoy, Vivek; Tang, Jay

    2009-03-01

    The motility of intracellular bacterial pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes is driven by filamentous actin comet tails in a variety of trajectories. Here, we present the in vitro study on the actin-based movements using spherical beads of different sizes coated with VCA protein, a partial domain of N-Wasp, in platelet extracts. Long term two-dimensional trajectories of the spherical beads motility show characteristic difference than those observed for bacteria, which have both elongated shape and asymmetric expression of the polymerization inducing enzyme. The trajectories also vary sensitively with the bead size and shape. These results provide a useful test to our new analytical model including the rotation of the bead relative to the tail.

  3. Three-dimensional architecture of actin filaments in Listeria monocytogenes comet tails

    PubMed Central

    Jasnin, Marion; Asano, Shoh; Gouin, Edith; Hegerl, Reiner; Plitzko, Jürgen M.; Villa, Elizabeth; Cossart, Pascale; Baumeister, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    The intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is capable of remodelling the actin cytoskeleton of its host cells such that “comet tails” are assembled powering its movement within cells and enabling cell-to-cell spread. We used cryo-electron tomography to visualize the 3D structure of the comet tails in situ at the level of individual filaments. We have performed a quantitative analysis of their supramolecular architecture revealing the existence of bundles of nearly parallel hexagonally packed filaments with spacings of 12–13 nm. Similar configurations were observed in stress fibers and filopodia, suggesting that nanoscopic bundles are a generic feature of actin filament assemblies involved in motility; presumably, they provide the necessary stiffness. We propose a mechanism for the initiation of comet tail assembly and two scenarios that occur either independently or in concert for the ensuing actin-based motility, both emphasizing the role of filament bundling. PMID:24306931

  4. Electron tomography and simulation of baculovirus actin comet tails support a tethered filament model of pathogen propulsion.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Jan; Pfanzelter, Julia; Winkler, Christoph; Narita, Akihiro; Le Clainche, Christophe; Nemethova, Maria; Carlier, Marie-France; Maeda, Yuichiro; Welch, Matthew D; Ohkawa, Taro; Schmeiser, Christian; Resch, Guenter P; Small, J Victor

    2014-01-01

    Several pathogens induce propulsive actin comet tails in cells they invade to disseminate their infection. They achieve this by recruiting factors for actin nucleation, the Arp2/3 complex, and polymerization regulators from the host cytoplasm. Owing to limited information on the structural organization of actin comets and in particular the spatial arrangement of filaments engaged in propulsion, the underlying mechanism of pathogen movement is currently speculative and controversial. Using electron tomography we have resolved the three-dimensional architecture of actin comet tails propelling baculovirus, the smallest pathogen yet known to hijack the actin motile machinery. Comet tail geometry was also mimicked in mixtures of virus capsids with purified actin and a minimal inventory of actin regulators. We demonstrate that propulsion is based on the assembly of a fishbone-like array of actin filaments organized in subsets linked by branch junctions, with an average of four filaments pushing the virus at any one time. Using an energy-minimizing function we have simulated the structure of actin comet tails as well as the tracks adopted by baculovirus in infected cells in vivo. The results from the simulations rule out gel squeezing models of propulsion and support those in which actin filaments are continuously tethered during branch nucleation and polymerization. Since Listeria monocytogenes, Shigella flexneri, and Vaccinia virus among other pathogens use the same common toolbox of components as baculovirus to move, we suggest they share the same principles of actin organization and mode of propulsion. PMID:24453943

  5. A kinematic description of the trajectories of Listeria monocytogenes propelled by actin comet tails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tambe, Dhananjay; Shenoy, Vivek

    2007-03-01

    The bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes propels itself in the cytoplasm of the infected cells by forming a filamentous comet tail assembled by the polymerization of the cytoskeletal protein, actin. While a great deal is known about the molecular processes that lead to actin based movement, most macroscale aspects of motion, including the nature of the trajectories traced out by the motile bacteria are not well understood. Listeria moving between a glass-slide and cover slip in a Xenopus frog egg extract motility assay is observed to display a number of geometrically fascinating trajectories including sine curves, serpentine shapes, circles, and a variety of spirals. We have developed a dynamic model that provides a unified description of these seemingly unrelated trajectories. A key ingredient of the model is a torque (not included in any microscopic models to date) that arises from the rotation of the propulsive force about the body-axis of the bacterium. The trajectories of bacteria executing both steady and saltatory motion are found to be in excellent agreement with the predictions of our dynamic model. When the constraints that lead to planar motion are removed, our model predicts motion along regular helical trajectories, observed in recent experiments. We discover from the analysis of the trajectories of spherical beads that the comet tail revolves around the bead.

  6. Dynamin at actin tails.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eunkyung; De Camilli, Pietro

    2002-01-01

    Dynamin, the product of the shibire gene of Drosophila, is a GTPase critically required for endocytosis. Some studies have suggested a functional link between dynamin and the actin cytoskeleton. This link is of special interest, because there is evidence implicating actin dynamics in endocytosis. Here we show that endogenous dynamin 2, as well as green fluorescence protein fusion proteins of both dynamin 1 and 2, is present in actin comets generated by Listeria or by type I PIP kinase (PIPK) overexpression. In PIPK-induced tails, dynamin is further enriched at the interface between the tails and the moving organelles. Dynamin mutants harboring mutations in the GTPase domain inhibited nucleation of actin tails induced by PIPK and moderately reduced their speed. Although dynamin localization to the tails required its proline-rich domain, expression of a dynamin mutant lacking this domain also diminished tail formation. In addition, this mutant disrupted a membrane-associated actin scaffold (podosome rosette) previously shown to include dynamin. These findings suggest that dynamin is part of a protein network that controls nucleation of actin from membranes. At endocytic sites, dynamin may couple the fission reaction to the polymerization of an actin pool that functions in the separation of the endocytic vesicles from the plasma membrane. PMID:11782545

  7. Genome-Wide siRNA Screen Identifies Complementary Signaling Pathways Involved in Listeria Infection and Reveals Different Actin Nucleation Mechanisms during Listeria Cell Invasion and Actin Comet Tail Formation

    PubMed Central

    Kühbacher, Andreas; Emmenlauer, Mario; Rämo, Pauli; Kafai, Natasha; Dehio, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Listeria monocytogenes enters nonphagocytic cells by a receptor-mediated mechanism that is dependent on a clathrin-based molecular machinery and actin rearrangements. Bacterial intra- and intercellular movements are also actin dependent and rely on the actin nucleating Arp2/3 complex, which is activated by host-derived nucleation-promoting factors downstream of the cell receptor Met during entry and by the bacterial nucleation-promoting factor ActA during comet tail formation. By genome-wide small interfering RNA (siRNA) screening for host factors involved in bacterial infection, we identified diverse cellular signaling networks and protein complexes that support or limit these processes. In addition, we could precise previously described molecular pathways involved in Listeria invasion. In particular our results show that the requirements for actin nucleators during Listeria entry and actin comet tail formation are different. Knockdown of several actin nucleators, including SPIRE2, reduced bacterial invasion while not affecting the generation of comet tails. Most interestingly, we observed that in contrast to our expectations, not all of the seven subunits of the Arp2/3 complex are required for Listeria entry into cells or actin tail formation and that the subunit requirements for each of these processes differ, highlighting a previously unsuspected versatility in Arp2/3 complex composition and function. PMID:25991686

  8. Choosing orientation: influence of cargo geometry and ActA polarization on actin comet tails

    PubMed Central

    Lacayo, Catherine I.; Soneral, Paula A. G.; Zhu, Jie; Tsuchida, Mark A.; Footer, Matthew J.; Soo, Frederick S.; Lu, Yu; Xia, Younan; Mogilner, Alexander; Theriot, Julie A.

    2012-01-01

    Networks of polymerizing actin filaments can propel intracellular pathogens and drive movement of artificial particles in reconstituted systems. While biochemical mechanisms activating actin network assembly have been well characterized, it remains unclear how particle geometry and large-scale force balance affect emergent properties of movement. We reconstituted actin-based motility using ellipsoidal beads resembling the geometry of Listeria monocytogenes. Beads coated uniformly with the L. monocytogenes ActA protein migrated equally well in either of two distinct orientations, with their long axes parallel or perpendicular to the direction of motion, while intermediate orientations were unstable. When beads were coated with a fluid lipid bilayer rendering ActA laterally mobile, beads predominantly migrated with their long axes parallel to the direction of motion, mimicking the orientation of motile L. monocytogenes. Generating an accurate biophysical model to account for our observations required the combination of elastic-propulsion and tethered-ratchet actin-polymerization theories. Our results indicate that the characteristic orientation of L. monocytogenes must be due to polarized ActA rather than intrinsic actin network forces. Furthermore, viscoelastic stresses, forces, and torques produced by individual actin filaments and lateral movement of molecular complexes must all be incorporated to correctly predict large-scale behavior in the actin-based movement of nonspherical particles. PMID:22219381

  9. Yogi Berra, Forrest Gump, and the discovery of Listeria actin comet tails.

    PubMed

    Portnoy, Daniel A

    2012-04-01

    In 1988, eminent cell biologist Lew Tilney and newly appointed Assistant Professor of Microbiology Dan Portnoy met at a picnic and initiated a collaboration that led to a groundbreaking paper published in Journal of Cell Biology entitled "Actin filaments and the growth, movement, and spread of the intracellular bacterial parasite, Listeria monocytogenes." The paper has been cited more than 800 times, the most of any publication in the careers of both investigators. Using an electron microscope from the Sputnik era, they assembled a stunning collection of micrographs that illustrated how L. monocytogenes enters the host cell and exploits a host system of actin-based motility to move within cells and into neighboring cells without leaving the host cell cytosol. This research captured the imagination of cell biologists and microbiologists alike and led to novel insights into cytoskeletal dynamics. Here, Portnoy provides a retrospective that shares text from the original submission that was deleted at the time of publication, along with reviewers' comments ranging from "It is really just a show and tell paper and doesn';t have any meat" to "the finding will have major impact in cell biology and in medicine. Potentially, the paper will be a classic." PMID:22461646

  10. Integration of linear and dendritic actin nucleation in Nck-induced actin comets.

    PubMed

    Borinskaya, Sofya; Velle, Katrina B; Campellone, Kenneth G; Talman, Arthur; Alvarez, Diego; Agaisse, Hervé; Wu, Yi I; Loew, Leslie M; Mayer, Bruce J

    2016-01-15

    The Nck adaptor protein recruits cytosolic effectors such as N-WASP that induce localized actin polymerization. Experimental aggregation of Nck SH3 domains at the membrane induces actin comet tails--dynamic, elongated filamentous actin structures similar to those that drive the movement of microbial pathogens such as vaccinia virus. Here we show that experimental manipulation of the balance between unbranched/branched nucleation altered the morphology and dynamics of Nck-induced actin comets. Inhibition of linear, formin-based nucleation with the small-molecule inhibitor SMIFH2 or overexpression of the formin FH1 domain resulted in formation of predominantly circular-shaped actin structures with low mobility (actin blobs). These results indicate that formin-based linear actin polymerization is critical for the formation and maintenance of Nck-dependent actin comet tails. Consistent with this, aggregation of an exclusively branched nucleation-promoting factor (the VCA domain of N-WASP), with density and turnover similar to those of N-WASP in Nck comets, did not reconstitute dynamic, elongated actin comets. Furthermore, enhancement of branched Arp2/3-mediated nucleation by N-WASP overexpression caused loss of the typical actin comet tail shape induced by Nck aggregation. Thus the ratio of linear to dendritic nucleation activity may serve to distinguish the properties of actin structures induced by various viral and bacterial pathogens. PMID:26609071

  11. Integration of linear and dendritic actin nucleation in Nck-induced actin comets

    PubMed Central

    Borinskaya, Sofya; Velle, Katrina B.; Campellone, Kenneth G.; Talman, Arthur; Alvarez, Diego; Agaisse, Hervé; Wu, Yi I.; Loew, Leslie M.; Mayer, Bruce J.

    2016-01-01

    The Nck adaptor protein recruits cytosolic effectors such as N-WASP that induce localized actin polymerization. Experimental aggregation of Nck SH3 domains at the membrane induces actin comet tails—dynamic, elongated filamentous actin structures similar to those that drive the movement of microbial pathogens such as vaccinia virus. Here we show that experimental manipulation of the balance between unbranched/branched nucleation altered the morphology and dynamics of Nck-induced actin comets. Inhibition of linear, formin-based nucleation with the small-molecule inhibitor SMIFH2 or overexpression of the formin FH1 domain resulted in formation of predominantly circular-shaped actin structures with low mobility (actin blobs). These results indicate that formin-based linear actin polymerization is critical for the formation and maintenance of Nck-dependent actin comet tails. Consistent with this, aggregation of an exclusively branched nucleation-promoting factor (the VCA domain of N-WASP), with density and turnover similar to those of N-WASP in Nck comets, did not reconstitute dynamic, elongated actin comets. Furthermore, enhancement of branched Arp2/3-mediated nucleation by N-WASP overexpression caused loss of the typical actin comet tail shape induced by Nck aggregation. Thus the ratio of linear to dendritic nucleation activity may serve to distinguish the properties of actin structures induced by various viral and bacterial pathogens. PMID:26609071

  12. The structure of comet tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Niedner, M. B., Jr.

    1986-01-01

    Present models of the plasma tails of comets are described. The interaction of the solar wind with ions from the cometary atmosphere is discussed, and the phenomenon of magnetic reconnection observed in plasma tails is explained. The accomplishments of the ICE mission to the Comet Giacobini-Zinner are summarized, and the tasks and expected contributions from upcoming Soviet, European, and Japanese missions to Comet Halley are addressed.

  13. Tail phenomena. [of Halley's comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Niedner, M. B., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    An overview of tail phenomena is presented based on worldwide submissions to the Large-Scale Phenomena Discipline Specialist Team of the International Halley Watch. Examples of tail phenomena and science are presented along with estimates of total expected yield from the Network. The archive of this material will clearly be very valuable for studying the solar-wind/comet interaction during the 1985-1986 apparition of Halley's Comet.

  14. Comet Tails of Type 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Probstein, R. F.

    1972-01-01

    A summary is presented of a theory for the head and tail regions of Type 2 (dust) comets, wherein dust particles having a wide distribution of sizes are assumed to be released from the comet nucleus in an essentially continuous manner in time during the period of distinctive cometary phenomena. The dust particles are assumed to be accelerated radially outward from the nucleus as a result of a drag interaction with the expanding gas in the comet head. In the tail region the only significant forces assumed to act on the dust particles are solar gravity and the force of solar radiation pressure. It is shown how results describing the surface density in the tail are obtained and how by matching calculated distributions with measured ones it is possible to determine the dust and head-gas emission rates as a function of time, the distribution of dust particle sizes, and the emission velocity from the inner head region as a function of particle size and time. The results of matching calculated density distributions with light intensity measurements from Comet Arend-Roland 1956h are summarized.

  15. The ionospheres and plasma tails of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mendis, D. A.; Ip, W.-H.

    1977-01-01

    The paper reviews the current state of knowledge about cometary plasma (type I) tails and ionospheres. Observational statistics for type I tails are examined along with spectroscopic observations of plasma tails, identified ion species in such tails, and the morphology of cometary plasma tails and ionospheres. Evidence for a strong interaction between comets and the solar wind is evaluated on the basis of observations of plasma-tail orientations, large accelerations of tail structures, and correlations between disturbances in type I tails and solar-wind or geomagnetic disturbances. The use of comets as solar-wind probes is discussed, the nature of comet-solar-wind interactions is investigated, and ionization sources for cometary gases are considered. Hydrodynamic models of comet-solar-wind interaction are summarized, and the structure and ion chemistry of cometary ionospheres are studied. Observations suggesting that significant magnetic fields are associated with comets are briefly reviewed and interpreted.

  16. Comet tail formation: Giotto observations

    SciTech Connect

    Wilken, B.; Jockers, K.; Johnstone, A.; Coates, A.; Heath, J.; Formisano, V.; Amata, E.; Winningham, J.D.; Thomsen, M.; Bryant, D.A.

    1986-01-01

    The process of mass loading of the solar wind by cometary ions, which forms comet tails, has been observed throughout the coma of comet Halley. Three distinct regimes were found where the nature of the energy and momentum coupling between solar wind and cometary ions is different. Outside the bow shock, where there is little angular scattering of the freshly ionized particles, the coupling is described by the simple pickup trajectory and the energy is controlled by the angle between the flow and the magnetic field. Just inside the bow shock, there is considerable scattering accompanied by another acceleration process which raises some particle energies well above the straightforward pickup value. Finally, closer to the nucleus, the amount of scattering decreases and the coupling is once more controlled by the magnetic field direction. 4 refs., 3 figs.

  17. Modelling the Neutral Sodium Tails of Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birkett, K. S.; Jones, G. H.; Coates, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    Neutral sodium is typically easy to detect in active comets around perihelion, due to the very high efficiency of the sodium D transition, and at some comets a distinct neutral sodium tail is observed. The first distinct neutral sodium tail images were apparent in comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) data taken using CoCam [Cremonese et al, 1997], but since this initial detection similar features have been observed at a number of near-Sun comets using the SOHO/LASCO coronagraph. An understanding of the distribution and evolution of neutral cometary sodium may best be developed using a combination of spectra and images in different filters at multiple times throughout a comet's orbit. At present the source of neutral sodium in comets is unknown, primarily because the evolution of neutral cometary sodium is difficult to intuitively predict due to the Swings and Greenstein effects. Several authors [review presented in Cremonese et al, 1999] have suggested various combinations of sources of neutral sodium in the nuclear region, near-nuclear region, dust tail and ion tail. In order to understand the wide variety of cometary observations of neutral sodium available we have developed the first fully three dimensional, heliocentric distance dependent, versatile Monte Carlo neutral sodium tail model (initially based on a model developed by [Brown et al, 1998]). Our model is known as COMPASS (Cometary Orbital Motion at Perihelion: an Adaptable Sodium Simulation), and incorporates the unintuitive variation in radiation pressure influences on sodium atoms with different heliocentric velocities. We present the initial results of a comparison between COMPASS and observational data. We have found good agreement between the overall morphology of the neutral sodium tail imaged at comet Hale-Bopp and COMPASS, and have begun to extend the study to other comets of interest. We also present a comparison between simulated COMPASS spectra and observations. The versatility of COMPASS allows it to

  18. Plasma irregularities in the Comet's tail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, L. C.

    1976-01-01

    The fluctuations in the intensity of radio source PKS 2025-15 during its occultation by Comet Kohoutek (1973f) on January 5, 1974, can be interpreted as scintillations due to the turbulent plasma in the Comet's tail. It was found that the rms fluctuation of the electron density in the Comet's tail is about 200 electrons/cu cm, the inner scale of the fluctuation is about 8 x 10 to the 7th power cm and the largest scale of fluctuation may reach 6 x 10 to the 10th power cm.

  19. Comparative plasma tails of Venus and comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perezdetejada, H.

    1987-01-01

    A review of current models of solar wind flow in the plasma tails of weakly magnetized bodies is presented. Measurements conducted by the Mariner 5 spacecraft, the Veneras 9 and 10, and the PVO orbiters, in the Venus tail, and with the ICE spacecraft in the tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner, reveal common plasma properties which suggest that similar physical processes are operative. Most notable is the observation of decreased flow velocities and enhanced plasma temperatures in the vicinity of their plasma tails. In Venus, the measured velocity and temperature fields are consistent with the effects of frictional forces between the mass-loaded ionosheath flow and the ionosphere along the (magnetic) polar regions of the ionopause. It is argued that similar conditions exist at a cometary ionopause and that the distribution of magnetic fluxes in a cometary tail is controlled by the entry of plasma fluxes from the (magnetic) polar regions of the comet's ionospheric obstacle. This question is further addressed in connection with the two-step shape of the magnetic profile measured across the tail of the comet. It is suggested that the low intensity outer increases of the magnetic lobes are associated with the draping of the interplanetary magnetic field lines around the comet's ionospheric obstacle, and that the higher intensity increases seen in the inner regions of the magnetic lobes are due to an additional compression of magnetic fluxes produced by the entry of plasma particles into the tail.

  20. Plasma dynamics in type-1 comet tails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podgornyi, I. M.; Dubinin, E. M.; Israelevich, P. L.; Skolnikova, S. I.

    The comparison of experimental data on artificial solar wind interaction with a body having a plasma shell and observations of type I cometary tails shows that in these cases the formation of an induced magnetosphere with extended magnetic tail takes place. This magnetosphere is caused by unipolar induction currents. The distribution of electrodynamical forces connected with the induced magnetosphere allows to explain the dynamics of the filamentary structure observed in type I tails. The analysis of a small plasma cloud's motion in comet Halley allows to determine the value of the magnetic field in its tail. The mean value of this field is 30 - 50 G. On the basis of the induced magnetosphere model a mechanism of comet tail disconnections due to reconnection of magnetic force lines is proposed.

  1. Plasma irregularities in the comet's tail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, L. C.

    1976-01-01

    Scintillation theory is invoked to explain fluctuations in radio intensity observed during occultation of the extragalactic radio source PKS 2025-15 by the plasma tail of comet 1973 XII on Jan. 5, 1975. Plasma irregularities and turbulence in the tail of the comet (Kohoutek 1973f) are fitted to a Gaussian spectrum and to a Kolmogorov power-law spectrum in analyzing the scintillation data. The rms fluctuation of electron density in the cometary tail is reported at 80 electrons per cu mm, the inner scale of the fluctuation at 800 km, and the largest scale of fluctuation at possibly 400,000 km. A hump in the comet power-law spectrum is noted. Use of the power spectrum of electron density fluctuations to predict the power spectrum of magnetic field fluctuations for irregularities associated with hydromagnetic turbulence is recommended.

  2. The study of comets, part 1. [conference on photometry and spectrum analysis of Kohoutek comet and comet tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, B. (Editor); Mumma, M. J. (Editor); Jackson, W. M. (Editor); Ahearn, M. (Editor); Harrington, R. (Editor)

    1976-01-01

    Papers are presented dealing with observations of comets. Topic discussed include: photometry, polarimetry, and astrometry of comets; detection of water and molecular transitions in comets; ion motions in comet tails; determination of comet brightness and luminosity; and evolution of cometary orbits. Emphasis is placed on analysis of observations of comet Kohoutek.

  3. Review: Observations of recent comets, ion tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.

    1976-01-01

    Photographic plates of the moving structures in the cometary tail are examined. Several divergent explanations for the case of comet Kohoutek are presented. It is suggested that these hypotheses be tested by observing the motion of the material spectroscopically by means of the Doppler effect.

  4. Through the tail of a comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mclaughlin, W. I.

    1984-01-01

    The instrumentation, trajectory, and missions of the ISEE-3 spacecraft being sent to observe Comet Giacobini-Zimmer (GZ) are described. Originally parked at a libration point to observe the solar wind, ISEE-3 was directed to perform a complex series of flybys of the earth and the moon to move to a trajectory that will intersect the GZ tail in 1985. Renamed ICE, the spacecraft will record magnetic field and charged particle data on the interaction of the cometary tail with the solar wind.

  5. Modeling the neutral sodium tails of comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birkett, K.; Jones, G.; Coates, A.

    2014-07-01

    Neutral sodium is typically easy to detect in active comets around perihelion, due to the very high efficiency of the sodium D transition, and, at some comets, a distinct neutral sodium tail is observed. The first distinct neutral sodium tail images were apparent in C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) data taken using CoCam [1], but, since this initial detection, similar features have been observed at near-Sun comets using the LASCO coronagraph on SOHO. A full picture of the distribution and evolution of neutral cometary sodium may best be established using a combination of spectra and images in different filters at multiple times throughout the orbit. The high efficiency of the sodium D transition has allowed it to be detected in systems, even if the column density of sodium is extremely low. In these instances it is sometimes possible to determine some of the system's characteristics from the sodium emission detection, such as in Io's plasma torus [2] and Enceladus's plume [3,4]. It is hoped that a similar approach may be applied to the active cometary environment, but, at present, the production of neutral sodium is unknown. Various authors [5--9, thorough review presented in 10] have suggested various combinations of sources of neutral sodium in the nuclear region, near-nuclear region, dust tail, and ion tail. The morphology and evolution of the neutral cometary sodium tail are difficult to intuitively predict due to the Swings and Greenstein effects. In order to understand the wide variety of cometary observations of neutral sodium available we have developed the first fully three-dimensional, heliocentric-distance-dependent, versatile Monte Carlo neutral sodium tail model, which incorporates the unintuitive variation in radiation pressure influences on sodium atoms with different heliocentric velocities. Our model was initially based on that of Brown et al [7]. We present preliminary results from this model. We have found initial agreement with the overall morphology and

  6. Dust tail striae: Lessons from recent comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, G.; Battams, K.

    2014-07-01

    Striae are features rarely observed in cometary dust tails. These are near-linear structures that, unlike synchronic bands, are not aligned with the nucleus position, and have only been clearly observed in a few high-production-rate comets, including C/1957 P1 (Mrkos), C/1962 C1 (Seki-Lines), C/1975 V1 (West), and C/1996 O1 (Hale-Bopp). The formation of striae is difficult to explain, but several scenarios for their creation have been proposed [1]. These include that of Sekanina & Farrell [2], who proposed that striae are the result of a two-step fragmentation process, where parent particles are released from the nucleus which, after a delay, all fragment over a very short period of time. The fragmentation products then separate according to their β parameter, i.e., the degree to which the particles are influenced by radiation pressure force compared to gravitational force, to form the linear structures we observe as striae. Although there are issues with identifying a process through which many particles will collectively delay their break-up and then fragment within a short period, this scenario does fit many observations well [3]. Other proposed scenarios are more complex, including the formation of striae through a continuous cascade of fragmentation to ever smaller particle sizes [4]. As these formation scenarios result in different distributions of dust-particle sizes within individual striae, the processes occurring may therefore be identifiable if these distributions can be inferred. If the fragmentation processes taking place can be identified, then, in turn, more could be learnt about the structure of the original dust grains that go on to form these sometimes beautiful tail structures. Here, we present the analysis of striae in several comets observed from space by the SOHO LASCO coronagraph [5] and SECCHI heliospheric imagers aboard the twin STEREO spacecraft [6]. The comets studied are C/2002 V1 (NEAT) in January 2002, C/2006 P1 (McNaught) during its

  7. The wind-sock theory of comet tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Rothe, E. D.

    1976-01-01

    A method is reported for calculating the shapes of ionic comet tails that use the magnetic field along the tail to channel the tail plasma. The local momentum field in the solar wind determines magnetic field line locations along the tail. Thus, the magnetic field acts as a transparent wind sock in trapping field lines in the cometary plasma around the nucleus long enough to be effectively fastened to the comet's head.

  8. Plasma tails: Comets Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake

    SciTech Connect

    Wurden, G.A.; Wurden, A.J.; Gladstone, I.M. Jr.

    1999-02-01

    Comet Hale-Bopp was one of the largest comets ever recorded, and it exhibited both a massive dust tail and a plasma tail, which developed as it approaches the sun over the course of six months in 1996--1997. Because the dust responds to gravity and light pressure, but plasmas also respond to the local solar wind (Coulomb collisions and magnetic fields), there is typically an angular separation between the two tails, as seen in the photo above.

  9. Observations and dynamics of plasma tails. [of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.

    1982-01-01

    Observations of plasma tails of comets are reviewed. The basic morphology of plasma tails is examined. It is shown that two features, viz., the ray-folding phenomenon and disconnection events, are essential to a general understanding of plasma tail phenomena. A qualitative model of disconnection events is proposed that is based on the cyclic occurrence of magnetic reversals in the solar wind.

  10. Predicted favorable visibility conditions for anomalous tails of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1976-01-01

    Visibility conditions are used to list the comets that have displayed a sunward dust tail during the time of earth's passage through the orbital plane of the comet. A computer program describing the conditions for this type of antitail observability was applied to the Catalogue of Cometary Orbits (Marsden, 1975), starting with the comets of 1737. It is shown that only about 20-30% of the nearly parabolic comets that should have displayed an antitail at the node were actually observed to do so. There appears to be a general absence of antitails among the short period comets.

  11. STEREO Watches as Comet Encke Loses Its Tail

    NASA Video Gallery

    As comet Encke dipped inside the orbit of Mercury, STEREO A recorded its tail getting ripped off by a solar eruption on April 20, 2007. The eruption that hit Encke was a coronal mass ejection (CME)...

  12. A tale of comet tail: multiple pellets in the heart

    PubMed Central

    Kanyal, R; Arshad, Waleed; Kurbaan, Arvinder; Xiao, Han B

    2014-01-01

    A 66-year-old man who presented with chest pain was assessed with a CT coronary angiogram that showed multiple hyperdense bodies. Echocardiography documented a comet tail artefact, an uncommon ultrasonic finding but no other abnormality. PMID:25326559

  13. On the folding phenomenon of comet tail rays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ershkovich, A. I.

    1982-01-01

    It is shown that the folding phenomenon of the comet tail rays is compatible with the Ferraro isorotation law if the comet tail magnetic field has no azimuthal component, that is, B sub phi (the polar angle) equals zero. Considering electric drift due to convectional electric fields, a formula is obtained for the angular rate of a ray closure which reduces to that of Ness and Donn (1966) if the velocity profile across the tail is linear. The magnetic field B of approximately 20-40 gammas in the coma and less than about 10 gammas in the distant tail is estimated under typical solar wind conditions at 1 AU.

  14. On the folding phenomenon of comet tail rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ershkovich, A. I.

    1982-01-01

    It is shown that the folding phenomenon of the comet tail rays is compatible with the Ferraro isorotation law if the comet tail magnetic field has no azimuthal component, that is, Bphi (the polar angle) equals zero. Considering electric drift due to convectional electric fields, a formula is obtained for the angular rate of a ray closure which reduces to that of Ness and Donn (1966) if the velocity profile across the tail is linear. The magnetic field B of approximately 20-40 gammas in the coma and less than about 10 gammas in the distant tail is estimated under typical solar wind conditions at 1 AU.

  15. Interpretation of the break in Comet Halley's tail

    SciTech Connect

    Obukhov, A.M.; Danilov, A.V.; Kurganskii, M.V.

    1986-12-01

    Photographs of the broken tail of Comet Halley taken in January 1986 suggest that the comet had crossed a tangential discontinuity in the solar-wind velocity field. The velocity jump amounts to about 20 percent of the wind velocity itself, one of several properties analogous to fronts in the terrestrial atmosphere.

  16. [The metaphoric image of the "tail of a comet"].

    PubMed

    Wackenheim, A

    1994-01-01

    The author places the metaphoric image of "comet tail" in the semiotic structural and triadic system of Peirce. This metaphoric image utilises the iconic quality of "resemblance". The discussion of the image of "comet tail" gives the author the opportunity to distinguish three varieties. One variety is static (example: round atelectasia), the other is dynamic (example: cancer of the breast) and the third is artificial (sonographic artifact). PMID:7702331

  17. The anti-tail of Comet Bradfield /1975p/

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Pansecchi, L.

    1977-01-01

    The predicted antitail of Comet Bradfield 1975p was observed photographically on January 3, 1976. The predicted range for the antitail's orientation is fully consistent with the observation, which indicates that the detectable production of millimeter- and submillimeter-sized dust grains commenced at heliocentric distances between 1.1 and 1.3 AU before perihelion (early November 1975). The photograph also shows the ordinary tail and an extremely faint glow connecting the two tails and spanning an approximately 165-deg sector of the sky to the west of the comet. This glow is due to a continuous emission of dust from the comet during the month of December.

  18. Tail structures far from the head of Comet Kohoutek. I

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hyder, C. L.; Brandt, J. C.; Roosen, R. G.

    1974-01-01

    Two tail structures 0.1 AU from the head of Comet Kohoutek were photographed during January 1974. One was a wavy structure resembling a helix while the other was an irregular swan-like cloud. Both features were propagating down the tail at approximately 250 km/sec, and the observed speed is probably the phase speed. We discuss the physical origin of these structures and interpret the helix as a kink instability resulting from currents flowing along the tail axis.

  19. A study of the icy tails of the distant comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1975-01-01

    Properties are studied of the icy grain model for the tails of comets Baade 1955 VI and Haro-Chavira 1956 I, which have large perihelion distances. The general profiles and orientations of the tails are compared with a set of synchrones, or theoretical trajectories of particles ejected from a cometary nucleus at given instants of time. Several features observed in these comets are shown to be explained by the icy grain model, including jet activity in the coma and no appreciable broadening of the tail with increasing distance from the nucleus. It is demonstrated that the transition region between 2 and 3 AU, where water snow begins to experience rapid evaporation, has a significant effect on the dynamics of icy tails. It is suggested that the icy grains constituting these cometary tails may carry fine particles of meteoric dust which are released when the grains begin to disintegrate by evaporation.

  20. Triggering Actin Comets Versus Membrane Ruffles: Distinctive Effects of Phosphoinositides on Actin Reorganization

    PubMed Central

    Ueno, Tasuku; Falkenburger, Björn H.; Pohlmeyer, Christopher; Inoue, Takanari

    2012-01-01

    A limited set of phosphoinositide membrane lipids regulate diverse cellular functions including proliferation, differentiation, and migration. We developed two techniques based on rapamycin-induced protein dimerization to rapidly change the concentration of plasma membrane phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2]. First, we increased PI(4,5)P2 synthesis from phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate [PI(4)P] using a membrane recruitable form of PI(4)P 5-kinase, and found that COS-7, HeLa, and HEK293 cells formed bundles of motile actin filaments known as actin comets. In contrast, a second technique that increased the concentration of PI(4,5)P2 without consuming PI(4)P induced membrane ruffles. These distinct phenotypes were mediated by dynamin-mediated vesicular trafficking and mutually inhibitory crosstalk between the small guanosine triphosphatases Rac and RhoA. Our results indicate that the effect of PI(4,5)P2 on actin reorganization depends on the abundance of other phosphoinositides, such as PI(4)P. Thus, combinatorial regulation of phosphoinositide concentrations may contribute to the diversity of phosphoinositide functions. PMID:22169478

  1. Characteristics of the tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scarf, F. L.

    1986-01-01

    The physical structure and characteristics of the Comet Giacobini-Zinner tail are described. Variations in the vector B-field configuration, the electron distribution function, the energetic ion population, and the electromagnetic and electrostatic plasma wave spectra are analyzed. The ICE detected a two-lobe magnetic field configuration and a narrow central plasma sheet. Additional analyses proposed for the Giacobini-Zinner tail data are discussed.

  2. Sudden appearance of the tail of Comet Halley

    SciTech Connect

    Lynch, D.K.; Russell, R.W.

    1988-09-01

    An outburst event on Comet Halley, which was photographed in November 1985 when the comet was very near the ecliptic plane at 1.82 AU from the sun, is discussed. An irregular mass of material was observed, reaching about 1 arcmin south of the comet, approximately 70 degrees from the expected angle of the tail. Brightness changes during the event, up to a factor of 20, were shown in 2.3-10.3-micron IR measurements. The behavior of the outburst is consistent with the rapid expulsion of volatile ice particles. It is shown that the tail formed rather suddenly, though somewhat episodically. It is suggested that the outburst was not caused by a meteorite impact. It is concluded that the probable cause of the outburst was thermal heating of the nuclear crust with modest heat storage. 24 references.

  3. The sudden appearance of the tail of Comet Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynch, D. K.; Russell, R. W.

    1988-01-01

    An outburst event on Comet Halley, which was photographed in November 1985 when the comet was very near the ecliptic plane at 1.82 AU from the sun, is discussed. An irregular mass of material was observed, reaching about 1 arcmin south of the comet, approximately 70 degrees from the expected angle of the tail. Brightness changes during the event, up to a factor of 20, were shown in 2.3-10.3-micron IR measurements. The behavior of the outburst is consistent with the rapid expulsion of volatile ice particles. It is shown that the tail formed rather suddenly, though somewhat episodically. It is suggested that the outburst was not caused by a meteorite impact. It is concluded that the probable cause of the outburst was thermal heating of the nuclear crust with modest heat storage.

  4. The composition and tail activity of Sun-grazing comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Ying-Dong; Russell, Cristopher; Liu, Wei

    2016-04-01

    Sun-grazing comets dive into the low corona to reveal the ambient plasma and field conditions with its very active EUV and X-ray radiation patterns. In this study we model the charging-balanced cometary plasma, and its transportation in the solar magnetic field. We study the comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) event seen by SDO, Stereo and SOHO. Our model provides line-of-sight integrated emission intensity calculated via each emission lines of each charge state of O, and Fe ions. Such intensity is then compared with the observed EUV and X-ray images. Typical structures of the coronal magnetic field are studied to investigate their effects on the comet tail, and to model the observed tail activity.

  5. A tail-wagging event in comet Austin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klinglesmith, Daniel A.; Niedner, Malcolm B.; Oliversen, Ronald J.; Westpfahl, David

    1990-01-01

    On the morning of 21 May 1990, a sequence of images of Comet Austin was obtained in the light of H2O+. The filter was centered at 602.5 nm with FWHM of 5.0 nm. At least two waves were followed out through the main ion tail structure. During the course of the observations, 2.5 hours, two new tail rays were seen to form and undergo similar wave motion. Several condensations, possibly representing disconnected material, were seen to develop and move out along the tail ray with a velocity of about 60 km/sec.

  6. On the mechanism of ray closure in comet tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ershkovich, A. I.

    1981-01-01

    The folding phenomenon of comet tail rays is explained by means of an electric drift due to convectional electric fields. This mechanism results in an angular rate of closure which reduces to that obtained by Ness and Donn (1966) if the velocity profile across the tail is linear and the plasma conductivity is ideal. Observations of both the ray closure and the disconnection events point to the phenomenon of anomalous resistivity. Magnetic fields of about 30-40 gammas in the coma and of 10 gammas in the distant tail (at 1 AU) are estimated from the MHD momentum equation.

  7. SOHO Sungrazing Comets: Their History, Evolution, and Tails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    2000-10-01

    The temporal distribution of the SOHO sungrazers is known to be episodic on a timescale of several hours, with objects arriving in pairs much too often to be random. The pairs are readily understood as products of secondary, low-velocity, nontidal fragmentation events that are occurring virtually spontaneously at large heliocentric distances, some before, others after aphelion. The fragmenting comets are in turn products of primary, near-perihelion, tidal breakups of parent fragments during their previous return to the Sun. The pairs are extreme manifestations of larger clusters of such subnuclei, with a complex fragmentation hierarchy. A similar scenario of post-tidal, progressive disintegration was firmly established for comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (D/1993 F2). Also, there are distinct similarities with the mechanism recently proposed for the formation of striations in the dust tail of comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1). A study of tails of 11 SOHO sungrazers provides information on dust ejected from these comets and on the forces that the microscopic grains involved are subjected to. Images taken at times of the SOHO spacecraft's transit across orbit planes of sungrazers suggest relatively low particle ejection velocities in the direction normal to the orbit plane (not more than ~100 m/s) and offer no evidence whatsoever for any effects of the Lorentz force on charged dust. When viewed broadside, sungrazers' tails are always narrow, either straight or slightly curved, and deviating strikingly from the antisolar direction, an indication that no microscopic dust was ejected for some period of time prior to the observation. The tails include a major population of submicron-sized grains that are dielectric in nature, most probably silicates, as the radiation pressure accelerations are found never to exceed 0.6 the solar attraction. Nearly all sampled comets show consistently that the production of this dust terminated at heliocentric distances between about 20 and 30 solar

  8. The dust tail of Comet Wilson 1987VII

    SciTech Connect

    Cremonese, G.; Fulle, M. Osservatorio Astronomico, Trieste )

    1990-10-01

    The dust and plasma tails of Comet Wilson 1987VII were studied using photographic plates obtained by means of an ESO Schmidt camera. The plates were digitized adopting a square scanning window of 50 microns and properly calibrated by means of calibration wedges. Dust grains of diameters between 10 microns and 5 cm, ejected during the time interval -600 less than t less than -30 (days related to perihelion), were considered and a total dust mass of (4 + or - 2) x 10 to the 14th g was obtained, together with a power index of the time-averaged size distribution of -3.0 + or - 0.1. The high value of the power index of the time-averaged size distribution with respect to the lower value of old comets might point out intrinsic differences and suggest new formations. 6 refs.

  9. Neutral Na in comets tails: a chemical story

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellinger, Y.; Pauzat, F.; Mousis, O.; Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Leblanc, F.; Ali-Dib, M.; Doronin, M.; Zicler, E.; Doressoundiram, A.

    2015-10-01

    The origin of the neutral sodium comet tail discovered in comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 is still a matter of discussion. Here we propose a scenario which is based on chemical grounds. The starting point is the chemical trapping of the Na+ ion in the refractory material during the condensation phase of the protosolar nebula, followed by its incorporation in the building blocks of the comets parent bodies. In the next step, the Na+ ions are washed out of the refractory material by the water formed by the melting of the ice due to the heat released in the radioactive decay of short period elements. When the water freezes again, the Na+ ion looses its positive charge to evolve progressively toward a neutral atom when approaching the surface of the ice. As shown by high-level numerical simulations based on first principle periodic density functional theory (DFT) to describe the solid structure of the ice, it is a neutral Na that is ejected with the sublimation of the ice top layer.

  10. Coma and tail trajectory design for the CRAF mission. [Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ionasescu, Rodica

    1989-01-01

    The design of the trajectory for the proposed Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission to study comet coma and tail development is examined. A two part trajectory is planned for the CRAF mission to study comet Kopff. It is proposed that, during the 213 day perihelion phase of the trajectory, CRAF should perform multiple petallike flybys at 50-5000 km from the comet's nucleus. Nine days after the perihelion, the spacecraft would transition into the comet tail in the antisun direction to a maximum distance of 50,000 km. The objectives of these two phases of exploration are discussed.

  11. A kinematographic study of the tail of comet Kohoutek (1973f)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jockers, K.; Roosen, R. G.; Cruikshank, D. P.

    1976-01-01

    Observations of comet Kohoutek made in the Southwest U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were combined to produce a movie of the cometary tail. Plasma tail motions seen in the movie are described. Features of the plasma tail discussed include: tail rays; wave trains; and condensations and kinks.

  12. Terrestrial cometary tail and lunar corona induced by small comets: Predictions for Galileo

    SciTech Connect

    Dessler, A.J. ); Sandel, B.R. ); Vasyliunas, V.M. )

    1990-11-01

    A search for small comets near 1 AU is an objective of the Galileo mission. If small comets are as numerous and behave as has been proposed, two near-Earth signatures of small comets should be observable by the UVS experiment on the Earth flybys of Galileo; (1) a comet-like tail of Earth created by small comets that come close to Earth, break up and vaporize, but just miss the atmosphere and proceed back into interplanetary space, and (2) a corona surrounding the Moon induced by lunar impact of small comets.

  13. The role of formin tails in actin nucleation, processive elongation, and filament bundling.

    PubMed

    Vizcarra, Christina L; Bor, Batbileg; Quinlan, Margot E

    2014-10-31

    Formins are multidomain proteins that assemble actin in a wide variety of biological processes. They both nucleate and remain processively associated with growing filaments, in some cases accelerating filament growth. The well conserved formin homology 1 and 2 domains were originally thought to be solely responsible for these activities. Recently a role in nucleation was identified for the Diaphanous autoinhibitory domain (DAD), which is C-terminal to the formin homology 2 domain. The C-terminal tail of the Drosophila formin Cappuccino (Capu) is conserved among FMN formins but distinct from other formins. It does not have a DAD domain. Nevertheless, we find that Capu-tail plays a role in filament nucleation similar to that described for mDia1 and other formins. Building on this, replacement of Capu-tail with DADs from other formins tunes nucleation activity. Capu-tail has low-affinity interactions with both actin monomers and filaments. Removal of the tail reduces actin filament binding and bundling. Furthermore, when the tail is removed, we find that processivity is compromised. Despite decreased processivity, the elongation rate of filaments is unchanged. Again, replacement of Capu-tail with DADs from other formins tunes the processive association with the barbed end, indicating that this is a general role for formin tails. Our data show a role for the Capu-tail domain in assembling the actin cytoskeleton, largely mediated by electrostatic interactions. Because of its multifunctionality, the formin tail is a candidate for regulation by other proteins during cytoskeletal rearrangements.

  14. The Mars Magnetosphere in the Tail of Comet C/2013 A1(Siding Spring)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Y.; Jia, Y. D.; Russell, C. T.; Nagy, A. F.; Toth, G.; Combi, M. R.; Yelle, R. V.; Dong, C.; Bougher, S. W.

    2014-12-01

    Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is an Oort cloud comet with an open path. In October 2014, comet Siding Spring passes about 12 Mars radii from the center of the planet. Carrying multiple active spacecraft, Mars is expected to enter the plasma tail of the comet, providing a unique opportunity to study the response of the Mars magnetosphere to the supersonic cometary tail. We use our multi-fluid MHD model, which has been successfully applied to various comets, to simulate the composition of plasma trailing the comet. We include the effects of the decomposition, ionization, and charge exchange of major ion species around the comet in the model. The model result is then extracted along Mars orbit into a time dependent plasma distribution. Second, we simulate the real-time response of the Mars magnetosphere in the comet tail using a multi-fluid model of Mars. The comet tail plasma distribution is used as the upstream boundary conditions for the Mars model. The simulation results will be used to quantify the perturbations of the plasma environment around Mars and provide a baseline for interpreting plasma observations along the MAVEN orbit during the comet passage.

  15. The path and surviving tail of a comet that fell into the sun

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1982-01-01

    A satisfactory orbital solution for Comet Howard-Koomen-Michels 1979 XI is found on the assumption that the comet's line of apsides coincided with that of the Kreutz sungrazing comet group. The derived perihelion distance then shows that this is the first known case of a comet falling into the sun. A dust tail that survived the comet is studied as a particle flow phenomenon controlled by no force other than solar gravity and solar radiation pressure. The tail's outline is interpreted in terms of an onset of dust production, a peak repulsive force on the particles, and a circumsolar dustfree zone due to particle sublimation. It is shown that the surviving debris consisted mostly of absorbing, submicron size particles in hyperbolic trajectories convex to the sun and curving toward the earth. The tail width may be a product of the interaction of charged dust in the tail with a complicated structure of the coronal magnetic field.

  16. Structural and biochemical studies of actin in complex with synthetic macrolide tail analogs

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Jose H.; Petchprayoon, Chutima; Hoepker, Alexander C.; Moriarty, Nigel; Fink, Sarah J.; Cecere, Giuseppe; Paterson, Ian; Adams, Paul D.; Marriott, Gerard

    2014-01-01

    The actin filament-binding and filament-severing activities of the aplyronine, kabiramide and reidispongiolide families of marine macrolides are located within the hydrophobic tail region of the molecule. Two synthetic tail analogs of aplyronine C (SF-01 and GC-04) are shown to bind to G-actin with kd values of 285 +/−33 nM and 132 +/−13 nM, respectively. The crystal structures of actin complexes with GC-04, SF-01 and kabiramide C reveal a conserved mode of tail binding within the cleft that forms between sub-domains (SD) 1 and 3. Our studies support the view that filament severing is brought about by specific binding of the tail region to the SD1/3 cleft on the upper protomer, which displaces loop-D from the lower protomer on the same half-filament. With previous studies showing that GC-04 analog can sever actin filaments, it is argued that the shorter complex lifetime of tail analogs with F-actin would make them more effective at severing filaments compared with plasma gelsolin. Structure-based analyses are used to suggest more reactive or targetable forms of GC-04 and SF-01, which may serve to boost the capacity of the serum actin scavenging system, to generate antibody conjugates against tumor cell antigens, and to reduce sputum viscosity in children with cystic fibrosis. PMID:25047814

  17. Structural and Biochemical Studies of Actin in Complex with Synthetic Macrolide Tail Analogues

    DOE PAGES

    Pereira, Jose H.; Petchprayoon, Chutima; Hoepker, Alexander C.; Moriarty, Nigel W.; Fink, Sarah J.; Cecere, Giuseppe; Paterson, Ian; Adams, Paul D.; Marriott, Gerard

    2014-07-22

    The actin filament-binding and filament-severing activities of the aplyronine, kabiramide, and reidispongiolide families of marine macrolides are located within the hydrophobic tail region of the molecule. Two synthetic tail analogues of aplyronine C (SF-01 and GC-04) are shown to bind to G-actin with dissociation constants of (285±33) and (132±13) nM, respectively. The crystal structures of actin complexes with GC-04, SF-01, and kabiramide C reveal a conserved mode of tail binding within the cleft that forms between subdomains (SD) 1 and 3. Our studies support the view that filament severing is brought about by specific binding of the tail region tomore » the SD1/SD3 cleft on the upper protomer, which displaces loop-D from the lower protomer on the same half-filament. With previous studies showing that the GC-04 analogue can sever actin filaments, it is argued that the shorter complex lifetime of tail analogues with F-actin would make them more effective at severing filaments compared with plasma gelsolin. In conclusion, structure-based analyses are used to suggest more reactive or targetable forms of GC-04 and SF-01, which may serve to boost the capacity of the serum actin scavenging system, to generate antibody conjugates against tumor cell antigens, and to decrease sputum viscosity in children with cystic fibrosis.« less

  18. Structural and Biochemical Studies of Actin in Complex with Synthetic Macrolide Tail Analogues

    SciTech Connect

    Pereira, Jose H.; Petchprayoon, Chutima; Hoepker, Alexander C.; Moriarty, Nigel W.; Fink, Sarah J.; Cecere, Giuseppe; Paterson, Ian; Adams, Paul D.; Marriott, Gerard

    2014-07-22

    The actin filament-binding and filament-severing activities of the aplyronine, kabiramide, and reidispongiolide families of marine macrolides are located within the hydrophobic tail region of the molecule. Two synthetic tail analogues of aplyronine C (SF-01 and GC-04) are shown to bind to G-actin with dissociation constants of (285±33) and (132±13) nM, respectively. The crystal structures of actin complexes with GC-04, SF-01, and kabiramide C reveal a conserved mode of tail binding within the cleft that forms between subdomains (SD) 1 and 3. Our studies support the view that filament severing is brought about by specific binding of the tail region to the SD1/SD3 cleft on the upper protomer, which displaces loop-D from the lower protomer on the same half-filament. With previous studies showing that the GC-04 analogue can sever actin filaments, it is argued that the shorter complex lifetime of tail analogues with F-actin would make them more effective at severing filaments compared with plasma gelsolin. In conclusion, structure-based analyses are used to suggest more reactive or targetable forms of GC-04 and SF-01, which may serve to boost the capacity of the serum actin scavenging system, to generate antibody conjugates against tumor cell antigens, and to decrease sputum viscosity in children with cystic fibrosis.

  19. Encounter of the Ulysses Spacecraft with the Ion Tail of Comet McNaught

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neugebauer, M.; Gloeckler, G.; Gosling, J. T.; Rees, A.; Skoug, R.; Goldstein, B. E.; Armstrong, T. P.; Combi, M. R.; Makinen, T.; McComas, D. J.; VonSteiger, R.; Zurbuchen, T. H.; Smith, E. J.; Geiss, J.; Lanzerotti, L. J.

    2007-01-01

    Comet McNaught was the brightest comet observed from Earth in the last 40 years. For a period of five days in early 2007 February, four instruments on the Ulysses spacecraft directly measured cometary ions and key properties of the interaction of the comet's ion tail with the high-speed solar wind from the polar regions of the Sun. Because of the record-breaking duration of the encounter, the data are unusually comprehensive. O3(+) ions were detected for the first time in a comet tail, coexisting with singly charged molecular ions with masses in the range 28-35 amu. The presence of magnetic turbulence and of ions with energies up to approximately 200 keV indicate that at a distance of approximately 1.6 AU from the comet nucleus, the ion tail McNaught had not yet reached equilibrium with the surrounding solar wind.

  20. Doppler velocities in the ion tail of comet Levy 1990c

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jockers, Klaus; Rauer, H.; Debi-Prasad, C.; Geyer, E. H.

    1992-01-01

    We have obtained time alternating sequences of column density maps and Doppler velocity fields in the plasma tail of comet Levy 1990c. We describe the observing technique and data analysis, and we present first results.

  1. Plasma tail evolution in Comet P/Halley 1985-1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Niedner, M. B., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Plasma tail phenomena in comet P/Halley from mid-November, 1985 to mid-June, 1986, are examined, using data from the International Halley Watch. The evolution of the plasma tail is discussed, focusing on the turn-on/turn-off of plasma tail activity, and observations of disconnection events. The interaction between the comet tail and the solar wind is considered. Also, predictions are made of the turn-on/turn-off distances and of the association of disconnection events with the proposed solar-wind causes.

  2. Magnetic tail and electrodynamic forces of comet Halley /Analysis of laboratory and observational data/

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, E. M.; Izrailevich, P. L.; Podgornyi, I. M.; Shkolnikova, S. I.

    1980-11-01

    Laboratory data on the interaction of an artificial solar wind with the plasma shell of a wax sphere are compared with observational data on mass transfer in the tail of comet Halley. Electrodynamic forces, calculated from magnetic field configurations obtained in the model experiment, make it possible to explain mass acceleration in the tail to velocities of the order of the solar wind as well as the dynamics of the ray structure. Magnetic field strength in the tail of the comet is calculated under the assumption of the dominant role of electrodynamic forces in the tail; a value of 30-50 gamma is obtained.

  3. Plasma tail evolution in Comet P/Halley 1985-1986

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Niedner, M. B.

    Plasma tail phenomena in comet P/Halley from mid-November, 1985 to mid-June, 1986, are examined, using data from the International Halley Watch. The evolution of the plasma tail is discussed, focusing on the turn-on/turn-off of plasma tail activity, and observations of disconnection events. The interaction between the comet tail and the solar wind is considered. Also, predictions are made of the turn-on/turn-off distances and of the association of disconnection events with the proposed solar-wind causes.

  4. The influence of the Solar Wind on Plasma tail orientation of the comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrohimov, Alisher

    2016-07-01

    Based on observations of comets on a telescope in Hissar astronomical observatory, the equatorial coordinates and the radial velocity of the solar wind at the moment of observation are determined. The result in rare instances does not conform to observed range of solar wind radial velocity. The divergence of the I-type tail of comet further demonstrates the influence of the azimuthal component of the solar wind on comet plasma, velocity of which in certain instances can be above 35 km/s. Based on the influence of azimuthal velocity of solar wind the phenomenon of the plasma tail preceding the extended radius-vector is explained.

  5. On the origin of the magnetic field in type-1 comet tails - A reply to Ershkovich

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mendis, D. A.

    1977-01-01

    Ershkovich (1976) employed the observed geometry of the type 1 tail of comet Arend-Roland 1957 III to show that any magnetic field present there cannot be of 'internal' origin but must have been 'captured' from the magnetized solar wind. Such an 'external' origin for the magnetic field in type 1 comet tails is not disputed, but several other points raised by Ershkovich are discussed. These concern the generation of substantial magnetic fields within the coma during periods when the comet's heliocentric distance is typically not greater than 1 AU, Ershkovich's use of the pressure balance across the tail 'tangential discontinuity' to estimate that the 'captured' magnetic field is of the order of the solar wind-field, his interpretation of certain observations of motions in the tail of comet Arend-Roland, and his assertion that the distant comet tail will be transformed into a turbulent wake due to the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. It is argued that the 'captured' magnetic field should be substantially amplified relative to the solar-wind field, that the pressure-balance equation is of limited use, and that the real configuration of a type 1 tail must be treated in detail before any definite conclusions can be reached about the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.

  6. Magnetic field distribution in the tail of Halley's Comet found from the kinematics of a plasma formation

    SciTech Connect

    Dubinin, E.M.; Izrailevich, P.L.; Podgornyi, I.M.

    1982-09-01

    The distribution of directions of magnetic field vectors along the trajectory is found from the accelerations of a plasma formation moving in the tail of Halley's Comet. The magnitude of the field in the comet's tail proves to be greatest at the boundary and declines sharply within the tail. This means that there is a magnetic barrier at the boundary of the tail. A map of the magnetic field in the tail of Halley's Comet is constructed which agrees well with a laboratory model of an induced magnetosphere.

  7. Actin-dependent propulsion of endosomes and lysosomes byrecruitment of n-wasp

    SciTech Connect

    Taunton J; Rowning BA; Coughlin ML; Wu M; Moon RT; Mitchison TJ; Larabell CA

    2000-02-07

    We examined the spatial and temporal control of actin assembly in living Xenopus eggs. Within minutes of egg activation,dynamic actin-rich comet tails appeared on a subset of cytoplasmic vesicles that were enriched in protein kinase C (PKC), causing the vesicles to move through the cytoplasm. Actin comet tail formation in vivo was stimulated by the PKC activator phorbol myristate acetate (PMA),and this process could be reconstituted in a cell-free system. We used this system to define the characteristics that distinguish vesicles associated with actin comet tails from other vesicles in the extract. We found that the protein, N-WASP, was recruited to the surface of every vesicle associated with an actin comet tail, suggesting that vesicle movement results from actin assembly nucleated by the Arp2/3 complex, the immediate downstream target of N-WASP, The motile vesicles accumulated the dye acridine orange, a marker for endosomes and lysosomes. Furthermore, vesicles associated with actin comet tails had the morphological features of multivesicular endosomes as revealed by electron microscopy. Endosomes and lysosomes from mammalian cells preferentially nucleated actin assembly and moved in the Xenopus egg extract system. These results define endosomes and lysosomes as recruitment sites for the actin nucleation machinery and demonstrate that actin assembly contributes to organelle movement. Conversely, by nucleating actin assembly, intracellular membranes may contribute to the dynamic organization of the actin cytoskeleton.

  8. The two-tier structure of Comet Giacobini-Zinner's magnetic tail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez-de-Tejada, H.

    1990-07-01

    The structure of Comet Giacobini Zinner's magnetic tail is interpreted in terms of a flow geometry similar to that proposed for the Venus wake. It is suggested that the two-step shape of the magnetic field profile obtained from the ICE measurements across each lobe of the magnetic tail of that comet is due to the different entry of interplanetary magnetic fluxes into that region. The low (about 30 gamma) intensity outer wings of the magnetic field profile result from magnetic fluxes convected by the mass-loaded shocked solar wind that enters the tail from the polar boundary of the comet's magnetic cavity. The high (about 60 gamma) intensity inner parts of the lobes result, on the other hand, from the compression that this flow produces on interplanetary magnetic field lines that have slipped past the polar boundary of the cavity after draping around the comet. The latter magnetic fluxes are not convected by the local plasma, but forced to accumulate around the central plasma tail that extends behind the comet.

  9. Occultation of compact radio sources by the ion tail of Halley's Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alurkar, S. K.; Bhonsle, R. V.; Sharma, A. K.

    1987-01-01

    Enhancements of scintillations of the compact radio sources PKS 2314+03 and 1827-360 were observed at 103 MHz and 408 MHz during 18-21 December 1985 and on 29 March 1986, respectively, when the plasma tail of Halley's Comet swept across them. At 103 MHz the RMS plasma density variation along the tail was 10 and 3.3/cu cm at 0.12 AU and 0.18 AU, respectively, as measured from the comet's position. At 408 MHz it was 1.9/cu cm at 0.036 AU. Comparison of results of these two sets of observations is presented.

  10. Interplanetary magnetic field changes and condensations in comet Halley's plasma tail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delva, Magda; Schwingenschuh, K.

    1992-01-01

    In a time-dependent three dimensional MHD simulation for cometary plasmas, Schmidt-Voigt (1989) could observe the formation of condensations in the plasma tail after a 90 degree change in the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) sweeping over the comet. We investigated the IMF measurements of the Vega SC in the vicinity of the comet Halley for 90 degree changes in the clock angle and studied the relation between them and optical observations of condensations in the plasma tail. For the time interval 24 Feb. 86 to 14 Mar. 86, we could not find a correlation between such changes and the release of condensations from the cometary head.

  11. The association of myosin IB with actin waves in dictyostelium requires both the plasma membrane-binding site and actin-binding region in the myosin tail.

    PubMed

    Brzeska, Hanna; Pridham, Kevin; Chery, Godefroy; Titus, Margaret A; Korn, Edward D

    2014-01-01

    F-actin structures and their distribution are important determinants of the dynamic shapes and functions of eukaryotic cells. Actin waves are F-actin formations that move along the ventral cell membrane driven by actin polymerization. Dictyostelium myosin IB is associated with actin waves but its role in the wave is unknown. Myosin IB is a monomeric, non-filamentous myosin with a globular head that binds to F-actin and has motor activity, and a non-helical tail comprising a basic region, a glycine-proline-glutamine-rich region and an SH3-domain. The basic region binds to acidic phospholipids in the plasma membrane through a short basic-hydrophobic site and the Gly-Pro-Gln region binds F-actin. In the current work we found that both the basic-hydrophobic site in the basic region and the Gly-Pro-Gln region of the tail are required for the association of myosin IB with actin waves. This is the first evidence that the Gly-Pro-Gln region is required for localization of myosin IB to a specific actin structure in situ. The head is not required for myosin IB association with actin waves but binding of the head to F-actin strengthens the association of myosin IB with waves and stabilizes waves. Neither the SH3-domain nor motor activity is required for association of myosin IB with actin waves. We conclude that myosin IB contributes to anchoring actin waves to the plasma membranes by binding of the basic-hydrophobic site to acidic phospholipids in the plasma membrane and binding of the Gly-Pro-Gln region to F-actin in the wave.

  12. Polarization reversal in the tail of Comet Ikeya-Seki /1965 VIII/

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinberg, J. L.; Beeson, D. E.

    1976-01-01

    Multicolor observations of brightness and polarization in the continuum throughout the tail of Comet 1965 VIII reveal the presence of positive and negative polarization (polarization reversal) characteristic of slightly absorbing particles. The phase angle of the neutral point is found to vary with color and with time, the latter indicating short-term changes in the properties of the particles after perihelion.

  13. Doubly ionized carbon observed in the plasma tail of comet Kudo-Fujikawa.

    PubMed

    Povich, Matthew S; Raymond, John C; Jones, Geraint H; Uzzo, Michael; Ko, Yuan-Kuen; Feldman, Paul D; Smith, Peter L; Marsden, Brian G; Woods, Thomas N

    2003-12-12

    Comet C/2002 X5 (Kudo-Fujikawa) was observed near its perihelion of 0.19 astronomical unit by the Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer aboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft. Images of the comet reconstructed from high-resolution spectra reveal a quasi-spherical cloud of neutral hydrogen and a variable tail of C+ and C2+ that disconnects from the comet and subsequently regenerates. The high abundance of C2+ and C+, at least 24% relative to water, cannot be explained by photodissociation of carbon monoxide and is instead attributed to the evaporation and subsequent photoionization of atomic carbon from organic refractory compounds present in the cometary dust grains. This result serves to strengthen the connection between comets and the material from which the Solar System formed. PMID:14671299

  14. Time-lapse CCD imagery of plasma-tail motions in Comet Austin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klinglesmith, Daniel A., III; Niedner, Malcolm B., Jr.; Oliversen, R. J.; Westpfahl, David J.

    1991-01-01

    The appearance of the bright comet Austin 1989c1 in April-May of 1990 allowed us to test a new imaging instrument at the Joint Observatory for Cometary Research (JOCR). It is a 300mm lens/charge coupled device (CCD) system with interference filters appropriate for cometary emissions. The 13 frames were made into a time-lapse movie showing the evolution of the plasma tail. We were able to follow at least two large-scale waves out through the main tail structure. During the sequence, we saw two new tail rays form and undergo similar wave motion.

  15. Behaviour of comet Kohoutek /1973f/. [chemical reactions in coma and tail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mendis, D. A.; Ip, W.-H.

    1974-01-01

    The spectral identification of CH3CN and HCN provides the first support for the hypothesis first proposed by Wurm (1943), of chemically stable 'parent molecules' for the less stable radicals and ions seen in the coma and the tail. These two molecules were among the earliest discovered in dense interstellar clouds. Circumstantial evidence for the presence of water as the dominant volatile component in the nucleus has been growing for some time. However, a much more volatile species is required to explain the observed behavior of the comet. CO, formaldehyde, or methane would quickly evaporate as the comet approached the sun.

  16. Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownlee, D. E.

    2003-12-01

    Comets are surviving members of a formerly vast distribution of solid bodies that formed in the cold regions of the solar nebula. Cometary bodies escaped incorporation into planets and ejection from the solar system and they have been stored in two distant reservoirs, the Oort cloud and the Kuiper Belt, for most of the age of the solar system. Observed comets appear to have formed between 5 AU and 55 AU. From a cosmochemical viewpoint, comets are particularly interesting bodies because they are preserved samples of the solar nebula's cold ice-bearing regions that occupied 99% of the areal extent of the solar nebula disk. All comets formed beyond the "snow line" of the nebula, where the conditions were cold enough for water ice to condense, but they formed from environments that significantly differed in temperature. Some formed in the comparatively "warm" regions near Jupiter where the nebular temperature may have been greater than 120 K and others clearly formed beyond Neptune where temperatures may have been less than 30 K (Bell et al., 1997). Although comets are the best-preserved materials from the early solar system, they should be a mix of nebular and presolar materials that accreted over a vast range of distances from the Sun in environments that differed in temperature, pressure, and accretional conditions such as impact speed.Comets, by conventional definition, are unstable near the Sun; they contain highly volatile ices that vigorously sublime within 2-3 AU of the Sun. When heated, they release gas and solids due to "cometary activity," a series of processes usually detected from afar by the presence of a coma of gas and dust surrounding the cometary nucleus and or elongated tails composed of dust and gas. Active comets clearly have not been severely modified by the moderate to extreme heating that has affected all other solar system materials, including planets, moons, and even the asteroids that produced the most primitive meteorites. Comets have been

  17. Two-species MHD study of the comet tail disconnection event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Yingdong; Russell, C. T.; Jian, Lan; Combi, Michael; Manchester, Ward, IV; Gombosi, Tamas

    When a comet enters the inner heliosphere, its surface is heated and ejects water group gas molecules. These neutrals are ionized by the solar ultra-violet radiation into water group ions. The magnetized solar wind proton flow picks up these heavier ions to form a straight tail close to the comet-sun line. Changes in plasma conditions across discontinuities in the solar wind may affect the plasma tail, and lead to a disconnection event. Our previous single-species MHD study addressed the importance of magnetic discontinuities in triggering such events, but the single fluid model did not distinguish protons and water group ions. In this work, we track the protons and water group ions separately, to allow us to display the cometary ions that lead to the visual emissions. Such an improvement allows us to better compare simulations with observations.

  18. Two dust populations of particle fragments in the striated tail of Comet Mrkos 1957 V

    SciTech Connect

    Sekanina, Z.; Farrell, J.A.

    1982-12-01

    A total of 26 striae in the dust tail of Comet Mrkos 1957 V is investigated on five small-scale photographs taken 14--17 August 1957. The dynamical parameters of the striae are determined on the premise that these formations are products of the ejection of dust particles that subsequently break up in the tail. We establish the existence of two kinds of striae, consisting of submicron-sized particle fragments made of strongly absorbing and essentially dielectric materials. Although particles in the striae of both kinds are apparently restricted to sizes between 0.1 and 0.3 ..mu..m, inferred size distribution functions of the two dust populations are quite different. A calculated sequence of ejection times indicates that the striae originated in three isolated emission areas on the nucleus rotating with a 19.7-hr period. The discrete dust sources also account for an observed ''doublet'' structure of the striated pattern. We point out differences between the dust tails of Comets West 1976 VI and Mrkos and compare the particle-fragmentation model with a hypothesis that advocates a strong coupling between charged dust and comet plasma.

  19. On the nature of the anti-tail of Comet Kohoutek /1973f/. I - A working model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1974-01-01

    The model derived for the anti-tail of Comet Kohoutek describes it as a flat formation, confined essentially to the comet's orbit plane and composed of relatively heavy particles (mostly in the size range 0.1-1 mm) whose motions are controlled by solar gravity and solar radiation pressure. Almost all the material was produced by the comet before perihelion at a rate about an order of magnitude higher than for Comets Arend-Roland and Bennett. The latent heat of vaporization of the particle material is estimated at 40-45 kcal/mole or higher.

  20. THE EXTRAORDINARY MULTI-TAILED MAIN-BELT COMET P/2013 P5

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David; Agarwal, Jessica; Weaver, Harold; Mutchler, Max; Larson, Stephen

    2013-11-20

    Hubble Space Telescope observations of main-belt comet P/2013 P5 reveal an extraordinary system of six dust tails that distinguish this object from any other. Observations two weeks apart show dramatic morphological change in the tails while providing no evidence for secular fading of the object as a whole. Each tail is associated with a unique ejection date, revealing continued, episodic mass loss from the 0.24 ± 0.04 km radius nucleus over the last five months. As an inner-belt asteroid and probable Flora family member, the object is likely to be highly metamorphosed and unlikely to contain ice. The protracted period of dust release appears inconsistent with an impact origin, but may be compatible with a body that is losing mass through a rotational instability. We suggest that P/2013 P5 has been accelerated to breakup speed by radiation torques.

  1. Two dust populations of particle fragments in the striated tail of Comet MRKOS 1957 V

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Farrell, J. A.

    1982-01-01

    The striated tail of Comet Mrkos 1957 V is investigated. The formation and motions of the striae are described by the same particle-fragmentation model that has been successfully applied to Comet West. Two new kinds of striae are discovered, one made of absorbing particles and the other of essentially nonabsorbing ones. The grains appear to range in size from 0.1 and 0.3 micron. Tentative evidence is found for an excess of dielectric particles with radii near 0.1 micron, whereas among absorbing grains such sizes are relatively scarce. These results illustrate a high degree of sensitivity of the brightness variation along a stria to the particle size distribution. The regular spacing of the bursts of parent particles suggests that all the striae originated in three emission areas on the comet's nucleus rotating with a period of 19.7 hr. The apparent pairing of striae in the tail is a by-product of the existence of more than one discrete source on the nucleus surface and of the different lifetimes of the parent particles.

  2. The dynamics of charged dust in the tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horanyi, M.; Mendis, D. A.

    1986-01-01

    A numerical simulation has been performed to calculate the distributions of dust particles of various sizes down the tail of comet P/Giacobini-Zinner. When the electrostatic charging of the grains in the plasma and radiative environment of the comet is taken into account, it is found that the distribution of the grains (particularly at the lowest end of the mass spectrum) in a plane normal to the orbital plane is entirely different from what is expected had the grains been uncharged. Although the NASA-ICE spacecraft, which will fly through the tail of this comet almost normal to its orbital plane on September 11, 1985, has no dedicated dust experiments, it is expected that the plasma wave instrument will serve as an indirect detector, even of the smallest grains, via the plasma clouds created by the high-velocity dust impacts. Knowledge of the spatial variation of the grain sizes encountered along the flight path of the spacecraft will provide us with the information necessary to calculate the electrostatic potential of the grains, which in turn will lead to an estimation of the role of the electromagnetic forces on the dynamics of such grains.

  3. Particle sizes in Comet Bennett /1970 II/. [radiation pressure models for coma and tail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    O'Dell, C. R.

    1974-01-01

    The particle size distribution in the coma and tail of Comet Bennett has been determined by several methods, each sensitive to a particular size range. It is confirmed that a minimum value of the particle density, size, and radiation pressure efficiency function exists at about .00003 to .00010 g/sq cm. The existence of such a cutoff is probably due to the decreasing radiation pressure efficiency for particles smaller than the wavelength of the light being scattered. An exact determination of this cutoff may allow identification of the particle type.

  4. Interpretation of the anti-tail of Comet Kohoutek as a particle flow phenomenon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gary, G. A.; Odell, C. R.

    1974-01-01

    The appearance of a 'sunward' spike, opposite in apparent orientation to the normal Type-II tail in Comet Kohoutek is interpreted as evidence for large particles ejected near perihelion. It is shown that the shape and orientation can be satisfactorily explained in this manner, after consideration of the increased mass flow at decreasing heliocentric distance. The apparent length of the spike can be a measure of the particle size and density, and a value of about 0.004 g/sq cm for the product of particle size and density fits the Skylab observations.

  5. Kinematics of the ion tail of comet P/Swift-Tuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinrad, Hyron; Brown, Michael E.; Johns, Christopher M.

    1994-01-01

    We have obtained long-slit high resolution spectra of the H2O(+) 6199 A complex in the near tail of comet P/Swift-Tuttle. The observations were made using the Hamilton echelle spectrometer fed by the Lick Observatory 0.6 m coude auxiliary telescope. For most of our observations, the spectral slit was aligned along the Sun-tail axis and the cometary nucleus was placed at one end of the slit, giving us spectra having the spatial and spectral resolution needed to measure the radial velocity and velocity dispersion continuously down the cometary tail out to a distance of 4X10(exp 5) km. The radial velocities confirm the earlier more restricted observations by Rauer & Jockers (1993) and by Wyckoff & Lindholm (1994) showing that the tail motions are indeed bulk flows in the antisolar direction. Out to 3X10(exp 5) km in the tail typical bulk flows are at a speed of approximately 30 km/s. The velocity dispersion, (sigma(sub r)), of the H2O(+) lines follows a pattern that is quite systematic; sigma(sub r) is smallest near the cometary nucleus, and steadily increases down the tail. The highest velocity dispersions are found ahead of the nucleus and off the tail axis. These velocity dispersions are equivalent to ion temperatures ranging from 10(exp 5) to 10(exp 6) K. We note a clear anticorrelation between the H2O(+) line intensities (related to the ion density) and the bulk flow and dispersion velocities; direct mass loading of the solar wind by the observed water ions may be responsible. We discuss several approximate equipartition methods used to infer local magnetic fields induced by the interaction of the cometary ions with the solar wind particle/field stream. Typical fields derived are near 50 nT. The measured tailward accelerations are consistent with this order of magnitude B field.

  6. Structure and dynamics of the plasma tail of comet P/Halley. I - Knot event on December 31, 1985

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saito, T.; Yumoto, K.; Hirao, K.; Minami, S.; Saito, K.; Smith, E.

    1987-01-01

    On the basis of about 500 photographs of comet Halley taken by many observers, Saito et al. (1986) classified the detected disturbances of the plasma tail as outstanding rays, streamer, helix, kink, arcade, and disconnection event (DE). In this paper, the interaction of the solar wind with the plasma tail of Comet P/Halley is examined by using results of observations by the Sakigake spacecraft of the December 31, 1985 event, which included various disturbances and one DE-like knot. On the basis of twenty photographs taken on December 31 by Japanese astronomers, the dynamic pressure model proposed by Saito et al. (1986) is examined, and the mechnism of the knot event that appeared in the plasma tail of the comet on December 31, is explained.

  7. A Comparison of Solar Wind Speeds from a Source Surface Model and Comet Ion-Tail Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, G.; Morrill, J.; Hammer, D.; Lawrence, G.; Wang, Y.

    2005-05-01

    During February 2003 Comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT) passed through the field-of-view (FOV) of the LASCO C3 coronagraph onboard SOHO. The comet passed within 0.1 AU (about 20 solar radii) of the Sun and displayed complex dust and ion tails. Observations of the comet's ion tail orientation have been used to estimate the solar wind speed while in the C3 FOV. We have used the Wang-Sheeley model to estimate the solar wind speed in the vicinity of the comet for comparison with the ion-tail results. The comet's orbit combined with solar rotation produced a comet track along the source surface at nearly constant Carrington longitude and heliographic latitudes ranging from 70 North to 40 South. Photospheric magnetic field maps from Carrington Rotation 1999 measured at three observatories (Wilcox, Kitt Peak, and Mt. Wilson) were used as inputs to the Wang-Sheeley model and each gave different placements of the current sheet. Two of the model results (Wilcox and Kitt Peak) placed the current sheet at similar latitudes (40-45 degrees North) while the third (Mt. Wilson) placed the current sheet at lower latitudes (20 degrees) and appeared to agreed with the current sheet placement implied by the ion-tail results. In this presentation we will discuss the methods of solar wind speed determination from ion-tail observations, present the comparison of solar wind speeds derived from the ion tail measurements with values derived from magnetic field observations, and discuss differences in photospheric magnetic field maps that could affect the location of the current sheet.

  8. Gyroradius effects on the energetic ions in the tail lobes of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daly, P. W.; Sanderson, T. R.; Wenzel, K.-P.; Cowley, S. W. H.; Hynds, R. J.; Smith, E. J.

    1986-01-01

    It is reported that during the ICE fly-by of comet P/Giacobini-Zinner, a depletion was seen in the energetic ion intensities (E greater than 65 keV for 'water group' ions) extending to about 40 min on either side of the time of closest approach (1102 UT on September 11, 1985). It is demonstrated that the physical size of this hole is a few ion gyroradii (about 1.5 x 10 to the 4 km). Angular analysis of the ion distributions in the 'gyroradius region' can distinguish those ions whose gyromotion is entirely in one comet lobe from those that cross the current sheet into the other lobe. In the central tail within a few minutes of closest approach, the single-lobe ions exhibit high intensities and little pitch angle dependence, whereas the ions crossing the current sheet have lower intensities and are streaming along the magnetic field away from the comet. The derived density gradients are used to determine the orientation of the current sheet at closest approach, as 44 degrees east of north.

  9. Interplanetary gas. XXII - Plasma tail disconnection events in comets - Evidence for magnetic field line reconnection at interplanetary sector boundaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Brandt, J. C.

    1978-01-01

    Attention is focused on a form of cometary activity which has been known for some time but is poorly understood: the discarding of a plasma tail by a comet. A link is found between plasma-tail rejections and conditions in the solar wind. A model is presented in which a disconnected tail is the end result of magnetic-field-line reconnection in the cometary ionosphere caused by the traversal of a magnetic sector boundary. Observations of plasma tails appear to be the best and only method at present of mapping the interplanetary sector structure out of the ecliptic plane.

  10. Comet-toolbox: Numerical simulations of cometary dust tails in your browser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, J.

    2014-07-01

    The last few years have seen a rise in the popularity of comets, on both professional and amateur levels. Many cometary events, sometimes visible without a telescope, have triggered worldwide campaigns of ground- and space-based observations: for instance, the explosion of comet 17P/Holmes, the sungrazers C/2006 P1 (McNaught) and C/2012 S1 (ISON), or the forthcoming close encounter of C/2013 A1 (Siding Springs) and Mars. With the overwhelming amount of data available, it becomes more and more important to release the models we use to analyze these events. This ensures not only that more people get the opportunity to investigate the data, but is also beneficial for the science itself as everybody is able to see, use, and improve the models. As a professional planetary scientist, I have written many tools to process the data I use, especially in the field of cometary and asteroid science [1-6]. With the progress of modern computers, it is now possible to translate these tools to simple HTML/Javascript interfaces and run the models in an Internet browser. I have decided to make my tools available in this way, to be used by anybody interested in modeling cometary processes. The first tool being released at ACM 2014 is the Finson-Probstein diagram. The motion of dust particles in a cometary environment is a complex process. A precise description of the grain trajectories requires advanced hydrodynamic models. In the tail, dust and gas are decoupled and the only significant forces affecting the grain trajectories are the solar gravity and radiation pressure. Both forces depend on the square of the heliocentric distance but work in opposite directions. Their sum can be seen as a reduced solar gravity, and the equation of motion is simply m × a = (1-β) × Sun_{gravity}, where β is the ratio P_{radiation}/Sun_{gravity}, and is inversely proportional to the size of the grains for particles larger than 1 micron. From this relation, Finson & Probstein (1968, [7]) proposed a

  11. Interplanetary gas. XXII - Interaction of comet Kohoutek's ion tail with the compression region of a solar-wind corotating stream

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Rothe, E. D.; Brandt, J. C.

    1978-01-01

    An apparently successful identification of a comet-tail feature with a solar-wind event is presented. Photographs of comet Kohoutek 1973f show a large-scale disturbance in the middle and outer regions of the ion tail early on January 20 of 1974. On the previous and succeeding days the comet had, however, a 'normal' and less active appearance. The peculiar tail structure is linked to an encounter with rapidly changing solar-wind conditions on the forward edge of the high-velocity solar-wind stream which encountered the earth late on January 24. The stream produced a geomagnetic storm of the recurrent type. The high-speed stream appears to have been associated with a large near-equatorial coronal hole which underwent central meridian passage on January 22. It is proposed that the comet was in the compression region on the stream forward edge at the time of formation of the tail disturbance. The accuracy of the time delays is actually tested by an application of the wind shock theory of ionic tail orientations.

  12. Comparison of the plasma tails of four comets: P/Halley, Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, Austin, and Levy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farnham, Tony L.; Meech, Karen J.

    1994-01-01

    Photographic and charge coupled device (CCD) plasma tail observations are compared for four comets: P/Halley (22 nights in 1985/1986), Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko 1989 XIX (1989 December 2), Austin 1990 V (nine nights in 1990), and Levy 1990 XX (two nights in 1991). We present a discussion of several image-processing techniques used to enhance the visibility of the plasma tail features in order to measure velocities, accelerations, and position angles. The data are used to assess the validity of various physical mechanisms proposed to explain plasma tail phenomena. Seven disconnection events were observed in the comet P/Halley data, two in the Austin data, and none for the other comets. Analysis of these data suggests that while the crossing of the solar neutral sheet (the sector boundary) is a prominent factor in the production of a disconnection event, it is likely that several mechanisms are at work. A sector boundary crossing has been ruled out as the cause of either the 1986 April 26 P/Halley disconnection or the 1990 May 5/6 Austin disconnection. The motions of the disconnection events, knots, and condensations in the tails were seen to increase from 30-60 km/s near the nucleus (within 10(exp 6) km) to 80-100 km/s at 10(exp 7) km, consistent with either bulk motion or Alfven waves. Distinguishing between the two cases is not possible with these data. It was found that although the tail ray rotation rate slows as the ray approaches the tail axis, it is not a good indicator of the solar wind speed. Historical plasma tail data are also used to look for clues as to why some comets form well-developed plasma tails and others do not.

  13. A very rapid turning of the plasma-tail axis of comet Bradfield 19791 on 1980 February 6

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Hawley, J. D.

    1980-01-01

    Schmidt camera photographs of comet Bradfield 19791 obtained at the Joint Observatory for Cometary Research (JOCR) indicate that a rapid change took place in the comet's plasma tail on 1980 February 6. On that date, a sequence of photographs spanning 27.5 minutes shows a 10 deg shift occurring in the plasma-tail axis between the first and last exposures. The speed of this tail-turning event greatly exceeds that of any other known event and even exceeds turning rates for individual tail streamers. An interpretation based on the windsock theory of plasma tails is that the comet entered a region of rapidly changing solar-wind flow direction. While the search for an associated solar-wind event from near-earth spacecraft observations is a future activity, the present analysis shows that a 50 km/s change in the polar component of the solar-wind velocity, from about 30 km/s northward to about 20 km/s southward, would have produced the 10 deg shift in the tail axis.

  14. Striated dust tail of Comet West 1976 VI as a particle fragmentation phenomenon

    SciTech Connect

    Sekanina, Z.; Farrell, J.A.

    1980-11-01

    The motions of 16 striae in the dust tail of Comet West between 4 and 7 March 1976 have been successfully fitted on four small-scale photographs. Our model assumes that the striae are the result of the ejection of dust particles that subsequently fragment in the tail. The particles responsible for the formation of a discrete stria must be emitted simultaneously, be subjected to the same repulsive acceleration in the tail, and break up simultaneously. The results of the analysis indicate a strong correlation between the ejection times and the times of known explosive events. The repulsive accelerations of the fragments are found to be between 0.6 and 2.7 times the solar attraction, indicating submicron-sized absorbing particles. We also find that the repulsive accelerations of parent particles are only slightly smaller than those of their fragments, suggesting comparable area-to-mass ratios between parents and fragments, and therefore highly nonspherical shapes of parents. Complex, tenuously bonded, chain-like aggregates of submicron-sized grains would satisfy these conditions. The mass of dust in an average stria is estimated to be about 10/sup 9/ g. There was no measurable effect from the Lorentz force, indicating an upper limit of a few volts for the electric charge of the fragments. We consider rotational bursting caused by a ''windmill'' effect of radiation pressure to be a possible fragmentation mechanism. Application of a simple chain-particle model suggests the existence of discrete particle types.

  15. Latitudinal properties of the solar wind from studies of ionic comet tails. [statistical analysis of solar wind speed variations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.

    1976-01-01

    A statistical analysis is presented of the orientations of ionic comet tails in the solar wind. The analysis indicates that the radial solar wind speed is not necessarily higher near the solar poles than near the equator. The results refer to a long-term, global flow pattern and do not refer to short-term variations of solar wind speed.

  16. Dust particles in the anomalous tail of Comet Kohoutek (1973 XII)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keller, H. U.; Richter, K.; Schmidt, H. U.; Hildner, E.

    1983-01-01

    Intermediate results from theoretical models of the anomalous spikelike dust distribution observed in the tail of Comet Kohoutek using the Skylab white-light coronograph on December 28.996, 1973, are reported. The time evolution is studied using the model of Finson and Probstein (1968) and assuming power-law variation of the dust-production rate and the particle-size distribution. Brightness profiles are calculated and presented graphically for comparison with those derived from the observation photograph: the model predicts a longer duration of the spike phenomenon than was observed. It is shown qualitatively that this discrepancy can be removed by introducing a finite dust-emission velocity (e.g., 1 m/s) into the model.

  17. Evidence for fragmentation of strongly nonspherical dust particles in the tail of Comet West 1976 VI

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Farrell, J. A.

    1980-01-01

    Motion of 16 striae through the dust tail of Comet West 1976 VI are observed over a time interval of more than three days. Initiation times for most of the 16 striae are found to coincide with the times of discrete violent bursts of dust, determined from the motions of streamers. It is also found that fragments are subjected to repulsive accelerations between 0.6 and 2.7 the solar attraction, indicating submicron-size absorbing particles, while repulsive accelerations imparted to parent articles are slightly lower than the average acceleration of fragments. The sizes of the fragments are estimated to be between one tenth and a few tenths of a micron. No effect of the Lorentz force on striae motion is detected. It is concluded that the theoretical assumption that striae are products of fragmentation of friable dust particles ejected from the nucleus agrees with observations.

  18. Interpreting sperm DNA damage in a diverse range of mammalian sperm by means of the two-tailed comet assay

    PubMed Central

    Cortés-Gutiérrez, Elva I.; López-Fernández, Carmen; Fernández, José Luis; Dávila-Rodríguez, Martha I.; Johnston, Stephen D.; Gosálvez, Jaime

    2014-01-01

    Key Concepts The two-dimensional Two-Tailed Comet assay (TT-comet) protocol is a valuable technique to differentiate between single-stranded (SSBs) and double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) on the same sperm cell.Protein lysis inherent with the TT-comet protocol accounts for differences in sperm protamine composition at a species-specific level to produce reliable visualization of sperm DNA damage.Alkaline treatment may break the sugar–phosphate backbone in abasic sites or at sites with deoxyribose damage, transforming these lesions into DNA breaks that are also converted into ssDNA. These lesions are known as Alkali Labile Sites “ALSs.”DBD–FISH permits the in situ visualization of DNA breaks, abasic sites or alkaline-sensitive DNA regions.The alkaline comet single assay reveals that all mammalian species display constitutive ALS related with the requirement of the sperm to undergo transient changes in DNA structure linked with chromatin packing.Sperm DNA damage is associated with fertilization failure, impaired pre-and post- embryo implantation and poor pregnancy outcome.The TT is a valuable tool for identifying SSBs or DSBs in sperm cells with DNA fragmentation and can be therefore used for the purposes of fertility assessment. Sperm DNA damage is associated with fertilization failure, impaired pre-and post- embryo implantation and poor pregnancy outcome. A series of methodologies to assess DNA damage in spermatozoa have been developed but most are unable to differentiate between single-stranded DNA breaks (SSBs) and double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) on the same sperm cell. The two-dimensional Two-Tailed Comet assay (TT-comet) protocol highlighted in this review overcomes this limitation and emphasizes the importance in accounting for the difference in sperm protamine composition at a species-specific level for the appropriate preparation of the assay. The TT-comet is a modification of the original comet assay that uses a two dimensional electrophoresis to

  19. Interpreting sperm DNA damage in a diverse range of mammalian sperm by means of the two-tailed comet assay.

    PubMed

    Cortés-Gutiérrez, Elva I; López-Fernández, Carmen; Fernández, José Luis; Dávila-Rodríguez, Martha I; Johnston, Stephen D; Gosálvez, Jaime

    2014-01-01

    Key ConceptsThe two-dimensional Two-Tailed Comet assay (TT-comet) protocol is a valuable technique to differentiate between single-stranded (SSBs) and double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) on the same sperm cell.Protein lysis inherent with the TT-comet protocol accounts for differences in sperm protamine composition at a species-specific level to produce reliable visualization of sperm DNA damage.Alkaline treatment may break the sugar-phosphate backbone in abasic sites or at sites with deoxyribose damage, transforming these lesions into DNA breaks that are also converted into ssDNA. These lesions are known as Alkali Labile Sites "ALSs."DBD-FISH permits the in situ visualization of DNA breaks, abasic sites or alkaline-sensitive DNA regions.The alkaline comet single assay reveals that all mammalian species display constitutive ALS related with the requirement of the sperm to undergo transient changes in DNA structure linked with chromatin packing.Sperm DNA damage is associated with fertilization failure, impaired pre-and post- embryo implantation and poor pregnancy outcome.The TT is a valuable tool for identifying SSBs or DSBs in sperm cells with DNA fragmentation and can be therefore used for the purposes of fertility assessment. Sperm DNA damage is associated with fertilization failure, impaired pre-and post- embryo implantation and poor pregnancy outcome. A series of methodologies to assess DNA damage in spermatozoa have been developed but most are unable to differentiate between single-stranded DNA breaks (SSBs) and double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) on the same sperm cell. The two-dimensional Two-Tailed Comet assay (TT-comet) protocol highlighted in this review overcomes this limitation and emphasizes the importance in accounting for the difference in sperm protamine composition at a species-specific level for the appropriate preparation of the assay. The TT-comet is a modification of the original comet assay that uses a two dimensional electrophoresis to allow for

  20. Turbulence in the Solar Wind Measured with Comet Tail Test Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeForest, C. E.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Howard, T. A.; Rice, D. R.

    2015-10-01

    By analyzing the motions of test particles observed remotely in the tail of Comet Encke, we demonstrate that the solar wind undergoes turbulent processing enroute from the Sun to the Earth and that the kinetic energy entrained in the large-scale turbulence is sufficient to explain the well-known anomalous heating of the solar wind. Using the heliospheric imaging (HI-1) camera on board NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft, we have observed an ensemble of compact features in the comet tail as they became entrained in the solar wind near 0.4 AU. We find that the features are useful as test particles, via mean-motion analysis and a forward model of pickup dynamics. Using population analysis of the ensemble's relative motion, we find a regime of random-walk diffusion in the solar wind, followed, on larger scales, by a surprising regime of semiconfinement that we attribute to turbulent eddies in the solar wind. The entrained kinetic energy of the turbulent motions represents a sufficient energy reservoir to heat the solar wind to observed temperatures at 1 AU. We determine the Lagrangian-frame diffusion coefficient in the diffusive regime, derive upper limits for the small scale coherence length of solar wind turbulence, compare our results to existing Eulerian-frame measurements, and compare the turbulent velocity with the size of the observed eddies extrapolated to 1 AU. We conclude that the slow solar wind is fully mixed by turbulence on scales corresponding to a 1-2 hr crossing time at Earth; and that solar wind variability on timescales shorter than 1-2 hr is therefore dominated by turbulent processing rather than by direct solar effects.

  1. TURBULENCE IN THE SOLAR WIND MEASURED WITH COMET TAIL TEST PARTICLES

    SciTech Connect

    DeForest, C. E.; Howard, T. A.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Rice, D. R.

    2015-10-20

    By analyzing the motions of test particles observed remotely in the tail of Comet Encke, we demonstrate that the solar wind undergoes turbulent processing enroute from the Sun to the Earth and that the kinetic energy entrained in the large-scale turbulence is sufficient to explain the well-known anomalous heating of the solar wind. Using the heliospheric imaging (HI-1) camera on board NASA's STEREO-A spacecraft, we have observed an ensemble of compact features in the comet tail as they became entrained in the solar wind near 0.4 AU. We find that the features are useful as test particles, via mean-motion analysis and a forward model of pickup dynamics. Using population analysis of the ensemble's relative motion, we find a regime of random-walk diffusion in the solar wind, followed, on larger scales, by a surprising regime of semiconfinement that we attribute to turbulent eddies in the solar wind. The entrained kinetic energy of the turbulent motions represents a sufficient energy reservoir to heat the solar wind to observed temperatures at 1 AU. We determine the Lagrangian-frame diffusion coefficient in the diffusive regime, derive upper limits for the small scale coherence length of solar wind turbulence, compare our results to existing Eulerian-frame measurements, and compare the turbulent velocity with the size of the observed eddies extrapolated to 1 AU. We conclude that the slow solar wind is fully mixed by turbulence on scales corresponding to a 1–2 hr crossing time at Earth; and that solar wind variability on timescales shorter than 1–2 hr is therefore dominated by turbulent processing rather than by direct solar effects.

  2. Two Molecules of Lobophorolide Cooperate to Stabilize an Actin Dimer Using Both Their 'Ring' and 'Tail' Region

    SciTech Connect

    Blain, J.; Mok, Y; Kubanek, J; Allingham, J

    2010-01-01

    Actin filament-disrupting marine macrolides are promising templates from which to design therapeutics against cancer and other diseases that co-opt the actin cytoskeleton. Typically, these macrolides form either a 1:1 or 2:1 actin-macrolide complex where their aliphatic side chain, or 'tail', has been reported to convey the major determinant of cytotoxicity. We now report the structure of the marine macrolide lobophorolide bound to actin with a unique 2:2 stoichiometry in which two lobophorolide molecules cooperate to form a dimerization interface that is composed entirely of the macrolide 'ring' region, and each molecule of lobophorolide interacts with both actin subunits via their ring and tail regions to tether the subunits together. This binding mode imposes multiple barriers against microfilament stability and holds important implications for development of actin-targeting drugs and the evolution of macrolide biosynthetic enzymes.

  3. Viruses that ride on the coat-tails of actin nucleation.

    PubMed

    Newsome, Timothy P; Marzook, N Bishara

    2015-10-01

    Actin nucleation drives a diversity of critical cellular processes and the motility of a select group of viral pathogens. Vaccinia virus and baculovirus, Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus, recruit and activate the cellular actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, at the surface of virus particles thereby instigating highly localized actin nucleation. The extension of these filaments provides a mechanical force that bestows the ability to navigate the intracellular environment and promote their infectious cycles. This review outlines the viral and cellular proteins that initiate and regulate the signalling networks leading to viral modification of the actin cytoskeleton and summarizes recent insights into the role of actin-based virus transport. PMID:26459972

  4. The striated dust tail of Comet West 1976 VI as a particle fragmentation phenomenon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Farrell, J. A.

    1980-01-01

    The motions of 16 striae in the dust tail of Comet West are studied. It is found that all 16 striae have originated from particle ejections, and that the particles responsible for the formation of a discrete striae must be emitted simultaneously, be subjected to the same repulsive acceleration in the tail, and break up simultaneously. A strong correlation is found between the ejection times and the times of known explosive events. The repulsive accelerations of particle fragments in the striae vary from 0.6 to 2.7 times the solar attraction, indicating submicron grains of strongly absorbing materials. The repulsive acceleration of parent particles range from 0.55 to 1.10, which is only slightly smaller than those of their fragments and suggests highly nonspherical shapes of parents. The mass of dust in an average striae is estimated to be one-billion grams. Rotational bursting is discussed as a possible fragmentation mechanism. The absence of measurable effects of the Lorentz force indicate an upper limit of a few volts for the electric charge of the fragments.

  5. A dynamical analysis of the dust tail of Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) at high heliocentric distances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramer, Emily A.; Fernandez, Yanga R.; Lisse, Carey M.; Kelley, Michael S. P.; Woodney, Laura M.

    2014-07-01

    Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) has provided an unprecedented opportunity to observe a bright comet over a wide range of heliocentric distances. We present here Spitzer Space Telescope observations of Hale-Bopp from 2005 to 2008 that show a distinct coma and tail, the presence of which is uncommon given its large heliocentric distance (21.6 AU and 27.2 AU, respectively). The morphology of the dust is compared to dynamical models to understand the activity of the comet. Our analysis shows that the shape of Hale-Bopp’s dust tail in these images cannot be explained using the usual Finson-Probstein (solar gravity + solar radiation pressure) dynamical model. Several alternative explanations are explored. The analysis suggests that the most likely cause of the discrepancy is that the dust is being charged by the solar wind, then being affected by the interplanetary magnetic field via the Lorentz force. Though this effect has been explored previously, if correct, this seems to be the first time that the Lorentz force has been required to model a cometary dust tail. The analysis also suggests that Hale-Bopp was actively emitting particles when these images were taken, and the tail characteristics changed between observations.

  6. Comets

    NASA Video Gallery

    Did you know that comets seen streaking across the night sky may have brought the building blocks of life to our planet billions of years ago? Join NASA in learning more about these fascinating obj...

  7. Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feldman, P. D.

    2006-01-01

    Spectroscopy of comets, in the X-ray and far-ultraviolet from space, and in the near infrared and millimeter from the ground, have revealed a wealth of new information, particularly about the molecular constituents that make up the volatile fraction of the comet s nucleus. Interpretation of these data requires not only proper wavelengths for identification but also information about the photolytic and excitation processes at temperatures typical of the inner coma (70-100 K) that lead to the observed spectral signatures. Several examples, mainly from Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer and Hubble Space Telescope spectra of comets observed during the last few years, will be given to illustrate some of the current issues.

  8. Listeria's right-handed helical rocket-tail trajectories: mechanistic implications for force generation in actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Zeile, William L; Zhang, Fangliang; Dickinson, Richard B; Purich, Daniel L

    2005-02-01

    Listeria monocytogenes forms right-handed helical rocket tail trajectories during actin-based motility in cell-free extracts, and this stereochemical feature is consistent with actoclampin's affinity-modulated, clamped-filament elongation model [Dickinson and Purich, 2002: Biophys J 82:605-617]. In that mechanism, right-handed torque is generated by an end-tracking molecular motor, each comprised of a filament barbed end and clamping protein that processively traces the right-handed helix of its filament partner. By contrast, torque is not a predicted property of those models (e.g., elastic propulsion, elastic Brownian ratchet, tethered ratchet, and insertional polymerization models) requiring filament barbed ends to depart/detach from the motile object's surface during/after each monomer-addition step. Helical trajectories also explain why Listeria undergoes longitudinal-axis rotation on a length-scale matching the helical periodicity of Listeria's rocket tails.

  9. Rickettsia Sca2 is a bacterial formin-like mediator of actin-based motility

    PubMed Central

    Haglund, Cat M.; Choe, Julie E.; Skau, Colleen T.; Kovar, David R.; Welch, Matthew D.

    2011-01-01

    Diverse intracellular pathogens subvert the host actin polymerization machinery to drive movement within and between cells during infection. Rickettsia in the spotted fever group (SFG) are Gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens that undergo actin-based motility and assemble distinctive ‘comet tails’ that consist of long, unbranched actin filaments1,2. Despite this distinct organization, it was proposed that actin in Rickettsia comet tails is nucleated by the host Arp2/3 complex and the bacterial protein RickA, which assemble branched actin networks3,4. However, a second bacterial gene, sca2, was recently implicated in actin tail formation by R. rickettsii5. Here, we demonstrate that Sca2 is a bacterial actin-assembly factor that functionally mimics eukaryotic formin proteins. Sca2 nucleates unbranched actin filaments, processively associates with growing barbed ends, requires profilin for efficient elongation, and inhibits the activity of capping protein, all properties shared with formins. Sca2 localizes to the Rickettsia surface and is sufficient to promote the assembly of actin filaments in cytoplasmic extract. These results suggest that Sca2 mimics formins to determine the unique organization of actin filaments in Rickettsia tails and drive bacterial motility, independently of host nucleators. PMID:20972427

  10. Progress in a Study of Striations in the Dust Tail of Comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Ryan, O.; Boehnhardt, H.; Birkle, K.; Engels, D.; Jaeger, M.; Keller, P.; Raab, H.

    1999-01-01

    We report preliminary results of a massive investigation of the striation patterns observed in the dust tail of comet Hale-Bopp in March and April 1997. Our findings are based on 16 wide-field photographs taken with Schmidt cameras on March 2-20, with six more, from March 31-April 8, still waiting for analysis. Altogether approximately 700 individual striae were examined on the 16 images, which were scanned and computer processed to enhance the morphology. About 5300 stria points, or some 7-8 points per stria per image on the average, were measured and their astrometric positions determined and subsequently converted to a Cartesian coordinate system, aligned with the comet's projected radius vector and centered on the nucleus. The evolution of the striated tail has been studied using the Sekanina-Farrell fragmentation hypothesis (AJ 85, 1538, 1980), previously applied to other comets. This two-step model is characterized by the time of release from the nucleus of a parent object (or objects) whose motion is assumed to have been subjected to a constant repulsive acceleration beta(sub p) (presumably due to solar radiation pressure) until the time of fragmentation.

  11. VISCOUS-LIKE INTERACTION OF THE SOLAR WIND WITH THE PLASMA TAIL OF COMET SWIFT-TUTTLE

    SciTech Connect

    Reyes-Ruiz, Mauricio; Vazquez, Roberto; Perez-de-Tejada, Hector

    2010-07-01

    We compare the results of the numerical simulation of the viscous-like interaction of the solar wind with the plasma tail of a comet, with velocities of H{sub 2}O+ ions in the tail of comet Swift-Tuttle determined by means of spectroscopic ground-based observations. Our aim is to constrain the value of the basic parameters in the viscous-like interaction model: the effective Reynolds number of the flow and the interspecies coupling timescale. We find that in our simulations the flow rapidly evolves from an arbitrary initial condition to a quasi-steady state for which there is a good agreement between the simulated tailward velocity of H{sub 2}O+ ions and the kinematics derived from the observations. The fiducial case of our model, characterized by a low effective Reynolds number (Re{sub eff} {approx} 20) selected on the basis of a comparison to in situ measurements of the plasma flow at comet Halley, yields an excellent fit to the observed kinematics. Given the agreement between model and observations, with no ad hoc assumptions, we believe that this result suggests that viscous-like momentum transport may play an important role in the interaction of the solar wind and the cometary plasma environment.

  12. Structures far from the head of comet Kohoutek. II - A discussion of the Swan Cloud of January 11 and of the general morphology of cometary plasma tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Brandt, J. C.

    1980-01-01

    Photographs show that the 'Swan Cloud' observed in comet Kohoutek on January 11, 1974 was an advanced stage of a plasma tail disconnection event, of which the rejected tail appeared to decelerate as it receded from the head. The event commenced with the development of strong tail ray activity followed by the actual tail disconnection, the merging of the disconnected tail with the new tail to form the Swan and the formation of arcade loops in the space between closing tail rays. The observed morphological sequence is easily understood in the sector boundary model (Niedner et al., 1978), and the arcade loops are proposed to be reconnected flux tubes between oppositely polarized tail rays in the incipient new tail which followed the disconnection

  13. A disturbance of the ion tail of Comet Halley and the heliospheric structure as observed by Sakigake

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saito, T.; Yumoto, K.; Nakagawa, T.; Hirao, K.; Saito, K.; Smith, E. J.

    1986-01-01

    In order to study the interaction between the solar wind measured by Sakigake and ion tail disturbances of comet Halley, more than 500 photographs of the comet taken on the ground during this apparition are surveyed. The focus of the present study is the December 31, 1985, event, when various types of disturbances occurred, including an outstanding disconnection event (DE)-like knot. Analysis of the Sakigake/IMF data reveals that comet Halley did not encounter the heliospheric neutral sheet on that day, demanding a new explanation for the DE-like event, different from the Niedner-Brandt model. During this event the comet encountered a high-speed solar wind stream from a coronal hole tongue of the sun. The event can be explained by a dynamic pressure model, according to which the DE-like plasmoid was caused by a sudden increase in the dynamic pressure of the solar wind. A result of the simulation work by Ogino is found to support this interpretation.

  14. The solar wind structure that caused a large-scale disturbance of the plasma tail of comet Austin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kozuka, Yukio; Konno, Ichishiro; Saito, Takao; Numazawa, Shigemi

    1992-01-01

    The plasma tail of Comet Austin (1989c1) showed remarkable disturbances because of the solar maximum periods and its orbit. Figure 1 shows photographs of Comet Austin taken in Shibata, Japan, on 29 Apr. 1990 UT, during about 20 minutes with the exposure times of 90 to 120 s. There are two main features in the disturbance; one is many bowed structures, which seem to move tailwards; and the other is a large-scale wavy structure. The bowed structures can be interpreted as arcade structures brushing the surface of both sides of the cometary plasma surrounding the nucleus. We identified thirteen structures of the arcades from each of the five photographs and calculated the relation between the distance of each structure from the cometary nucleus, chi, and the velocity, upsilon. The result is shown. This indicates that the velocity of the structures increases with distance. This is consistent with the result obtained from the observation at the Kiso Observatory.

  15. The solar wind structure that caused a large-scale disturbance of the plasma tail of comet Austin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozuka, Yukio; Konno, Ichishiro; Saito, Takao; Numazawa, Shigemi

    1992-12-01

    The plasma tail of Comet Austin (1989c1) showed remarkable disturbances because of the solar maximum periods and its orbit. Figure 1 shows photographs of Comet Austin taken in Shibata, Japan, on 29 Apr. 1990 UT, during about 20 minutes with the exposure times of 90 to 120 s. There are two main features in the disturbance; one is many bowed structures, which seem to move tailwards; and the other is a large-scale wavy structure. The bowed structures can be interpreted as arcade structures brushing the surface of both sides of the cometary plasma surrounding the nucleus. We identified thirteen structures of the arcades from each of the five photographs and calculated the relation between the distance of each structure from the cometary nucleus, chi, and the velocity, upsilon. The result is shown. This indicates that the velocity of the structures increases with distance. This is consistent with the result obtained from the observation at the Kiso Observatory.

  16. Curved tails in polymerization-based bacterial motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutenberg, Andrew D.; Grant, Martin

    2001-08-01

    The curved actin ``comet-tail'' of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is a visually striking signature of actin polymerization-based motility. Similar actin tails are associated with Shigella flexneri, spotted-fever Rickettsiae, the Vaccinia virus, and vesicles and microspheres in related in vitro systems. We show that the torque required to produce the curvature in the tail can arise from randomly placed actin filaments pushing the bacterium or particle. We find that the curvature magnitude determines the number of actively pushing filaments, independent of viscosity and of the molecular details of force generation. The variation of the curvature with time can be used to infer the dynamics of actin filaments at the bacterial surface.

  17. H2O(+) structures in the inner plasma tail of comet Austin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jockers, Klaus; Bonev, T.; Geyer, E. H.

    1992-01-01

    We present images of comet Austin 1989c1 in the light of H2O(+) from which the contribution of the dust continuum and the gas coma was completely removed. We describe the behavior of the H2O(+) plasma in the inner coma where it is reliably observed for the first time.

  18. Photoelectric polarimetry of the tail of comet Ikey-Seki (1975 VIII)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinberg, J. L.; Beeson, D. E.

    1976-01-01

    Post-perihelion measurements of Comet 1965 VIII made on four nights in October-November 1965 using a Fabry photometer atop 3,052 m Mt. Haleakala, Hawaii are described. Detailed results of observations at 5300A on October 29, 1965 are presented.

  19. Interaction of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6 with a possibly flare-generated solar-wind disturbance

    SciTech Connect

    Niedner, M.B. Jr.; Brandt, J.C.; Zwickl, R.D.; Bame, S.J.

    1982-01-01

    Solar-wind plasma data from the ISEE-3 and Helios 2 spacecraft have been examined in order to explain a uniquely rapid 10/sup 0/ turning of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6. An earlier study conducted before the availability of in situ solar-wind data (Brandt et al., 1980) suggested that the tail position angle change occurred in response to a solar-wind velocity shear across which the polar component changed by approx. 50 km s/sup -1/. The present contribution confirms this result and further suggests that the comet-tail activity was caused by non-corotating, disturbed plasma flows probably associated with an Importance 1B solar flare.

  20. Interaction of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6 with a possibly flare-generated solar-wind disturbance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Brandt, J. C.; Zwickl, R. D.; Bame, S. J.

    1983-01-01

    Solar-wind plasma data from the ISEE-3 and Helios 2 spacecraft were examined in order to explain a uniquely rapid 10 deg turning of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979l on 1980 February 6. An earlier study conducted before the availability of in situ solar-wind data (Brandt et al., 1980) suggested that the tail position angle change occurred in response to a solar-wind velocity shear across the polar component changed by approximately 50 km/s. The present contribution confirms this result and further suggests that the comet-tail activity was caused by non-corotating, disturbed plasma flows probably associated with an Importance 1B solar flare.

  1. Ion morphology in the inner tail of Comet P/Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoban, Susan; Ahearn, Michael F.; Birch, Peter V.; Candy, Michael P.; Martin, Ralph; Klinglesmith, Daniel A., III

    1986-01-01

    Comet Halley CCD images taken in the light of CO(+) and H2O(+) were analyzed. Most of the ionic emission originates in a diffuse component on which the ion ray structure appears to be superimposed. On average, the peak enhancement in the CO(+) rays is 20% over the adjacent minima, where the emission is due to the underlying component. The H2O(+):CO(+) ratio varies by as much as 30% from ray to ray.

  2. On the nature of the anti-tail of Comet Kohoutek /1973f/. II - Comparison of the working model with ground-based photographic observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.; Miller, F. D.

    1976-01-01

    On the basis of photographic observations made at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, the radial and transverse brightness profiles and time variations in the surface brightness of the anti-tail of Comet Kohoutek were examined. In the process of photometric reduction one-dimensional radial tracings passing through the comet's nucleus and covering the entire anti-tail were used in the place of the standard two-dimensional scans. Each radial scan was defined by the position angle, and 'noise' variations were interpolated from the known field brightness outside the anti-tail. An analysis of the results provides quantitative support for a previously proposed model (Sekanina, 1974) suggesting that the dust particles in the anti-tail suffered a significant loss in radius due to evaporation near the perihelion passage. Preliminary calculations indicate that only particles initially larger than 100-150 micrometers in diameter survived. The emission rate of dust may be comparable to those derived for Comets Arend-Roland (1957 III) and Bennett (1970 II).

  3. Podosome-like structures of non-invasive carcinoma cells are replaced in epithelial-mesenchymal transition by actin comet-embedded invadopodia

    PubMed Central

    Takkunen, Minna; Hukkanen, Mika; Liljeström, Mikko; Grenman, Reidar; Virtanen, Ismo

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Podosomes and invadopodia are actin-based structures at the ventral cell membrane, which have a role in cell adhesion, migration and invasion. Little is known about the differences and dynamics underlying these structures. We studied podosome-like structures of oral squamous carcinoma cells and invadopodia of their invasive variant that has undergone a spontaneous epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In 3D imaging, podosomes were relatively large structures that enlarged in time, whereas invadopodia of invasive cells remained small, but were more numerous, degraded more extracellular matrix (ECM) and were morphologically strikingly different from podosomes. In live-cell imaging, highly dynamic, invadopodia-embedded actin tails were frequently released and rocketed through the cytoplasm. Resembling invadopodia, we found new club-ended cell extensions in EMT-experienced cells, which contained actin, cortactin, vinculin and MT1-matrix metalloproteinase. These dynamic cell extensions degraded ECM and, in field emission scanning electron microscopy, protruded from the dorsal cell membrane. Plectin, αII-spectrin, talin and focal adhesion kinase immunoreactivities were detected in podosome rings, whereas they were absent from invadopodia. Tensin potentially replaced talin in invadopodia. Integrin α3β1 surrounded both podosomes and invadopodia, whereas integrin αvβ5 localized only to invadopodia heads. Pacsin 2, in conjunction with filamin A, was detected early in podosomes, whereas pacsin 2 was not found in invadopodia and filamin A showed delayed accumulation. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching indicated faster reorganization of actin, cortactin and filamin A in podosomes compared to invadopodia. In conclusion, EMT affects the invasion machinery of oral squamous carcinoma cells. Non-invasive squamous carcinoma cells constitutively organize podosomes, whereas invasive cells form invadopodia. The club-ended cell extensions, or externalized

  4. Dynamical and photometric investigation of cometary type 2 tails. [comet Kohoutek antitail model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1974-01-01

    Photographic observations of the antitail of Comet Kohoutek (1973f) are photometrically studied and the results compared with the working model of an antitail. The applied technique of photometric reduction is described and the radial and transverse profiles of the antitail, corrected for the effects of the variable intensity of the sky background, are derived. The most important result reached so far is a quantitative confirmation of the previously suggested hypothesis, arguing that dust particles in the antitail suffered a significant loss in radius due to evaporation near the perihelion passage. Only particles initially larger than 0.1 to 0.15 mm in diameter survived. Numerically, however, this result is still tentative, because the dynamical effect exerted by particle evaporation remains to be accounted for.

  5. Interaction of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6 with a possibly flare-generated solar-wind disturbance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Brandt, J. C.; Zwickl, R. D.; Bame, S. J.

    1983-01-01

    Solar wind plasma data from the ISEE-3 and Helios 2 spacecraft were examined to explain a uniquely rapid 10 deg turning of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6. It was suggested that the tail position angle change occurred in response to a solar wind velocity shear across which the polar component changed by approx. 50 km s-1. The present activity was caused by noncorotating, disturbed plasma flows probably associated with an Importance 1B solar flare.

  6. Interaction of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6 with a possibly flare-generated solar-wind disturbance

    SciTech Connect

    Niedner, M.B. Jr.; Brandt, J.C.; Zwickl, R.D.; Bame, S.J.

    1983-11-01

    Solar wind plasma data from the ISEE-3 and Helios 2 spacecraft were examined to explain a uniquely rapid 10 deg turning of the plasma tail of comet Bradfield 1979L on 1980 February 6. It was suggested that the tail position angle change occurred in response to a solar wind velocity shear across which the polar component changed by approx. 50 km s-1. The present activity was caused by noncorotating, disturbed plasma flows probably associated with an Importance 1B solar flare.

  7. The tail domain of myosin M catalyses nucleotide exchange on Rac1 GTPases and can induce actin-driven surface protrusions.

    PubMed

    Geissler, H; Ullmann, R; Soldati, T

    2000-05-01

    Members of the myosin superfamily play crucial roles in cellular processes including management of the cortical cytoskeleton, organelle transport and signal transduction. GTPases of the Rho family act as key control elements in the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton in response to growth factors, and other functions such as membrane trafficking, transcriptional regulation, growth control and development. Here, we describe a novel unconventional myosin from Dictyostelium discoideum, MyoM. Primary sequence analysis revealed that it has the appearance of a natural chimera between a myosin motor domain and a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) domain for Rho GTPases. The functionality of both domains was established. Binding of the motor domain to F-actin was ATP-dependent and potentially regulated by phosphorylation. The GEF domain displayed selective activity on Rac1-related GTPases. Overexpression, rather than absence of MyoM, affected the cell morphology and viability. Particularly in response to hypo-osmotic stress, cells overexpressing the MyoM tail domain extended massive actin-driven protrusions. The GEF was enriched at the tip of growing protuberances, probably through its pleckstrin homology domain. MyoM is the first unconventional myosin containing an active Rac-GEF domain, suggesting a role at the interface of Rac-mediated signal transduction and remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton. PMID:11208126

  8. Novel automatic detection of pleura and B-lines (comet-tail artifacts) on in vivo lung ultrasound scans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moshavegh, Ramin; Hansen, Kristoffer Lindskov; Møller Sørensen, Hasse; Hemmsen, Martin Christian; Ewertsen, Caroline; Nielsen, Michael Bachmann; Jensen, Jørgen Arendt

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents a novel automatic method for detection of B-lines (comet-tail artifacts) in lung ultrasound scans. B-lines are the most commonly used artifacts for analyzing the pulmonary edema. They appear as laser-like vertical beams, which arise from the pleural line and spread down without fading to the edge of the screen. An increase in their number is associated with presence of edema. All the scans used in this study were acquired using a BK3000 ultrasound scanner (BK Ultrasound, Denmark) driving a 192-element 5:5 MHz wide linear transducer (10L2W, BK Ultrasound). The dynamic received focus technique was employed to generate the sequences. Six subjects, among those three patients after major surgery and three normal subjects, were scanned once and Six ultrasound sequences each containing 50 frames were acquired. The proposed algorithm was applied to all 300 in-vivo lung ultrasound images. The pleural line is first segmented on each image and then the B-line artifacts spreading down from the pleural line are detected and overlayed on the image. The resulting 300 images showed that the mean lateral distance between B-lines detected on images acquired from patients decreased by 20% in compare with that of normal subjects. Therefore, the method can be used as the basis of a method of automatically and qualitatively characterizing the distribution of B-lines.

  9. Differential resistance of mammalian sperm chromatin to oxidative stress as assessed by a two-tailed comet assay.

    PubMed

    Enciso, María; Johnston, Stephen D; Gosálvez, Jaime

    2011-01-01

    Protamines of eutherian species are cysteine-rich molecules that become cross-linked by disulfide bonds during epididymal transit, whereas the protamines of most marsupial species lack cysteine residuals. The present study made use of the differences in protamine structure between eutherian and metatherian mammal spermatozoa to examine the comparative resistance of sperm DNA to oxidative damage in three eutherian species (Mus musculus, Homo sapiens, Sus domesticus) and three metatherian species (Vombatus ursinus, Phascolarctos cinereus, Macropus giganteus). Sperm DNA fragmentation of samples exposed to increasing concentrations of hydrogen peroxide was assessed by means of the two-tailed comet assay. The sperm DNA of the marsupial species studied were significantly more sensitive to oxidative stress than the spermatozoa of eutherian species. Such susceptibility is consistent with the lack of disulfide cross-linking in marsupial sperm chromatin and suggests that the oxidation of thiols to disulfides for chromatin condensation during epididymal transit in eutherian mammals is likely to be important in order to provide stability and protect these cells from the genotoxic effects of adverse environments. PMID:21635811

  10. Curvature and torsion in growing actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaevitz, Joshua W.; Fletcher, Daniel A.

    2008-06-01

    Intracellular pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and Rickettsia rickettsii move within a host cell by polymerizing a comet-tail of actin fibers that ultimately pushes the cell forward. This dense network of cross-linked actin polymers typically exhibits a striking curvature that causes bacteria to move in gently looping paths. Theoretically, tail curvature has been linked to details of motility by considering force and torque balances from a finite number of polymerizing filaments. Here we track beads coated with a prokaryotic activator of actin polymerization in three dimensions to directly quantify the curvature and torsion of bead motility paths. We find that bead paths are more likely to have low rather than high curvature at any given time. Furthermore, path curvature changes very slowly in time, with an autocorrelation decay time of 200 s. Paths with a small radius of curvature, therefore, remain so for an extended period resulting in loops when confined to two dimensions. When allowed to explore a three-dimensional (3D) space, path loops are less evident. Finally, we quantify the torsion in the bead paths and show that beads do not exhibit a significant left- or right-handed bias to their motion in 3D. These results suggest that paths of actin-propelled objects may be attributed to slow changes in curvature, possibly associated with filament debranching, rather than a fixed torque.

  11. An Integrated Modeling Study for Coordinated Observations of H, O, OH, and H2O(+) Emissions in the Coma and Ion Tail of the Comet Hale-Bopp

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smyth, William H.

    2001-01-01

    This project has two overall objectives. One objective is to advance our general understanding of both the comet neutral atmosphere and the cometary plasma in the atmosphere and ion tall. The other objective is to obtain specific key information about comet Hale-Bopp that is generally important for Hale-Bopp studies. The primary emphasis in this project is to analyze, in a self-consistent manner, excellent quality high resolution image and line profile observations obtained by the University of Wisconsin for H, O, OH, and H2O+ emissions from the inner coma, outer coma, and ion tail of Hale-Bopp. The information on the spatial and velocity distributions of H2O neutral and ionized photo-products in the inner coma, outer coma, and in the H2O+ ion tail is of substantial and direct importance in the development of an integrated understanding of the complex structure and dynamics of the neutral and plasma species in the atmosphere of Hale-Bopp in particular and comets in general. The H2O production rate of Hale-Bopp is determined and, together with the other information related to the structure and dynamics of the neutral and plasma atmospheres obtained in this study, provide critical information important for a wide variety of research conducted by other groups.

  12. First images of a possible CO(+)-tail of comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 observed against the dust coma background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jockers, Klaus; Bonev, T.; Ivanova, Violeta; Rauer, H.

    1992-01-01

    Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 was observed with the 2m-Ritchey-Cretien Telescope of the Bulgarian National Observatory, Rozhen, Bulgaria, using the CCD-camera and focal reducer of the Max-Planck-Institute for Aeronomy. Images were taken in a red continuum window and in the 2-0 A(exp 2)Pi - X(exp 2)Sigma(+) band of CO(+) located in the blue part of the spectrum. The red images reveal an extended dust coma. From a comparison of the red and blue images a dust reddening of 13.2 percent per 1000 A is derived. At 642 nm the magnitude of the comet with a square diaphragm of 4.5 arcsec is 16.6. The blue images, taken in the CO(+) band, show a significantly different brightness distribution which is interpreted as presence of a CO(+) coma and tail superimposed on the continuum. A column density of several 10(exp 10) CO(+) molecules cm(exp -2) is derived. The tail thickness of 10(exp 5) km is unexpectedly small. We estimate the CO(+) production rate to about 6 x 10(exp 26) CO(+) particles s(exp -1). This value does not support the idea that the outbursts of this comet are caused by crystallization of amorphous water ice.

  13. Current ideas on the nature of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahe, J.

    1984-01-01

    The chemical composition, emission and line spectra, and structure of comet nuclei, cometary atmospheres, and comet tails are discussed. The role of ultraviolet and infrared astronomy in defining comets is examined.

  14. Comet of the Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaaf, Fred; Ottewell, G.

    The present century has been a disappointing one for comets, but past centuries often featured spectacular, unforgettable comet shows that dominated the night (and even daytime) sky for months: comets that outshone Venus or even the Moon, whose spectacular tails stretched more than halfway across the sky or were weirdly split, and whose apparition was held responsible for everything from wars to unusually good wine vintages. Published to coincide with the first naked-eye appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp, perhaps our own comet of the century, this book is an irresistible guide to comet facts and lore throughout history.

  15. Visual estimation of the percentage of DNA in the tail in the comet assay: evaluation of different approaches in an intercomparison exercise.

    PubMed

    García, Omar; Romero, Ivonne; González, Jorge Ernesto; Moreno, Damaris L; Cuétara, Elizabeth; Rivero, Yesenia; Gutiérrez, Ariadne; Pérez, Carlos L; Alvarez, Aimée; Carnesolta, Deyanira; Guevara, Irania

    2011-02-28

    One of the difficulties in the comparison of results between laboratories working with the comet assay is the great diversity of parameters used to express DNA damage and the lack of conversion factors between the majority of them. Here we report a scorer-independent conversion curve to transform the values of DNA damage reported in arbitrary units (AU) into estimated percentage of DNA in the tail (E%T), and the results obtained in an intercomparison exercise where the effectiveness of this curve and two others proposed in the literature (E%T=AU/4 and E%T=(AU/5)+10) were tested. To obtain the conversion curve, human lymphocytes were first treated with radiation or H(2)O(2). Percentage of DNA in tail (%T) was then measured in 2100 comets (300 comets per treatment) using Casp image analysis software. Subsequently, using these values of %T, categories of 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 were assigned to comets with %T [0-1), [1-25), [25-45), [45-70), and >70, and DNA damage was calculated in AU, as usual. DNA damage was induced in the interval 24-315AU (1.54-65.23%T). The best-fit conversion curve obtained by regression analysis was E%T=(AU-25.87)/4.46. In the intercomparison exercise, ten scorers from nine laboratories analyzed the same comet images (recorded on a compact disc) visually. The values reported in comet categories were transformed into AU and subsequently into E%T, using the three approaches mentioned above. The best agreement between E%T and %T measured by the software (S%T) was obtained with the conversion curve reported here, where the slope of E%T versus S%T from the ten scorers was not different from 1. Using this conversion curve, the overall mean difference between E%T and S%T was 1.4±2.62 and 57 (81%) of E%T values differ from S%T by less than 5 units. These findings show the strength of the scorer-independent conversion curve as a tool to compare results reported in AU or %T by different laboratories. PMID:21145414

  16. Halley's Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newburn, R. L., Jr.; Yeomans, D. K.

    1982-01-01

    Since 240 B.C., Chinese observers have documented a nearly unbroken record of scientifically useful observations of Periodic Comet Halley (P/Halley). Investigations of the comet's motion by Western astronomers are discussed, taking into account the first successful prediction of a cometary return by Halley (1705), computations conducted by Rosenberger (1830), and studies performed by Cowell and Crommelin (1910). Comet Halley's motion and nongravitational forces are considered along with meteor showers associated with P/Halley. The physical properties of P/Halley are examined, giving attention to the visual observations, the light curve of P/Halley, the coma, the tails, direct photographs, spectrograms, and the emission spectrum of P/Halley. Other subjects explored are related to the cometary nucleus, the mass of P/Halley, the rotation period and axial inclination, the composition, a nominal model of P/Halley's coma, and plans for investigations in connection with the coming apparition of Comet Halley.

  17. Plasma-tail activity and the interplanetary medium at Halley's Comet during Armada Week: 6-14 March 1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, Malcolm B., Jr.; Schwingenschuh, Konrad; Hoeksema, J. Todd; Dryer, Murray; Mcintosh, Patrick S.

    1987-01-01

    The encounters of five spacecraft with Halley's Comet during 6-14 March 1986 offered a unique opportunity to calibrate the solar-wind interaction with cometary plasmas as recorded by remote wide-field and narrow-field/narrowband imaging. Perhaps not generally recognized in the comet community is the additional opportunity offered by the Halley Armada to study the structure of the solar-wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) in three dimensions using five sets of data obtained over similar time intervals and heliocentric distances, but at somewhat different heliolatitudes. In fact, the two problems, i.e., comet physics and the structure of the interplanetary medium, are coupled if one wants to understand what conditions pertained at the comet between the encounters. This relationship is discussed.

  18. Spectra of the plasma tail of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner at the time of the ICE counter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Wehinger, P. A.; Konno, I.; Spinrad, Hyron; Belton, M. J. S.

    1986-01-01

    Ground-based CCD spectra of comet P/Giacobini-Zinner were obtained at the time of the ICE encounter. A spectral extraction gives the spectrum of the comet at the position and time of the spacecraft at midencounter. Column densities are given for neutral and ion molecules observed. The surface brightness profile for H2O(+) from 1000 km sunward to 34,600 km tailward obtained at the time of the encounter is also presented.

  19. Microtubule and Actin Interplay Drive Intracellular c-Src Trafficking.

    PubMed

    Arnette, Christopher; Frye, Keyada; Kaverina, Irina

    2016-01-01

    The proto-oncogene c-Src is involved in a variety of signaling processes. Therefore, c-Src spatiotemporal localization is critical for interaction with downstream targets. However, the mechanisms regulating this localization have remained elusive. Previous studies have shown that c-Src trafficking is a microtubule-dependent process that facilitates c-Src turnover in neuronal growth cones. As such, microtubule depolymerization lead to the inhibition of c-Src recycling. Alternatively, c-Src trafficking was also shown to be regulated by RhoB-dependent actin polymerization. Our results show that c-Src vesicles primarily exhibit microtubule-dependent trafficking; however, microtubule depolymerization does not inhibit vesicle movement. Instead, vesicular movement becomes both faster and less directional. This movement was associated with actin polymerization directly at c-Src vesicle membranes. Interestingly, it has been shown previously that c-Src delivery is an actin polymerization-dependent process that relies on small GTPase RhoB at c-Src vesicles. In agreement with this finding, microtubule depolymerization induced significant activation of RhoB, together with actin comet tail formation. These effects occurred downstream of GTP-exchange factor, GEF-H1, which was released from depolymerizing MTs. Accordingly, GEF-H1 activity was necessary for actin comet tail formation at the Src vesicles. Our results indicate that regulation of c-Src trafficking requires both microtubules and actin polymerization, and that GEF-H1 coordinates c-Src trafficking, acting as a molecular switch between these two mechanisms. PMID:26866809

  20. Microtubule and Actin Interplay Drive Intracellular c-Src Trafficking

    PubMed Central

    Arnette, Christopher; Frye, Keyada; Kaverina, Irina

    2016-01-01

    The proto-oncogene c-Src is involved in a variety of signaling processes. Therefore, c-Src spatiotemporal localization is critical for interaction with downstream targets. However, the mechanisms regulating this localization have remained elusive. Previous studies have shown that c-Src trafficking is a microtubule-dependent process that facilitates c-Src turnover in neuronal growth cones. As such, microtubule depolymerization lead to the inhibition of c-Src recycling. Alternatively, c-Src trafficking was also shown to be regulated by RhoB-dependent actin polymerization. Our results show that c-Src vesicles primarily exhibit microtubule-dependent trafficking; however, microtubule depolymerization does not inhibit vesicle movement. Instead, vesicular movement becomes both faster and less directional. This movement was associated with actin polymerization directly at c-Src vesicle membranes. Interestingly, it has been shown previously that c-Src delivery is an actin polymerization-dependent process that relies on small GTPase RhoB at c-Src vesicles. In agreement with this finding, microtubule depolymerization induced significant activation of RhoB, together with actin comet tail formation. These effects occurred downstream of GTP-exchange factor, GEF-H1, which was released from depolymerizing MTs. Accordingly, GEF-H1 activity was necessary for actin comet tail formation at the Src vesicles. Our results indicate that regulation of c-Src trafficking requires both microtubules and actin polymerization, and that GEF-H1 coordinates c-Src trafficking, acting as a molecular switch between these two mechanisms. PMID:26866809

  1. THE DUST ENVIRONMENT OF COMET 29P/SCHWASSMANN-WACHMANN 1 FROM DUST TAIL MODELING OF 2004 NEAR-PERIHELION OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Moreno, F.

    2009-07-15

    A Monte Carlo inverse dust tail modeling of ground-based images of comet 29P/Schwasssmann-Wachmann 1 has been performed. The images of the comet were acquired on several nights in 2004 July, a few days after the 2004 perihelion passage. The analysis takes into account the rotation properties of the comet, incorporating dust ejection from active areas on the nucleus surface. We demonstrate that these models provide a significant improvement over models with a fixed sunward hemispherical particle emission cone, owing to the observed coma asymmetry, giving an excellent fit to the observed intensity isophote fields. The rotation parameters, defined by the argument of the subsolar meridian at perihelion, {phi}, and the obliquity, I, are found to be compatible with those derived by Sekanina from morphological studies ({phi} = 279 deg. and I = 100 deg.). We found that if dust emission is assumed to be produced by a single active area driven by insolation, this must then be located on the southern hemisphere near -35{sup 0} latitude. We have devised a method to impose Af{rho}(t) constraints the overdetermined system of equations leading to the solution of the dust mass loss rates and size distribution function. When those constraints are applied, the time-averaged particle size distribution function was found to be characterized by a power law of index in the range -3.7 to -3.3, and a dust loss mass rate approximately in the nominal range of 300-900 kg s{sup -1}, depending on the different model approaches, and for an albedo time the phase function of 0.1, confirming the fact that this comet is perhaps the most active source of interplanetary dust, providing some 3%-10% of the mass required to replenish the losses of the interplanetary dust cloud if it is in a steady state.

  2. Spatially Resolved Spectroscopic Observations of Na and K in the Tail of Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, Anita L.; Wooden, D. H.; McKay, A. J.; Cauzzi, G.; Reardon, K.; Tozzi, G.

    2013-10-01

    We used the Dunn Solar Telescope (DST) of The National Solar Observatory to obtain spectroscopic observations of comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) on 13 and 14 March 2013. The DST has the advantage for comet observations that one can observe the comet when it is close to the Sun. At the time of our observations, comet PanSTARRS was at 0.31 and 0.32 AU heliocentric distance. We used the Horizontal Spectrograph to observe five different spectral regions of the coma. The resolving power was 50,000 - 60,000. The slit was 0.3 arcsec wide and 171 arcsec long. At the comet's geocentric distance, the slit covered 1.43e5 km. The comet was approximately centered on the slit. We observed strong emissions from sodium (D1@589.592nm and D2@588.995nm) and potassium (D1@770.108nm and D2@671.701nm), along with a weak continuum. Lithium was not detected. The sodium was visible on the optocenter and the tailward side of the comet and extended to the edge of the slit (i.e. at least 70,000km tailward). It shifted redward at larger cometocentric distances, attributable to the acceleration of sodium by solar radiation pressure. The potassium was much weaker than the sodium and does not appear to extend as far from the optocenter. In this paper, we will show the distribution of these gases and compare their relative strengths. We will discuss the effects of the different photodissociative lifetimes of sodium and potassium and how they dictate what we observed.

  3. COMET C/2011 W3 (LOVEJOY): ORBIT DETERMINATION, OUTBURSTS, DISINTEGRATION OF NUCLEUS, DUST-TAIL MORPHOLOGY, AND RELATIONSHIP TO NEW CLUSTER OF BRIGHT SUNGRAZERS

    SciTech Connect

    Sekanina, Zdenek; Chodas, Paul W. E-mail: Paul.W.Chodas@jpl.nasa.gov

    2012-10-01

    We describe the physical and orbital properties of C/2011 W3. After surviving perihelion passage, the comet was observed to undergo major physical changes. The permanent loss of the nuclear condensation and the formation of a narrow spine tail were observed first at Malargue, Argentina, on December 20 and then systematically at Siding Spring, Australia. The process of disintegration culminated with a terminal fragmentation event on December 17.6 UT. The postperihelion dust tail, observed for {approx}3 months, was the product of activity over <2 days. The nucleus' breakup and crumbling were probably caused by thermal stress due to the penetration of the intense heat pulse deep into the nucleus' interior after perihelion. The same mechanism may be responsible for cascading fragmentation of sungrazers at large heliocentric distances. The delayed response to the hostile environment in the solar corona is at odds with the rubble-pile model, since the residual mass of the nucleus, estimated at {approx}10{sup 12} g (equivalent to a sphere 150-200 m across) just before the terminal event, still possessed nontrivial cohesive strength. The high production rates of atomic oxygen, observed shortly after perihelion, are compatible with a subkilometer-sized nucleus. The spine tail-the product of the terminal fragmentation-was a synchronic feature, whose brightest part contained submillimeter-sized dust grains, released at velocities of up to 30 m s{sup -1}. The loss of the nuclear condensation prevented an accurate orbital-period determination by traditional techniques. Since the missing nucleus must have been located on the synchrone, whose orientation and sunward tip have been measured, we compute the astrometric positions of this missing nucleus as the coordinates of the points of intersection of the spine tail's axis with the lines of forced orbital-period variation, derived from the orbital solutions based on high-quality preperihelion astrometry from the ground. The

  4. Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy): Orbit Determination, Outbursts, Disintegration of Nucleus, Dust-tail Morphology, and Relationship to New Cluster of Bright Sungrazers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekanina, Zdenek; Chodas, Paul W.

    2012-10-01

    We describe the physical and orbital properties of C/2011 W3. After surviving perihelion passage, the comet was observed to undergo major physical changes. The permanent loss of the nuclear condensation and the formation of a narrow spine tail were observed first at Malargue, Argentina, on December 20 and then systematically at Siding Spring, Australia. The process of disintegration culminated with a terminal fragmentation event on December 17.6 UT. The postperihelion dust tail, observed for ~3 months, was the product of activity over <2 days. The nucleus' breakup and crumbling were probably caused by thermal stress due to the penetration of the intense heat pulse deep into the nucleus' interior after perihelion. The same mechanism may be responsible for cascading fragmentation of sungrazers at large heliocentric distances. The delayed response to the hostile environment in the solar corona is at odds with the rubble-pile model, since the residual mass of the nucleus, estimated at ~1012 g (equivalent to a sphere 150-200 m across) just before the terminal event, still possessed nontrivial cohesive strength. The high production rates of atomic oxygen, observed shortly after perihelion, are compatible with a subkilometer-sized nucleus. The spine tail—the product of the terminal fragmentation—was a synchronic feature, whose brightest part contained submillimeter-sized dust grains, released at velocities of up to 30 m s-1. The loss of the nuclear condensation prevented an accurate orbital-period determination by traditional techniques. Since the missing nucleus must have been located on the synchrone, whose orientation and sunward tip have been measured, we compute the astrometric positions of this missing nucleus as the coordinates of the points of intersection of the spine tail's axis with the lines of forced orbital-period variation, derived from the orbital solutions based on high-quality preperihelion astrometry from the ground. The resulting orbit gives 698

  5. Comet encounters

    SciTech Connect

    Birmingham, T. J.; Dessler, A. J.

    1988-01-01

    Data from spacecraft encounters with comets and the implications of these data for theoretical models are discussed in a collection of reviews and reports (all published after 1985). Topics addressed include mass loading effects in the unshocked solar wind (particles, waves, and fluctuations), boundaries, the shocked solar wind and the ionosphere, tail phenomena, remote observations at encounter, and dust. Extensive diagrams, graphs, and sample images are provided.

  6. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harris, Alan W. (Editor); Bowell, Edward (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    Papers from the conference are presented and cover the following topics with respect to asteroids, comets, and/or meteors: interplanetary dust, cometary atmospheres, atmospheric composition, comet tails, astronomical photometry, chemical composition, meteoroid showers, cometary nuclei, orbital resonance, orbital mechanics, emission spectra, radio astronomy, astronomical spectroscopy, photodissociation, micrometeoroids, cosmochemistry, and interstellar chemistry.

  7. The cause of two plasma-tail disconnection events in comet P/Haley during the ICE-Halley radial period

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brosius, J. W.; Holman, G. D.; Niedner, M. B.; Brandt, J. C.; Slavin, J. A.; Smith, E. J.

    1987-01-01

    The causes of two plasma-tail disconnection events (DEs), which occurred in Halley's comet on March 20-22 and April 11-12, 1986, during the ICE-Halley radial period, are analyzed using the ICE magnetometer and electron plasma data. It is concluded that the DE of March 20-22 was most likely caused by an IMF polarity reversal. The DE of April 11-12 on the other hand, is attributed to either a compression region in the solar wind, an IMF polarity reversal, or a combination of the two. Assuming that the two DEs are due to frontside reconnection after an IMF reversal, it was estimated that the time period between the onset of reconnection and the final disconnection of the tail is between 0.1 and 0.6 day, suggesting that the average speed at which reconnection proceeds through the cometary magnetic field pile-up region is between 1 and 6 km/sec, or several tenths of the local Alfven speed.

  8. A Million Comet Pieces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] A Million Comet Pieces (poster version)

    This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the broken Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 skimming along a trail of debris left during its multiple trips around the sun. The flame-like objects are the comet's fragments and their tails, while the dusty comet trail is the line bridging the fragments.

    Comet 73P /Schwassman-Wachmann 3 began to splinter apart in 1995 during one of its voyages around the sweltering sun. Since then, the comet has continued to disintegrate into dozens of fragments, at least 36 of which can be seen here. Astronomers believe the icy comet cracked due the thermal stress from the sun.

    The Spitzer image provides the best look yet at the trail of debris left in the comet's wake after its 1995 breakup. The observatory's infrared eyes were able to see the dusty comet bits and pieces, which are warmed by sunlight and glow at infrared wavelengths. This comet debris ranges in size from pebbles to large boulders. When Earth passes near this rocky trail every year, the comet rubble burns up in our atmosphere, lighting up the sky in meteor showers. In 2022, Earth is expected to cross close to the comet's trail, producing a noticeable meteor shower.

    Astronomers are studying the Spitzer image for clues to the comet's composition and how it fell apart. Like NASA's Deep Impact experiment, in which a probe smashed into comet Tempel 1, the cracked Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 provides a perfect laboratory for studying the pristine interior of a comet.

    This image was taken from May 4 to May 6 by Spitzer's multi-band imaging photometer, using its 24-micron wavelength channel.

  9. The Comet Halley Handbook: An Observer's Guide. Second Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeomans, Donald K.

    This handbook contains information on: (1) the orbit of comet Halley; (2) the expected physical behavior of comet Halley in 1985-1986, considering brightness estimates, coma diameters, and tail lengths; (3) observing conditions for comet Halley in 1985-1986; and (4) observing conditions for the dust tail of comet Halley in 1985-1986. Additional…

  10. Systematic mutational analysis of the amino-terminal domain of the Listeria monocytogenes ActA protein reveals novel functions in actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Lauer, P; Theriot, J A; Skoble, J; Welch, M D; Portnoy, D A

    2001-12-01

    The Listeria monocytogenes ActA protein acts as a scaffold to assemble and activate host cell actin cytoskeletal factors at the bacterial surface, resulting in directional actin polymerization and propulsion of the bacterium through the cytoplasm. We have constructed 20 clustered charged-to-alanine mutations in the NH2-terminal domain of ActA and replaced the endogenous actA gene with these molecular variants. These 20 clones were evaluated in several biological assays for phenotypes associated with particular amino acid changes. Additionally, each protein variant was purified and tested for stimulation of the Arp2/3 complex, and a subset was tested for actin monomer binding. These specific mutations refined the two regions involved in Arp2/3 activation and suggest that the actin-binding sequence of ActA spans 40 amino acids. We also identified a 'motility rate and cloud-to-tail transition' region in which nine contiguous mutations spanning amino acids 165-260 caused motility rate defects and changed the ratio of intracellular bacteria associated with actin clouds and comet tails without affecting Arp2/3 activation. Several unusual motility phenotypes were associated with amino acid changes in this region, including altered paths through the cytoplasm, discontinuous actin tails in host cells and the tendency to 'skid' or dramatically change direction while moving. These unusual phenotypes illustrate the complexity of ActA functions that control the actin-based motility of L. monocytogenes.

  11. Systematic mutational analysis of the amino-terminal domain of the Listeria monocytogenes ActA protein reveals novel functions in actin-based motility.

    PubMed

    Lauer, P; Theriot, J A; Skoble, J; Welch, M D; Portnoy, D A

    2001-12-01

    The Listeria monocytogenes ActA protein acts as a scaffold to assemble and activate host cell actin cytoskeletal factors at the bacterial surface, resulting in directional actin polymerization and propulsion of the bacterium through the cytoplasm. We have constructed 20 clustered charged-to-alanine mutations in the NH2-terminal domain of ActA and replaced the endogenous actA gene with these molecular variants. These 20 clones were evaluated in several biological assays for phenotypes associated with particular amino acid changes. Additionally, each protein variant was purified and tested for stimulation of the Arp2/3 complex, and a subset was tested for actin monomer binding. These specific mutations refined the two regions involved in Arp2/3 activation and suggest that the actin-binding sequence of ActA spans 40 amino acids. We also identified a 'motility rate and cloud-to-tail transition' region in which nine contiguous mutations spanning amino acids 165-260 caused motility rate defects and changed the ratio of intracellular bacteria associated with actin clouds and comet tails without affecting Arp2/3 activation. Several unusual motility phenotypes were associated with amino acid changes in this region, including altered paths through the cytoplasm, discontinuous actin tails in host cells and the tendency to 'skid' or dramatically change direction while moving. These unusual phenotypes illustrate the complexity of ActA functions that control the actin-based motility of L. monocytogenes. PMID:11886549

  12. Comets: Gases, ices, grains and plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkening, L. L.

    1981-01-01

    The program and abstracts of the 97 papers delivered at the colloquium are presented. Cometary nuclei, comet dust, the coma, ion tails, several comet missions, and cometary origin and evolution were discussed.

  13. Tuba stimulates intracellular N-WASP-dependent actin assembly.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Eva M; Makar, Robert S; Gertler, Frank B

    2006-07-01

    Tuba is a multidomain scaffolding protein that links cytoskeletal dynamics and membrane trafficking pathways. The N-terminus of Tuba binds dynamin1, and the C-terminus contains domains that can interact with signaling pathways and cytoskeletal regulatory elements. We investigated Tuba localization, distribution and function in B16 melanoma cells. Tuba overexpression stimulated dorsal ruffles that occurred independently of dynamin function. Tuba expression induced actin-driven motility of small puncta that required the C-terminal SH3, GEF and BAR domains. Additionally, Tuba was recruited to lipid vesicles generated by overexpression of phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase type Ialpha (PIP5Kalpha), localizing prominently to the head of the comets and at lower levels along the actin tail. We propose that Tuba facilitates dorsal ruffling of melanoma cells through direct interaction with actin-regulatory proteins and the recruitment of signaling molecules to lipid microdomains for the coordinated assembly of a cytoskeletal network. Knockdown of Tuba by RNA interference (RNAi) attenuated PIP5Kalpha-generated comet formation and the invasive behavior of B16 cells, implying that Tuba function is required for certain aspects of these processes. These results suggest first that Tuba-stimulated dorsal ruffling might represent a novel mechanism for the coordination of N-WASP-dependent cytoskeletal rearrangements and second that Tuba function is implicated in motility processes. PMID:16757518

  14. Comet Halley and its historic passages during the past millennium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legrand, J.-P.

    1986-03-01

    The March 12, 1759 return of Comet Halley verified Halley's hypothesis on the existence of periodic comets and supported Newton's principle of universal attraction. Comet Halley's appearances before the 16th century are traced and it is noted that the length of the comet's tail has varied greatly. The comet's rendezvous with ESA's satellite Giotto is discussed briefly.

  15. Comet Observations with SIRTF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.

    2003-01-01

    Comet observations are included in the programs of the Guaranteed Time Observers (GTO) on the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), scheduled to be in space and operational for five years beginning in late 2003. SIRTF is a cryogenic telescope with three basic instruments for imaging, photometry and spectroscopy from 3.6 m to 160 m. All of these capabilities will be used in studies of comets. The intent is to study the infrared radiation (emission) from comets (and dust tails, where relevant) in all stages of evolution, starting with Kuiper Belt objects and Centaurs (thermal emission at 24,70, and 160 m to derive dimensions and albedos). Active comets will be observed spectroscopically and in deep thermal images. Several known or suspected extinct comets will be observed spectroscopically (5-37 m) for information on their surface compositions. There are opportunities for Guest Observers (GO) to propose additional comet work. .

  16. Actinic Keratosis

    MedlinePlus

    ... rashes clinical tools newsletter | contact Share | Actinic Keratosis (Solar Keratosis) Information for adults A A A Actinic ... the touch. Overview Actinic keratoses, also known as solar keratoses, are small rough or scaly areas of ...

  17. Hunting Halley's comet.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celnik, W. E.

    1986-09-01

    Observers of bright comets have always been fascinated by the sight of these rare phenomena. However, it was as late as the 19th century that scientists started to make systematic observations of the appearance of comets and recorded them in the form of drawings and descriptions of comas and tails. Halley's comet in particular was observed intensively because the time of its return was weil known. The first photographic observations of the comet were made during its 1910 perihelion. A large number of photographs were taken using astronomical instruments of all dimensions showing structures within the extended ion tail and the bright coma. Pictures from that time are weil suited to be compared with recently obtained images of the 1986 appearance, although observing conditions were then much less favourable. Just when PI Halley was most active, at its brightest, and thus most interesting, namely during its perihelion passage, it was behind the Sun and unobservable. During the 2,000 years that observations of this comet have been recorded, there was only one appearance where the positions of Sun, Earth and comet were even worse for observations. In addition, the observing conditions in the northern hemisphere were extremely bad because at its best time the comet followed its path through the southern skies. Thus the only way to observe P/ Halley successfully after its perihelion passage was to got to the southern hemisphere. At a latitude of 30 degrees south the comet culminated near the zenith.

  18. Comet Halley remote plasma tail observations and in situ solar wind properties - Vega-1/2 IMF/plasma observations and ground-based optical observations from 1 December 1985 to 1 May 1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delva, Magda; Schwingenschuh, Konrad; Niedner, Malcolm B.; Gringauz, Konstantin I.

    1991-01-01

    General features of the solar wind plasma and the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) are studied for the time period of December 1, 1985 - May 1, 1986. Characteristics studied include corotating events, shocks, and sector boundaries in the IMF. For the same period, Comet Halley was near its perihelion and many ground-based observations of the plasma tail were made. They show interesting events such as tail substorms and disconnection events where the whole distant plasma tail seems to be disrupted from the part that is still attached to the cometary head. Several mechanisms have been produced to explain the cause of these events. The correlation between the IMF sector boundaries measured by Vega and the observed disconnection events are studied, noting that such a correlation would support the dayside reconnection explanation. It is found that only in 50 percent of the considered events does a correlation between these two phenomena exist. For the other cases, a sector boundary of the IMF sweeping over the comet cannot explain the occurrence of disruptions of the main plasma tail.

  19. Watching out for Halley's comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, David W.

    1985-01-01

    Halley's comet returns to the vicinity of the sun about every 76 years. Between August 1985 and the end of 1986 it is confidently expected that the comet will be brighter than 14th magnitude and thus, under ideal observing conditions, detectable with a telescope smaller than 15 cm objective diameter. The author reviews how one should go about observing Halley's comet using small telescopes, binoculars and the naked eye. Unfortunately, northern hemisphere observers will not be seeing a brilliant comet with a tail stretching from horizon to the zenith. For them, Halley's comet will appear as a silvery grey hazy object, like a small spherical mass of vapour. Southern hemisphere observers will be more fortunate and will, during March and April 1986, see both the head of the comet and a tail stretching about 30 degrees across the sky.

  20. Infrared imaging of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Telesco, Charles M.

    1988-01-01

    Thermal infrared imaging of comets provides fundamental information about the distribution of dust in their comae and tails. The imaging program at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) uses a unique 20-pixel bolometer array that was developed to image comets at 8 to 30 micrometer. These images provide the basis for: (1) characterizing the composition and size distribution of particles, (2) determining the mass-loss rates from cometary nuclei, and (3) describing the dynamics of the interaction between the dust and the solar radiation. Since the array became operational in 1985, researchers have produced a unique series of IR images of comets Giacobini-Zinner (GZ), Halley, and Wilson. That of GZ was the first groundbased thermal image ever made of a comet and was used to construct, with visible observations, an albedo map. Those data and dynamical analyses showed that GZ contained a population of large (approximately 300 micrometer), fluffy dust grains that formed a distinict inner tail. The accumulating body of images of various comets has also provided a basis for fruitfully intercomparing comet properties. Researchers also took advantage of the unique capabilities of the camera to resolve the inner, possible protoplanetary, disk of the star Beta Pictoris, while not a comet research program, that study is a fruitful additional application of the array to solar system astronomy.

  1. Phenotype characterization of embryoid body structures generated by a crystal comet effect tail in an intercellular cancer collision scenario

    PubMed Central

    Diaz, Jairo A; Murillo, Mauricio F

    2012-01-01

    Cancer is, by definition, the uncontrolled growth of autonomous cells that eventually destroy adjacent tissues and generate architectural disorder. However, this concept cannot be totally true. In three well documented studies, we have demonstrated that cancer tissues produce order zones that evolve over time and generate embryoid body structures in a space-time interval. The authors decided to revise the macroscopic and microscopic material in well-developed malignant tumors in which embryoid bodies were identified to determine the phenotype characterization that serves as a guideline for easy recognition. The factors responsible for this morphogenesis are physical, bioelectric, and magnetic susceptibilities produced by crystals that act as molecular designers for the topographic gradients that guide the surrounding silhouette and establish tissue head-tail positional identities. The structures are located in amniotic-like cavities and show characteristic somite-like embryologic segmentation. Immunophenotypic study has demonstrated exclusion factor positional identity in relation to enolase-immunopositive expression of embryoid body and human chorionic gonadotropin immunopositivity exclusion factor expression in the surrounding tissues. The significance of these observations is that they can also be predicted by experimental image data collected by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) accelerator at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in which two-beam subatomic collision particles in the resulting debris show hyperorder domains similar to those identified by us in intercellular cancer collisions. Our findings suggest that we are dealing with true reverse biologic system information in an activated collective cancer stem cell memory, in which physics participates in the elaboration of geometric complexes and chiral biomolecules that serve to build bodies with embryoid print as it develops during gestation. Reversal mechanisms in biology are intimately

  2. Modern Observational Techniques for Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C. (Editor); Greenberg, J. M. (Editor); Donn, B. (Editor); Rahe, J. (Editor)

    1981-01-01

    Techniques are discussed in the following areas: astrometry, photometry, infrared observations, radio observations, spectroscopy, imaging of coma and tail, image processing of observation. The determination of the chemical composition and physical structure of comets is highlighted.

  3. Control of actin-based motility through localized actin binding.

    PubMed

    Banigan, Edward J; Lee, Kun-Chun; Liu, Andrea J

    2013-12-01

    A wide variety of cell biological and biomimetic systems use actin polymerization to drive motility. It has been suggested that an object such as a bacterium can propel itself by self-assembling a high concentration of actin behind it, if it is repelled by actin. However, it is also known that it is essential for the moving object to bind actin. Therefore, a key question is how the actin tail can propel an object when it both binds and repels the object. We present a physically consistent Brownian dynamics model for actin-based motility that includes the minimal components of the dendritic nucleation model and allows for both attractive and repulsive interactions between actin and a moveable disc. We find that the concentration gradient of filamentous actin generated by polymerization is sufficient to propel the object, even with moderately strong binding interactions. Additionally, actin binding can act as a biophysical cap, and may directly control motility through modulation of network growth. Overall, this mechanism is robust in that it can drive motility against a load up to a stall pressure that depends on the Young's modulus of the actin network and can explain several aspects of actin-based motility.

  4. Studying comets with NEOWISE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, R.; Bauer, J.; Kramer, E.; Fernández, Y.; Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.

    2014-07-01

    The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission detected more than 150 comets during its all-sky survey between January 2010 and February 2011. The comets were imaged at 4 infrared wavelengths (3.4, 4.6, 12, and 22 microns). The large sample of both long-period and Jupiter-family comets observed at a range of heliocentric distances allows for systematic comparison of the properties of both dynamical families. Nucleus diameters and albedos, dust comae temperatures, CO and CO_{2} emission rates, and dust tail and trail morphologies are some of the properties studied with the WISE data. This work is being continued by the reactivated NEOWISE mission [1]. In 2013, the WISE spacecraft was brought out of hibernation to resume discovering, tracking, and characterizing small bodies in the Solar System by imaging the sky at solar elongations of ˜90° at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns. Since NEOWISE resumed its all-sky survey on December 23, 2013, 10 comets have been observed, including one previously-unknown long-period comet -- C/2014 C3 (NEOWISE). Of particular interest are the NEOWISE observations of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), which will have a close encounter with Mars in October 2014. NEOWISE observed this comet in January 2014 and will observe it twice more before the comet's close approach to Mars. NEOWISE will continue to operate until early 2017, greatly enhancing our understanding of cometary properties as studied in the infrared.

  5. Combination of lung ultrasound (a comet-tail sign) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in differentiating acute heart failure from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma as cause of acute dyspnea in prehospital emergency setting

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction We studied the diagnostic accuracy of bedside lung ultrasound (the presence of a comet-tail sign), N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and clinical assessment (according to the modified Boston criteria) in differentiating heart failure (HF)-related acute dyspnea from pulmonary (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/asthma)-related acute dyspnea in the prehospital setting. Methods Our prospective study was performed at the Center for Emergency Medicine, Maribor, Slovenia, between July 2007 and April 2010. Two groups of patients were compared: a HF-related acute dyspnea group (n = 129) and a pulmonary (asthma/COPD)-related acute dyspnea group (n = 89). All patients underwent lung ultrasound examinations, along with basic laboratory testing, rapid NT-proBNP testing and chest X-rays. Results The ultrasound comet-tail sign has 100% sensitivity, 95% specificity, 100% negative predictive value (NPV) and 96% positive predictive value (PPV) for the diagnosis of HF. NT-proBNP (cutoff point 1,000 pg/mL) has 92% sensitivity, 89% specificity, 86% NPV and 90% PPV. The Boston modified criteria have 85% sensitivity, 86% specificity, 80% NPV and 90% PPV. In comparing the three methods, we found significant differences between ultrasound sign and (1) NT-proBNP (P < 0.05) and (2) Boston modified criteria (P < 0.05). The combination of ultrasound sign and NT-proBNP has 100% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% NPV and 100% PPV. With the use of ultrasound, we can exclude HF in patients with pulmonary-related dyspnea who have positive NT-proBNP (> 1,000 pg/mL) and a history of HF. Conclusions An ultrasound comet-tail sign alone or in combination with NT-proBNP has high diagnostic accuracy in differentiating acute HF-related from COPD/asthma-related causes of acute dyspnea in the prehospital emergency setting. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01235182. PMID:21492424

  6. Bacterial Shape and ActA Distribution Affect Initiation of Listeria monocytogenes Actin-Based Motility

    PubMed Central

    Rafelski, Susanne M.; Theriot, Julie A.

    2005-01-01

    We have examined the process by which the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes initiates actin-based motility and determined the contribution of the variable surface distribution of the ActA protein to initiation and steady-state movement. To directly correlate ActA distributions to actin dynamics and motility of live bacteria, ActA was fused to a monomeric red fluorescent protein (mRFP1). Actin comet tail formation and steady-state bacterial movement rates both depended on ActA distribution, which in turn was tightly coupled to the bacterial cell cycle. Motility initiation was found to be a highly complex, multistep process for bacteria, in contrast to the simple symmetry breaking previously observed for ActA-coated spherical beads. F-actin initially accumulated along the sides of the bacterium and then slowly migrated to the bacterial pole expressing the highest density of ActA as a tail formed. Early movement was highly unstable with extreme changes in speed and frequent stops. Over time, saltatory motility and sensitivity to the immediate environment decreased as bacterial movement became robust at a constant steady-state speed. PMID:15980176

  7. A focal adhesion factor directly linking intracellularly motile Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria ivanovii to the actin-based cytoskeleton of mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, T; Ebel, F; Domann, E; Niebuhr, K; Gerstel, B; Pistor, S; Temm-Grove, C J; Jockusch, B M; Reinhard, M; Walter, U

    1995-04-01

    The surface-bound ActA polypeptide of the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is the sole listerial factor needed for recruitment of host actin filaments by intracellularly motile bacteria. Here we report that following Listeria infection the host vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), a microfilament- and focal adhesion-associated substrate of both the cAMP- and cGMP-dependent protein kinases, accumulates on the surface of intracytoplasmic bacteria prior to the detection of F-actin 'clouds'. VASP remains associated with the surface of highly motile bacteria, where it is polarly located, juxtaposed between one extremity of the bacterial surface and the front of the actin comet tail. Since actin filament polymerization occurs only at the very front of the tail, VASP exhibits properties of a host protein required to promote actin polymerization. Purified VASP binds directly to the ActA polypeptide in vitro. A ligand-overlay blot using purified radiolabelled VASP enabled us to identify the ActA homologue of the related intracellular motile pathogen, Listeria ivanovii, as a protein with a molecular mass of approximately 150 kDa. VASP also associates with actin filaments recruited by another intracellularly motile bacterial pathogen, Shigella flexneri. Hence, by the simple expedient of expressing surface-bound attractor molecules, bacterial pathogens effectively harness cytoskeletal components to achieve intracellular movement.

  8. Fluorescent in situ hybridization on comets: FISH comet.

    PubMed

    Shaposhnikov, Sergey; El Yamani, Naouale; Collins, Andrew R

    2015-01-01

    The DNA in eukaryotic cells is organized into loop domains that represent basic structural and functional units of chromatin packaging. The comet assay, a sensitive method for monitoring DNA damage and repair, involves electrophoresis of nucleoids comprising supercoiled DNA attached to the nuclear matrix. Breaks in the DNA relax the supercoiling and allow DNA loops to expand, and on electrophoresis to move towards the anode, giving the appearance of a comet tail. We use fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to investigate the structure of the chromatin within comet preparations and to study specific DNA sequences within comets. In this chapter we describe our FISH comets protocols, deal with some technical questions and outline the theory. FISH with comets should be useful to researchers interested in the structural organization of DNA and chromatin, the localization of DNA damage, and the kinetics of repair of damage. PMID:25827891

  9. Comet Halley and the solar wind

    SciTech Connect

    Sagdeev, R.Z.; Galeev, A.A.

    1987-03-01

    A qualitative model is presented for the formation and phenomena of a cometary tail. A comet encounters outward moving solar magnetic field lines. Gas and dust from the comet expand outward for several million kilometers and encounter and are stripped into ions by the solar wind. The particles become entwined in the broken solar field lines and spiral away from the sun, beyond the comet, at velocities of 400-500 km/sec, forming a plasma tail. Interplanetary magnetic field perturbations which result were, e.g., detected by the ICE spacecraft 28 million km from Comet Halley. Interactions among the comet bow shock, the solar wind, the IMF lines, and the outward flowing cometary material produce turbulence such as that observed in the tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner.

  10. Comet assay: rapid processing of multiple samples.

    PubMed

    McNamee, J P; McLean, J R; Ferrarotto, C L; Bellier, P V

    2000-03-01

    The present study describes modifications to the basic comet protocol that increase productivity and efficiency without sacrificing assay reliability. A simple technique is described for rapidly preparing up to 96 comet assay samples simultaneously. The sample preparation technique allows thin layers of agarose-embedded cells to be prepared in multiple wells attached to a flexible film of Gelbond, which improves the ease of manipulating and processing samples. To evaluate the effect of these modifications on assay sensitivity, dose-response curves are presented for DNA damage induced by exposure of TK6 cells to low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (0-10 microM) and for exposure of human lymphocytes to X-irradiation (0-100 cGy). The limit of detection of DNA damage induced by hydrogen peroxide in TK6 cells was observed to be 1 uM for all parameters (tail ratio, tail moment, tail length and comet length) while the limit of detection of DNA damage in human lymphocytes was 10 cGy for tail and comet length parameters, but 50 cGy for tail ratio and tail moment parameters. These results are similar to those previously reported using the conventional alkaline comet assay. The application of SYBR Gold for detection of DNA damage was compared to that of propidium iodide. Measurements of matching samples for tail length and comet length were similar using both stains. However, comets stained with SYBR Gold persisted longer and were much brighter than those obtained with propidium iodide. SYBR Gold was found to be ideal for measuring tail length and comet length but, under present assay conditions, impractical for measuring tail ratio or tail moment due to saturation of staining in the head region of the comets. PMID:10751727

  11. Comets: Scientific data and missions; Proceedings of the Tucson Comet Conference, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz., April 8, 9, 1970.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuiper, G. P. (Editor); Roemer, E.

    1972-01-01

    Current knowledge of comets is surveyed, and comet-rendezvous mission constraints, opportunities, modes, and spacecraft capabilities are discussed. Attention is given to cometary nuclei, infrared measurements of comets, the nature and origin of the cometary head, L-alpha photometry of Comet Bennett, Types I and II tails, comet spectra and orbits, and evidence from stream meteoroids. Some scientific criteria for a cometary mission are considered. Individual items are announced in this issue.

  12. Actinic keratosis

    MedlinePlus

    Solar keratosis; Sun-induced skin changes - keratosis; Keratosis - actinic (solar) ... Actinic keratosis is caused by exposure to sunlight. You are more likely to develop it if you: Have fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair Had a ...

  13. Report of the Comet Science Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    General scientific questions and measurement objectives that can be addressed on a first comet mission relate to: (1) the chemical nature and the physical structure of comet nuclei as well as the changes that occur as functions of time and orbital position; (2) the chemical and physical nature of the atmospheres and ionospheres of comets, the processes which occur in them, and the development of these atmospheres and ionospheres as functions of time and orbital position; and (3) the nature of comet tails, the processes by which they are formed, and the interaction of comets with the solar wind. Capabilities of the various instruments required are discussed.

  14. Atlas of Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoyan, Ronald; Dunlop, Storm

    2015-01-01

    Foreword; Using this book; Part I. Introduction: Cometary beliefs and fears; Comets in art; Comets in literature and poetry; Comets in science; Cometary science today; Great comets in antiquity; Great comets of the Middle Ages; Part II. The 30 Greatest Comets of Modern Times: The Great Comet of 1471; Comet Halley 1531; The Great Comet of 1556; The Great Comet of 1577; Comet Halley, 1607; The Great Comet of 1618; The Great Comet of 1664; Comet Kirch, 1680; Comet Halley, 1682; The Great Comet of 1744; Comet Halley, 1759; Comet Messier, 1769; Comet Flaugergues, 1811; Comet Halley, 1835; The Great March Comet of 1843; Comet Donati, 1858; Comet Tebbutt, 1861; The Great September Comet of 1882; The Great January Comet of 1910; Comet Halley, 1910; Comet Arend-Roland, 1956; Comet Ikeya-Seki, 1965; Comet Bennett, 1970; Comet Kohoutek, 1973-4; Comet West, 1976; Comet Halley, 1986; Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, 1994; Comet Hyakutake, 1996; Comet Hale-Bopp, 1997; Comet McNaught, 2007; Part III. Appendices; Table of comet data; Glossary; References; Photo credits; Index.

  15. Actinic Cheilitis

    MedlinePlus

    ... is a precancerous condition related to cumulative lifetime sun exposure. The lower lip is most often affected. Individuals ... Wearing barrier clothing (eg, wide-brimmed hats) and sunscreen-containing lip balms can aid in preventing actinic ...

  16. Physics of comets

    SciTech Connect

    Swamy, K.S.K.

    1986-01-01

    This book deals systematically with the physics of comets in the light of our present knowledge about various aspects of cometary phenomena and the problems that require further attention. The basic aspects, methods and models that have been used extensively at the present time for the interpretation of cometary observations are fully discussed. Contents: General Introduction; Orbital Dynamics; Atomic Physics; Spectra; Spectra of Coma; Gas Production Rates; Dust Tail; Light Scattering Theory; Nature of the Dust Particle; Ion Tails; Nucleus; Origins; Problems and Prospects.

  17. Connections between comets and plasmas in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scarf, F. L.

    1979-01-01

    The dynamical processes in the cometary system represent unusual examples of very important, widespread natural phenomena. Topics covered include: (1) the comet as an obstacle in the solar wind; (2) the nature of the plasma flow; (3) collisionless shocks; and (4) plasma processes in the comet tail.

  18. MHD models for Sun-grazing comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Ying-Dong; Shou, Yin-Si; Russell, Christopher T.; Combi, Michael R.; Hansen, Kenneth C.

    2014-05-01

    Sun-grazing comets have high orbital eccentricities and low perihelia. They travel between the outer solar system and the lower corona. Recent advances in spacecraft imaging capabilities have enabled us to observe these comets with high resolution both in time and space. These comets exhibit rich tail activity in the lower corona, even multiple tails. Sun-grazing comets interact with the coronal plasma in a very different way, than in the conventional models of comet-solar wind interactions. The parameters, scales, and chemistry are very different. In this study, we have simplified the interaction into two different baseline models. In the first model we show the comet appearance in sub-Alfvenic solar wind. A single-fluid MHD model is applied to comet C2012 S1 (ISON) conditions. In the second model we adopt the chemical reactions with extreme ionization rates around the perihelion of comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy). We use our multi-fluid model to track all charge states of oxygen, from O+ to O6+. These steady-state models can be used to explain the chronicle of comet tail appearance as it approaches perihelion.

  19. Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, Robert

    2000-05-01

    Spectacular and mysterious objects that come and go in the night sky, comets have dwelt in our popular culture for untold ages. As remnants from the formation of the Solar system, they are objects of key scientific research and space missions. As one of nature's most potent and dramatic dangers, they pose a threat to our safety--and yet they were the origin of our oceans and perhaps even life itself. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the biggest and most awe-inspiring of all comets: those that have earned the title "Great." Robert Burnham focuses on the Great comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997, which gripped attention worldwide because, for many, they were the first comets ever seen. He places these two recent comets in the context of their predecessors from past ages, among them the famous Comet Halley. Great Comets explains the exciting new discoveries that have come from these magnificent objects and profiles the spaceprobes to comets due for launch in the next few years. The book even takes a peek behind Hollywood's science-fiction fantasies to assess the real risks humanity faces from potential impacts of both comets and asteroids. For everyone interested in astronomy, this exciting book reveals the secrets of the Great Comets and provides essential tools for keeping up to date with comet discoveries in the future. Robert Burnham has been an amateur astronomer since the mid-1950s. He has been a senior editor of Astronomy magazine (1986-88) and is the author of many books and CD-ROMS, including Comet Hale-Bopp: Find and Enjoy the Great Comet and Comet Explorer.

  20. Periodic Comet Machholz and its idiosyncrasies

    SciTech Connect

    Sekanina, Z. )

    1990-04-01

    The dynamics and physical characteristics of Comet P/Machholz are analyzed. The discovery of the comet (Machholz, 1986) is discussed, including the observational conditions and the theory that the comet is inactive over extensive periods of time. Consideration is given to observations of the two tails of Comet P/Machholz (Emerson, 1986), the brightness variations and light curve of the comet, and nuclear photometry of the comet (Green, 1987). It is suggested that the increase in activity beginning one day after perihelion was triggered by a discrete source within 15 deg of the rotation pole that became sunlit after perihelion. Also, the possibility that Comet P/Machholz is associated with a meteor stream is examined. 45 refs.

  1. Infrared imaging of the coma of Comet Wilson

    SciTech Connect

    Campins, H.; Lien, D.J.; Decher, R.; Telesco, C.M.; Clifton, K.S.; Kansas State Univ., Manhattan; NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL )

    1989-08-01

    The brightness of the nuclear condensation noted in March 13-15, 1987 thermal IR images of Comet Wilson did not vary, in contrast to Comet Halley's behavior; a dynamical analysis of the dust coma/tail structure establishes that the particle size distribution in this comet, while different from that of Comet Giacobini-Zinner, is nevertheless more similar to that in Comet Halley. The nonisotropic character of the dust ejection is taken to be evidence for prograde rotation of the nucleus, and it is speculated that Comet Wilson is too young to have developed a dust mantle; this would account for the lack of short time scale variability. 25 refs.

  2. Structural basis for the phosphorylation-regulated interaction between the cytoplasmic tail of cell polarity protein crumbs and the actin-binding protein moesin.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhiyi; Li, Youjun; Ye, Fei; Zhang, Mingjie

    2015-05-01

    The type I transmembrane protein crumbs (Crb) plays critical roles in the establishment and maintenance of cell polarities in diverse tissues. As such, mutations of Crb can cause different forms of cancers. The cell intrinsic role of Crb in cell polarity is governed by its conserved, 37-residue cytoplasmic tail (Crb-CT) via binding to moesin and protein associated with Lin7-1 (PALS1). However, the detailed mechanism governing the Crb·moesin interaction and the balance of Crb in binding to moesin and PALS1 are not well understood. Here we report the 1.5 Å resolution crystal structure of the moesin protein 4.1/ezrin/radixin/moesin (FERM)·Crb-CT complex, revealing that both the canonical FERM binding motif and the postsynaptic density protein-95/Disc large-1/Zonula occludens-1 (PDZ) binding motif of Crb contribute to the Crb·moesin interaction. We further demonstrate that phosphorylation of Crb-CT by atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) disrupts the Crb·moesin association but has no impact on the Crb·PALS1 interaction. The above results indicate that, upon the establishment of the apical-basal polarity in epithelia, apical-localized aPKC can actively prevent the Crb·moesin complex formation and thereby shift Crb to form complex with PALS1 at apical junctions. Therefore, Crb may serve as an aPKC-mediated sensor in coordinating contact-dependent cell growth inhibition in epithelial tissues.

  3. Picture processing of weak ion-tail emission of H2O in comets P/Crommelin and IRAS-Araki-Alcock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinrad, H.; Strauss, M. A.

    1986-01-01

    Two-dimensional CCD spectra of P/Crommelin at radius about 0.8 AU and of IRAS-Araki-Alcock at radius of 1.0 AU were obtained at the Kitt Peak National Observatory and Lick Observatory, and the results are discussed. The spectra revealed moderate H2O(+) emission from P/Crommelin predominantly in the antisolar direction, but extending about 6000 km sunward of the nucleus. The H2O(+) emission from IRAS-Araki-Alcock is very weak, appearing only on the antisolar side of the comet's nucleus and extending for at least 2000 km in the tailward direction. The data are interpreted briefly in terms of cometary ionospheric models and are compared with data in the literature.

  4. Comets in Indian Scriptures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das Gupta, P.

    2016-01-01

    The Indo-Aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times in order to conduct sacrificial rites ordained by the Vedas. Naturally, they would have sighted comets and referred to them in the Vedic texts. In Rigveda (circa 1700-1500 BC) and Atharvaveda (circa 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Rigveda speaks of a fig tree whose aerial roots spread out in the sky (Parpola 2010). Had this imagery been inspired by the resemblance of a comet's tail with long and linear roots of a banyan tree (ficus benghalensis)? Varahamihira (AD 550) and Ballal Sena (circa AD 1100-1200) described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers, such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, and Garga, to name a few. In this article, we propose that an episode in Mahabharata in which a radiant king, Nahusha, who rules the heavens and later turns into a serpent after he kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

  5. Halley's Comet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, Tom

    1985-01-01

    Provides tips for viewing Comet Halley in the Northeast including best viewing dates from November 1985-January 1986. Discusses going south to view the comet in March-April 1986 and gives specific information about accommodations for the Halley Rally in Everglades National Park, southernmost site in the contiguous 48 states. (JHZ)

  6. Defining a core set of actin cytoskeletal proteins critical for actin-based motility of Rickettsia.

    PubMed

    Serio, Alisa W; Jeng, Robert L; Haglund, Cat M; Reed, Shawna C; Welch, Matthew D

    2010-05-20

    Many Rickettsia species are intracellular bacterial pathogens that use actin-based motility for spread during infection. However, while other bacteria assemble actin tails consisting of branched networks, Rickettsia assemble long parallel actin bundles, suggesting the use of a distinct mechanism for exploiting actin. To identify the underlying mechanisms and host factors involved in Rickettsia parkeri actin-based motility, we performed an RNAi screen targeting 115 actin cytoskeletal genes in Drosophila cells. The screen delineated a set of four core proteins-profilin, fimbrin/T-plastin, capping protein, and cofilin--as crucial for determining actin tail length, organizing filament architecture, and enabling motility. In mammalian cells, these proteins were localized throughout R. parkeri tails, consistent with a role in motility. Profilin and fimbrin/T-plastin were critical for the motility of R. parkeri but not Listeria monocytogenes. Our results highlight key distinctions between the evolutionary strategies and molecular mechanisms employed by bacterial pathogens to assemble and organize actin. PMID:20478540

  7. H2O(+) ions in comets: Comet Kohoutek (1973f) and comet Bradfield (1974b)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wehinger, P.; Wyckoff, S.

    1976-01-01

    The image tube Cassegrain slit spectra of comet Kohoutek and Bradfield calibrated and reduced to relative intensities are discussed. Monochromatic changes in the surface brightness for various neutral and ionized molecules are determined. The intensities of C2 and CN decreased approximately four times faster than the intensity change for the H2O(+) features. It is shown that the excitation mechanism for the observed H2O(+) bands is by fluorescent scattering of the incident solar radiation. The effects of solar activity on the photoionization rate of H2O in a comet are discussed. Observations of another bright comet at the time of maximum solar activity are needed to determine changes in band intensities of comet tail ions due to solar activity.

  8. Actinic Keratoses

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

    Actinic keratoses are common intra-epidermal neoplasms that lie on a continuum with squamous cell carcinoma. Tightly linked to ultraviolet irradiation, they occur in areas of chronic sun exposure, and early treatment of these lesions may prevent their progression to invasive disease. A large variety of effective treatment modalities exist, and the optimal therapeutic choice is dependent on a variety of patient- and physician-associated variables. Many established and more recent approaches are discussed in this review with a focus on efficacy and administration techniques. Several previously experimental options, such as imiquimod and photodynamic therapy, have become incorporated as first-line options for the treatment of actinic keratoses, while combination treatment strategies have been gaining in popularity. The goal of all therapies is to ultimately limit the morbidity and mortality of squamous cell carcinoma. (J Clin Aesthetic Dermatol. 2009;2(7):43–48.) PMID:20729970

  9. Clathrin is Important for Normal Actin Dynamics and Progression of Sla2p-Containing Patches During Endocytosis in Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Newpher, Thomas M.; Lemmon, Sandra K.

    2010-01-01

    Clathrin is a major vesicle coat protein involved in receptor-mediated endocytosis. In yeast and higher eukaryotes, clathrin is recruited to the plasma membrane during the early stage of endocytosis along with clathrin-associated adaptors. As coated pits undergo maturation, a burst of actin polymerization accompanies and helps drive vesicle internalization. Here, we investigate the dynamics of clathrin relative to the early endocytic patch protein Sla2p. We find that clathrin is recruited to the cortex prior to Sla2p. In the absence of clathrin, normal numbers of Sla2p patches form, but many do not internalize or are dramatically delayed in completion of endocytosis. Patches that do internalize receive Sla1p late, which is followed by Abp1, which appears near the end of Sla2p lifetime. In addition, clathrin mutants develop actin comet tails, suggesting an important function in actin patch organization/dynamics. Similar to its mammalian counterparts, the light chain (LC) subunit of yeast clathrin interacts directly with the coiled-coil domain of Sla2p. A mutant of Sla2p that no longer interacts with LC (sla2Δ376-573) results in delayed progression of endocytic patches and aberrant actin dynamics. These data demonstrate an important role for clathrin in organization and progression of early endocytic patches to the late stages of endocytosis. PMID:16643280

  10. The structural basis of actin filament branching by the Arp2/3 complex

    PubMed Central

    Rouiller, Isabelle; Xu, Xiao-Ping; Amann, Kurt J.; Egile, Coumaran; Nickell, Stephan; Nicastro, Daniela; Li, Rong; Pollard, Thomas D.; Volkmann, Niels; Hanein, Dorit

    2008-01-01

    The actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex mediates the formation of branched actin filaments at the leading edge of motile cells and in the comet tails moving certain intracellular pathogens. Crystal structures of the Arp2/3 complex are available, but the architecture of the junction formed by the Arp2/3 complex at the base of the branch was not known. In this study, we use electron tomography to reconstruct the branch junction with sufficient resolution to show how the Arp2/3 complex interacts with the mother filament. Our analysis reveals conformational changes in both the mother filament and Arp2/3 complex upon branch formation. The Arp2 and Arp3 subunits reorganize into a dimer, providing a short-pitch template for elongation of the daughter filament. Two subunits of the mother filament undergo conformational changes that increase stability of the branch. These data provide a rationale for why branch formation requires cooperative interactions among the Arp2/3 complex, nucleation-promoting factors, an actin monomer, and the mother filament. PMID:18316411

  11. The structural basis of actin filament branching by the Arp2/3 complex.

    PubMed

    Rouiller, Isabelle; Xu, Xiao-Ping; Amann, Kurt J; Egile, Coumaran; Nickell, Stephan; Nicastro, Daniela; Li, Rong; Pollard, Thomas D; Volkmann, Niels; Hanein, Dorit

    2008-03-10

    The actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex mediates the formation of branched actin filaments at the leading edge of motile cells and in the comet tails moving certain intracellular pathogens. Crystal structures of the Arp2/3 complex are available, but the architecture of the junction formed by the Arp2/3 complex at the base of the branch was not known. In this study, we use electron tomography to reconstruct the branch junction with sufficient resolution to show how the Arp2/3 complex interacts with the mother filament. Our analysis reveals conformational changes in both the mother filament and Arp2/3 complex upon branch formation. The Arp2 and Arp3 subunits reorganize into a dimer, providing a short-pitch template for elongation of the daughter filament. Two subunits of the mother filament undergo conformational changes that increase stability of the branch. These data provide a rationale for why branch formation requires cooperative interactions among the Arp2/3 complex, nucleation-promoting factors, an actin monomer, and the mother filament.

  12. Asteroids and Comets Outreach Compilation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Contents include various different animations in the area of Asteroids and Comets. Titles of the short animated clips are: STARDUST Mission; Asteroid Castallia Impact Simulation; Castallia, Toutatis and the Earth; Simulation Asteroid Encounter with Earth; Nanorover Technology Task; Near Earth Asteroid Tracking; Champollian Anchor Tests; Early Views of Comets; Exploration of Small Bodies; Ulysses Resource Material from ESA; Ulysses Cometary Plasma Tail Animation; and various discussions on the Hale-Bopp Comet. Animation of the following are seen: the Stardust aerogel collector grid collecting cometary dust particles, comet and interstellar dust analyzer, Wiper-shield and dust flux monitor, a navigation camera, and the return of the sample to Earth; a comparison of the rotation of the Earth to the Castallia and Tautatis Asteroids; an animated land on Tautatis and the view of the motion of the sky from its surface; an Asteroid collision with the Earth; the USAF Station in Hawaii; close-up views of asteroids; automatic drilling of the Moon; exploding Cosmic Particles; and the dropping off of the plasma tail of a comet as it travels near the sun.

  13. Comet Halley: The Curtis Schmidts-Isla de Pascua observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Freeman D.; Liller, William

    1986-01-01

    Halley's comet plasma tail disturbances and attendant tail phenomena were observed. Nearly simultaneous exposures with two telescopes serve to correlate information obtained with the two instruments. Photographs of 14 pre-Halley comets taken on 54 nights were examined with a view to cross-interpretation of phenomena seen in Halley with the earlier comets, as recorded on a homogenous collection of plates taken with the same instrument. The tail of Halley was highly active. This contrasts sharply with pre-Halley comets where undisturbed tails are the rule. During March and April, disturbances appeared in the tail of Halley at an average of 1 new distrubance every 3.7 days. It is considered that 10 of the 11 observed disturbances had common characteristics which allow them to be characterized as disconnections.

  14. Comet culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lusher, Rebekah

    2011-10-01

    Rebekah Lusher describes an exhibition in the new Caroline Lucretia Gallery at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath: Omens and Inspirations: Ice, Dust and Fire - the Story of the Great Comet of 1811.

  15. Laboratory Studies Towards Understanding Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gudipati, Murthy S.; Abou Mrad, Ninette; Blum, Jürgen; Charnley, Steven B.; Chiavassa, Thierry; Cordiner, Martin A.; Mousis, Olivier; Danger, Grégoire; Duvernay, Fabrice; Gundlach, Bastian; Hartogh, Paul; Marboeuf, Ulysse; Simonia, Irakli; Simonia, Tsitsino; Theulé, Patrice; Yang, Rui

    2015-12-01

    This review presents some of the recent advancements in our understanding of comets facilitated by laboratory studies, need for new laboratory simulations, and predictions for future explorations. With the spacecraft Rosetta at the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a large volume of science data is expected to follow early results that have been published recently. The most surprising of them being hard ice shell that bounced the lander Philae a couple of times before settling on the comet. Long evaded molecular nitrogen has now been detected in the comet 67P/CG. The observed density of 470 kg m^{- 3} is in line with other comet observations, whereas the nature and composition of hydrocarbons detected on the surface are still a puzzle. Observation of D/H ratio that deviates significantly from Earth's water D/H ratio brings back to the table the long-standing question whether or not water on Earth was delivered by comet impacts. Our review summarizes some of the critical laboratory work that helps improve our understanding of cometary interior (whether amorphous or crystalline or containing clathrates), cometary surface (rich of complex organics), cometary coma and tail (D/H ratio, negative ions, and photoluminescence). Outstanding questions are also discussed.

  16. Spacecraft fleet to comet Halley - an introduction

    SciTech Connect

    Tsurutani, B.T.

    1985-01-01

    Questions related to the formation and the characteristics of comets are discussed, and it is suggested that an evolutionary link exists between comets, prebiotic organic synthesis, and the origin of life as it is known. Fundamental questions about the solar wind interaction with comets, are considered, giving attention to the ionization mechanisms in the different cometary regions, the presence of field-aligned currents, and the cometary plasma tail. It is pointed out that some of the questions will soon be answered when the NASA-ESA International Cometary Explorer (ICE) goes through the tail of Giacobini-Zinner in September 1985, and when a five spacecraft fleet arrives at comet Halley in March 1986. 14 references.

  17. [Actinic Keratosis].

    PubMed

    Dejaco, D; Hauser, U; Zelger, B; Riechelmann, H

    2015-07-01

    Actinic keratosis is a cutaneous lesion characterized by proliferation of atypical epidermal keratinocytes due to prolonged exposure to exogenous factors such as ultraviolet radiation. AKs are in-situ-squamous cell carcinomas (PEC) of the skin. AK typically presents as erythematous, scaly patch or papule (classic AK), occasionally as thick, adherent scale on an erythematous base. Mostly fair-skinned adults are affected. AKs typically occur in areas of frequent sun exposure (balding scalp, face, "H-region", lateral neck, décolleté, dorsum of the hand and lower extremities). Actinic Cheilitis is the term used for AKs appearing on the lips. The diagnosis of AK is based on clinical examination including inspection and palpation. The typical palpable rough surface of AK often precedes a visible lesion. Dermoscopy may provide additional information. If diagnosis is uncertain and invasion suspected, biopsy and histopathologic evaluation should be performed. The potential for progression to invasive PECs mandates therapeutic intervention. Treatment options include topical and systemic therapies. Topical therapies are classified into physical, medical and combined physical-chemical approaches and a sequential combination of treatment modalities is possible. Topical-physical cryotherapy is the treatment of choice for isolated, non-hypertrophic AK. Topical-medical treatment, e. g. 5-fluoruracil (5FU) cream or Imiquomod or Ingenolmebutat application is used for multiple, non-hypertrophic AKs. For hypertrophic AKs, a dehorning pretreatment with salicinated vaseline is recommended. Isolated hypertrophic AKs often need cryotherapy with prolonged freezing time or several consecutive applications. Sequentially combined approaches are recommended for multiple, hypertrophic AKs. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) as example for a combined physical-chemical approach is an established treatment for multiple, non-hypertrophic and hypertrophic AKs. Prevention includes avoidance of sun and

  18. Comet or Asteroid?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-11-01

    When is a minor object in the solar system a comet? And when is it an asteroid? Until recently, there was little doubt. Any object that was found to display a tail or appeared diffuse was a comet of ice and dust grains, and any that didn't, was an asteroid of solid rock. Moreover, comets normally move in rather elongated orbits, while most asteroids follow near-circular orbits close to the main plane of the solar system in which the major planets move. However, astronomers have recently discovered some `intermediate' objects which seem to possess properties that are typical for both categories. For instance, a strange object (P/1996 N2 - Elst-Pizarro) was found last year at ESO ( ESO Press Photo 36/96 ) which showed a cometary tail, while moving in a typical asteroidal orbit. At about the same time, American scientists found another (1996 PW) that moved in a very elongated comet-type orbit but was completely devoid of a tail. Now, a group of European scientists, by means of observations carried out at the ESO La Silla observatory, have found yet another object that at first appeared to be one more comet/asteroid example. However, continued and more detailed observations aimed at revealing its true nature have shown that it is most probably a comet . Consequently, it has received the provisional cometary designation P/1997 T3 . The Uppsala-DLR Trojan Survey Some time ago, Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist (Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala, Sweden), in collaboration with Gerhard Hahn, Stefano Mottola, Magnus Lundström and Uri Carsenty (DLR, Institute of Planetary Exploration, Berlin, Germany), started to study the distribution of asteroids near Jupiter. They were particularly interested in those that move in orbits similar to that of Jupiter and which are located `ahead' of Jupiter in the so-called `Jovian L4 Lagrangian point'. Together with those `behind' Jupiter, these asteroids have been given the names of Greek and Trojan Heroes who participated in the famous Trojan war

  19. Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann I

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    NASA's new Spitzer Space Telescope has captured an image of an unusual comet that experiences frequent outbursts, which produce abrupt changes in brightness. Periodic comet Schwassmann-Wachmann I (P/SW-1) has a nearly circular orbit just outside that of Jupiter, with an orbital period of 14.9 years. It is thought that the outbursts arise from the build-up of internal gas pressure as the heat of the Sun slowly evaporates frozen carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide beneath the blackened crust of the comet nucleus. When the internal pressure exceeds the strength of the overlying crust, a rupture occurs, and a burst of gas and dust fragments is ejected into space at speeds of 450 miles per hour (200 meters per second).

    This 24-micron image of P/SW-1 was obtained with the multiband imaging photometer for Spitzer. The image shows thermal infrared emission from the dusty coma and tail of the comet. The nucleus of the comet is about 18 miles (30 kilometers) in diameter and is too small to be resolved by Spitzer. The micron-sized dust grains in the coma and tail stream out away from the Sun. The dust and gas comprising the comet's nucleus is part of the same primordial materials from which the Sun and planets were formed billions of years ago. The complex carbon-rich molecules they contain may have provided some of the raw materials from which life originated on Earth.

    Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 is thought to be a member of a relatively new class of objects called 'Centaurs,' of which 45 objects are known. These are small icy bodies with orbits between those of Jupiter and Neptune. Astronomers believe that Centaurs are recent escapees from the Kuiper Belt, a zone of small bodies orbiting in a cloud at the distant reaches of the solar system.

    Two asteroids, 1996 GM36 (left) and 5238 Naozane (right) were serendipitously captured in the comet image. Because they are closer to us than the comet and have faster orbital

  20. Mesoscopic model for filament orientation in growing actin networks: the role of obstacle geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weichsel, Julian; Schwarz, Ulrich S.

    2013-03-01

    Propulsion by growing actin networks is a universal mechanism used in many different biological systems, ranging from the sheet-like lamellipodium of crawling animal cells to the actin comet tails induced by certain bacteria and viruses in order to move within their host cells. Although the core molecular machinery for actin network growth is well preserved in all of these cases, the geometry of the propelled obstacle varies considerably. During recent years, filament orientation distribution has emerged as an important observable characterizing the structure and dynamical state of the growing network. Here we derive several continuum equations for the orientation distribution of filaments growing behind stiff obstacles of various shapes and validate the predicted steady state orientation patterns by stochastic computer simulations based on discrete filaments. We use an ordinary differential equation approach to demonstrate that for flat obstacles of finite size, two fundamentally different orientation patterns peaked at either ±35° or +70°/0°/ - 70° exhibit mutually exclusive stability, in agreement with earlier results for flat obstacles of very large lateral extension. We calculate and validate phase diagrams as a function of model parameters and show how this approach can be extended to obstacles with piecewise straight contours. For curved obstacles, we arrive at a partial differential equation in the continuum limit, which again is in good agreement with the computer simulations. In all cases, we can identify the same two fundamentally different orientation patterns, but only within an appropriate reference frame, which is adjusted to the local orientation of the obstacle contour. Our results suggest that two fundamentally different network architectures compete with each other in growing actin networks, irrespective of obstacle geometry, and clarify how simulated and electron tomography data have to be analyzed for non-flat obstacle geometries.

  1. Atlas of Comet Halley 1910 II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, Bertram; Rahe, Juergen; Brandt, John C.

    1986-01-01

    With the impending return of Halley's Comet in 1986, a major effort began to collect the material obtained at its last appearance in 1910. This material displays the evolving coma and tail phenomena, and is useful for comparison with the present quantitative studies of spectroscopic and structural phenomena. Images in the atlas are arranged in chronological order by day. Days that have multiple images with varying scale are arranged in two sequences. Photographs showing tail phenomena are first, followed by photographs obtained with longer focus instruments showing the head or near-nuclear region. Drawings of Comet Halley, made from visual observations in 1835 and 1910, also are included.

  2. Modelling Cometary Sodium Tails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birkett, K. S.; Jones, G. H.; Coates, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    Neutral sodium is readily observed in cometary spectra and can be seen to form its own distinct tail at high activity comets. Solar radiation pressure accelerates the sodium atoms antisunward and, as strong sodium absorption lines are present in the solar spectrum, the magnitude of this force is dependent upon the Doppler shift of the incident solar radiation. Therefore the heliocentric velocity of the sodium atom directly determines its acceleration. This can produce unique effects, such as a stagnation region. Sodium is relatively easy to detect and so can potentially be used to trace mechanisms in the coma that are otherwise difficult to observe. The source of neutral sodium in the tail currently remains unknown. We have therefore developed a new, three dimensional Monte-Carlo model of neutral cometary sodium in order to facilitate testing of different source production functions. It includes weightings due to neutral sodium lifetime, variation of cometary sodium emission due to Fraunhofer absorption lines and solar flux variation with heliocentric distance. The Swings and Greenstein effects, which can have particularly dramatic effects in near-Sun comets, are also considered comprehensively. Preliminary results from this model are presented, focusing on a comparison of predictions of the neutral sodium tail of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) with initial observations.

  3. Comet Kohoutek

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gary, Gilmer A. (Editor)

    1975-01-01

    A compilation of scientific observations (workshop) is presented. Topics discussed are: (1) tail form, structure, and evolution; (2) hydroxyl related observations; (3) molecules and atoms in the coma and tail; (4) photometry and radiometry; and (5) spacecraft and ground based observation data. Color photographs are shown.

  4. Report of the Terrestrial Bodies Science Working Group. Volume 8: The comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Chapman, C. R.; Fanale, F. P.

    1977-01-01

    The determination of the nuclear and atmospheric properties of comets, and the interaction of the solar wind with the comet tail are scientific objectives for a mission to one or more comets in the next decade. Recommended priorities for direct cometary exploration are listed.

  5. Detection of radiation-induced apoptosis using the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Wada, Seiichi; Khoa, Tran Van; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Funayama, Tomoo; Yamamoto, Kazuo; Natsuhori, Masahiro; Ito, Nobuhiko

    2003-11-01

    The electrophoresis pattern of apoptotic cells detected by the comet assay has a characteristic small head and spread tail. This image has been referred to as an apoptotic comet, but it has not been previously proven to be apoptotic cells by any direct method. In order to identify this image obtained by the comet assay as corresponding to an apoptotic cell, the frequency of appearance of apoptosis was examined using CHO-K1 and L5178Y cells which were exposed to gamma irradiation. As a method for detecting apoptosis, the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay was used. When the frequency of appearance of apoptotic cells following gamma irradiation was observed over a period of time, there was a significant increase in appearance of apoptosis when using the TUNEL assay. However, there was only a slight increase when using the comet assay. In order to verify the low frequency of appearance of apoptosis when using the comet assay, we attempted to use the TUNEL assay to stain the apoptotic comets detected in the comet assay. The apoptotic comets were TUNEL positive and the normal comets were TUNEL negative. This indicates that the apoptotic comets were formed from DNA fragments with 3'-hydroxy ends that are generated as cells undergo apoptosis. Therefore, it was understood that the characteristic pattern of apoptotic comets detected by the comet assay corresponds to cells undergoing apoptosis. PMID:14665742

  6. IBEX ENA observations from comet Elenin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kucharek, H.; Galli, A.; Wurz, P.; Moebius, E.; Schwadron, N.

    2013-12-01

    Comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin) was discovered on December 10, 2010 by the Russian astronomer Leonid Elenin. At the time of discovery the comet was travelling at a distance of 4.22 AU from the Sun and 4.31 AU from the Earth. It was expected that the comet would reach its perihelion on September 10.7, 2011 at a distance of 0.48 AU from the Sun. Elenin belonged to the class of dynamically new comets, it is hence its first visit of the solar neighborhood from the Oort cloud. On August 19, 2011 it started disintegrating into smaller fragments. Closest approach to Earth occurred on October 17, 2011 at a distance of 21 million miles. Comets emit charged and neutral particles. Usually, bright comets display strong ion emission in the anti-Sun direction, which is dominated by CO+ and H2O+. They also show emissions from neutral gas molecules (e.g., CN and C2). The existence of a neutral tail was confirmed through observations of comet Hale Bopp in 1997. The Interstellar Boundary EXplorer (IBEX), which is in a highly elliptical orbit around Earth, is equipped with two extremely sensitive neutral atom cameras (IBEX-Hi and IBEX-Lo for high and low energetic neutral atoms, respectively). Since Elenin was in a very close ecliptic orbit, IBEX was able to measure neutrals in the comet's environment for several weeks. Late September/early October, IBEX took measurements during closest approach mid October and it passed through the presumed neutral and dust tail and crossed the comet trajectory in early November 2011. Although distances between IBEX and Elenin were relatively large, clear cometary signatures in the neutral atom emission were observed. In this presentation we will summarize these observations and discuss them in the context of existing theories.

  7. Comet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blum, J.

    2014-07-01

    There has been vast progress in our understanding of planetesimal formation over the past decades, owing to a number of laboratory experiments as well as to refined models of dust and ice agglomeration in protoplanetary disks. Coagulation rapidly forms cm-sized ''pebbles'' by direct sticking in collisions at low velocities (Güttler et al. 2010; Zsom et al. 2010). For the further growth, two model approaches are currently being discussed: (1) Local concentration of pebbles in nebular instabilities until gravitational instability occurs (Johansen et al. 2007). (2) A competition between fragmentation and mass transfer in collisions among the dusty bodies, in which a few ''lucky winners'' make it to planetesimal sizes (Windmark et al. 2012a,b; Garaud et al. 2013). Predictions of the physical properties of the resulting bodies in both models allow a distinction of the two formation scenarios of planetesimals. In particular, the tensile strength (i.e, the inner cohesion) of the planetesimals differ widely between the two models (Skorov & Blum 2012; Blum et al. 2014). While model (1) predicts tensile strengths on the order of ˜ 1 Pa, model (2) results in rather compactified dusty bodies with tensile strengths in the kPa regime. If comets are km-sized survivors of the planetesimal-formation era, they should in principle hold the secret of their formation process. Water ice is the prime volatile responsible for the activity of comets. Thermophysical models of the heat and mass transport close to the comet-nucleus surface predict water-ice sublimation temperatures that relate to maximum sublimation pressures well below the kPa regime predicted for formation scenario (2). Model (1), however, is in agreement with the observed dust and gas activity of comets. Thus, a formation scenario for cometesimals involving gravitational instability is favored (Blum et al. 2014).

  8. Interaction of Comets and the Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, William (Technical Monitor); Raymond, John C.

    2003-01-01

    We had originally planned to analyze UVCS observations of Comet Machholz, but we obtained higher quality observations of Comet Kudo-Fujikawa in January 2003 at its 0.19 AU perihelion. Besides a large and rapidly increasing water outgassing rate, we detected a bright tail in doubly ionized carbon. The amount of carbon was greater than could be accounted for by GO photodissociation, and we attribute the carbon to evaporation of organics from dust. A spectacular disconnection event was apparent in the C III tail, and it coincides within the uncertainties with the position of the heliospheric current sheet. A paper is in press in Science, and it will be the subject of a press release. We are also analyzing two sungrazing comets. Comet C/2001 C2 shows evidence for sub-fragments and for a very long lasting source of neutrals, which we tentatively identify as evaporation of pyroxene dust grains. Comet C/2002 S2 shows a sudden 2 magnitude drop in optical brightness and an equally sudden recovery. UVCS observations during that time show a steadily increasing outgassing rate. We have derived solar wind densities for both comets, but we are still sorting out the ambiguities involving the fragmentation and optical behavior. We are collaborating with Philippe Lamy on the LASCO measurements.

  9. Time-dependent injection of Oort Cloud comets into earth-crossing orbits

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandez, J.A.; Ip, W.H.

    1987-07-01

    The present consideration of close stellar encounter-induced modulations of the influx rate of Oort Cloud comets notes that comet showers sufficiently intense for emergence in cratering statistics are produced at 80-Myr intervals, on the assumption of an Oort Cloud heavy comet core. Numerical simulations of the time evolution of comet showers or bursts indicate that a long tail of residual shower comets follows the major event with an intensity of about 0.01 of the peak rate after 20-30 Myr, thereby suggesting that residual comet showers are primarily clustered in certain areas of the sky, rendering them observable at virtually any time. 33 references.

  10. ISO's analysis of Comet Hale-Bopp

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-03-01

    of the comet's dust and vapour, and also rates of escape of vapour, which will help in assessing the loss of material from Comet Hale-Bopp during this visit to the Sun's vicinity. "Watch out for some fascinating news," says Thijs de Graauw of Groningen University, who is in charge of the SWS instrument used in this study. "What excites me is the opportunity we shall have to compare dusty Comet Hale-Bopp, seen in the Solar System, with dusty objects far away among the stars which seem to be made of similar materials. Infrared astronomy has a special ability to unify cosmic chemistry at all scales from little dust grains in the Earth's vicinity to vast and distant galaxies." The dust itself interests the infrared astronomers, not least because their view of the Universe at large is spoiled to some extent by dust left behind by comets. Together with fine debris from asteroids, the comet dust makes a bright infrared band around the sky, which corresponds with the zodiacal light sometimes seen by eye, slanting above the horizon at twilight. ISO's predecessor, the US-Dutch-UK infrared astronomical satellite IRAS, found trails of comet dust much longer and more persistent than the familiar comet tails. ISO has seen a trail from Comet Kopff. By detecting dust grains that are typically much larger than those seen by visible light, ISO scientists hope to learn more about the dust's long-term behaviour in the Solar System. A series of images of Comet Hale-Bopp, obtained by the camera ISOCAM in October 1996, is the subject of continuing analysis. Leading this work in progress is Philippe Lamy of Marseille, France. "We hope to unveil the nucleus of the comet," Professor Lamy explains. "In principle, the Hubble Space Telescope can see finer details by visible light, but the contrast of the nucleus against the bright surrounding coma is superior at infrared wavelengths. This is because the thermal emission from the nucleus is very large and can be detected thanks to the high

  11. The Comet Halley handbook: An observer's guide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, D. K.

    1981-01-01

    The orbit of Comet Halley is described as well as its expected physical behavior (brightness, tail lengths, coma diameters) in 1985-1986 during which time its preperihelion positon will allow better conditions for Northern Hemisphere observers. Southern Hemisphere observers will prefer post perihelion observation. Ephemeris data for 1981-1987 are presented in tables.

  12. Measurements of DNA damage on silver stained comets using free Internet software.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Omar; Romero, Ivonne; González, Jorge E; Mandina, Tania

    2007-03-01

    Silver stain offers the possibility to stain comets permanently, but up to now it was impossible to measure the majority of the comet parameters, because the distinction between head and tail was not recognised by software. Here, we report a silver staining protocol that allows the measurement of comet parameters using the free Internet software CASP. We validated the silver stain protocol by comparing the behaviour of the parameter '% DNA in tail' in silver and fluorescent stained comets. The range of % DNA in tail for different visual categories of damage in silver stained comets was similar to that reported with fluorescence staining. The range was for category 0 (no damage), <1%; category 1 (low damage), 1-25%; category 2 (medium damage), >25-45%; category 3 (high damage), >45-70%; category 4 (very high damage), >70%. The mean of % DNA in tail in silver stained comets was also similar to that reported with fluorescence staining. The mean was for category 0, 0.4+/-0.34%; category 1, 12+/-7%; category 2, 37+/-4%; category 3, 57+/-5% and category 4, 83+/-6%. Others comet parameters such as tail length, tail moment and Olive tail moment can be also measured. The silver staining protocol reported here opens new opportunities for those working in the assay without fluorescent microscope as the measurement of comet parameters using free Internet software and conventional microscope becomes possible. PMID:17204446

  13. A parametric study of the solar wind interaction with comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.; Le, G.; Luhmann, J. G.; Fedder, J. A.

    1991-01-01

    The Naval Research Laboratory's magnetohydrodynamic simulation code is used to simulate the solar wind interction with comet Halley for two different outgassing rates and several different solar wind states. The magnetic field is more strongly draped for fast solar wind conditions than slow. For higher mass loading rates, the tail becomes wider and contains more magnetic flux. The visual appearance of the comet differs for the case in which the interplanetary magnetic field lies in the plane of the sky from the case when it lies along the line of sight. The ion tail appears shorter in the latter case. Thus variation in the IMF direction can cause significant changes in the appearance of comets. The comet also creates a large momentum flux deficit in the solar wind with a narrow enhanced region within it corresponding to the ion tail.

  14. Initial overview of disconnection events in Halley's Comet 1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, John C.; Randall, Cora E.; Snow, M.; Yi, Y.

    1992-01-01

    We present an initial overview of the disconnection events (DE's) in Comet Halley in 1986. Although disconnection events are arguably the most spectacular of all dynamic comet phenomena, the mechanisms by which they occur are not fully understood. It is generally believed that the solar wind plays a major role in determining when disconnection events occur, but the details of the solar wind/cometary interactions responsible for initiating the tail disconnection are still under debate. The three most widely accepted models are: (1) high speed streams in the solar wind cause the tail to disconnect due to pressure effects; (2) decreased production of cometary ions in a high speed stream allows magnetic field to slip away from the comet; and (3) the tail disconnects after frontside reconnection of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) as the comet crosses a magnetic field sector boundary. We find that the front-side magnetic reconnection model is the best explanation for the DE's we have considered.

  15. Observing chemical abundances in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delsemme, A. H.

    1981-01-01

    The atomic resonance lines of the major elements were observed in the atmospheres of a few comets, by using vacuum ultraviolet spectrographs on board rockets or orbiting observatories. Dust-to-gas ratios were also deduced for two comets through a Finson-Probstein's analysis of their dust-tail isophotes. The geometric albedo of the dust for the phase angle alpha of the observations is not accurately known but, the dust-to-gas ratio is not overly sensitive to the actual value of this albedo. Infrared observations of the dust head of some comets show that the bulk of cometary dust must be silicates, although a minor component (5-10 percent) of carbon compounds is rather likely, because of poor dielectric properties of the grains. This interpretation is confirmed by the fact that interplanetary dust probably of cometary origin, that was collected in the stratosphere by NASA-U2 Spacecraft, is chondritic in nature. Metal abundances in the head of a sungrazing comet support the chondritic hypothesis.

  16. Tropomyosin - master regulator of actin filament function in the cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Gunning, Peter W; Hardeman, Edna C; Lappalainen, Pekka; Mulvihill, Daniel P

    2015-08-15

    Tropomyosin (Tpm) isoforms are the master regulators of the functions of individual actin filaments in fungi and metazoans. Tpms are coiled-coil parallel dimers that form a head-to-tail polymer along the length of actin filaments. Yeast only has two Tpm isoforms, whereas mammals have over 40. Each cytoskeletal actin filament contains a homopolymer of Tpm homodimers, resulting in a filament of uniform Tpm composition along its length. Evidence for this 'master regulator' role is based on four core sets of observation. First, spatially and functionally distinct actin filaments contain different Tpm isoforms, and recent data suggest that members of the formin family of actin filament nucleators can specify which Tpm isoform is added to the growing actin filament. Second, Tpms regulate whole-organism physiology in terms of morphogenesis, cell proliferation, vesicle trafficking, biomechanics, glucose metabolism and organ size in an isoform-specific manner. Third, Tpms achieve these functional outputs by regulating the interaction of actin filaments with myosin motors and actin-binding proteins in an isoform-specific manner. Last, the assembly of complex structures, such as stress fibers and podosomes involves the collaboration of multiple types of actin filament specified by their Tpm composition. This allows the cell to specify actin filament function in time and space by simply specifying their Tpm isoform composition.

  17. Tropomyosin - master regulator of actin filament function in the cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Gunning, Peter W; Hardeman, Edna C; Lappalainen, Pekka; Mulvihill, Daniel P

    2015-08-15

    Tropomyosin (Tpm) isoforms are the master regulators of the functions of individual actin filaments in fungi and metazoans. Tpms are coiled-coil parallel dimers that form a head-to-tail polymer along the length of actin filaments. Yeast only has two Tpm isoforms, whereas mammals have over 40. Each cytoskeletal actin filament contains a homopolymer of Tpm homodimers, resulting in a filament of uniform Tpm composition along its length. Evidence for this 'master regulator' role is based on four core sets of observation. First, spatially and functionally distinct actin filaments contain different Tpm isoforms, and recent data suggest that members of the formin family of actin filament nucleators can specify which Tpm isoform is added to the growing actin filament. Second, Tpms regulate whole-organism physiology in terms of morphogenesis, cell proliferation, vesicle trafficking, biomechanics, glucose metabolism and organ size in an isoform-specific manner. Third, Tpms achieve these functional outputs by regulating the interaction of actin filaments with myosin motors and actin-binding proteins in an isoform-specific manner. Last, the assembly of complex structures, such as stress fibers and podosomes involves the collaboration of multiple types of actin filament specified by their Tpm composition. This allows the cell to specify actin filament function in time and space by simply specifying their Tpm isoform composition. PMID:26240174

  18. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9: An Active Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rettig, Terrence W.; Hahn, Joseph M.

    1997-01-01

    The important elements of the debate over the activity versus dormancy of comet Shoemaker Levy 9 (S-L 9) are reviewed. It is argued that the circularity of the isophotes in the inner comae of S-L 9 as well as the spatial dependencies of the comae brightness profiles are indicators of sustained dust production by S-L 9. It is also shown that the westward tail orientations, which were formerly interpreted as a sign of the comet's dormancy, are not a good indicator of either activity or dormancy. Rather, the tail orientations simply place constraints on the dust production rate for grains smaller than approx. equals 5(micron). All the available evidence points to S-L 9 as having been an active, dust-producing comet. Synthetic images of an active comet are fitted to Hubble Space Telescope images of the S-L 9 fragment K, and its grain size and outflow velocity distributions are extracted. These findings show that the appearance of the dust coma was dominated by large grains having radii between approx. equals 30 (micron) and approx. equals 3 mm, produced at a rate of M approx. equals 22 kg/ s, and ejected at outflow velocities of approx. equals 0.5 m/ s. Only upper limits on the production rates of smaller grains are obtained. The nucleus of fragment K was not observed directly but its size is restricted to lie within a rather narrow interval 0.4 less than or equal to Rf less than or equal to 1.2 km.

  19. Hubble Witnesses Comet Crash

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Quick Time Movie for PIA02122 Hubble Witnesses Comet Crash

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Hubble Witnesses Comet Crash

    These pictures of comet Tempel 1 were taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. They show the comet before and after it ran over NASA's Deep Impact probe.

  20. The first article on Halley's comet in Serbian journals "Srpski Narodni List" No. 12, October 2nd 1835, Budim.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francisty, J.

    1997-08-01

    In the weekly journal "Srpski Narodni List" (Serbian People's Newspaper) No. 12, October 2, 1835 printed in Budim (Hungary) there appeared the article "Kometi (repate zvezde)" (Comets, tailed stars), in which was annonced the arrival of Halley's comet. This is the first arcticle in Serbian on comets.

  1. Activity in distant comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luu, Jane X.

    1992-01-01

    Activity in distant comets remains a mystery in the sense that we still have no complete theory to explain the various types of activity exhibited by different comets at large distances. This paper explores the factors that should play a role in determining activity in a distant comet, especially in the cases of comet P/Tempel 2, comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, and 2060 Chiron.

  2. The TRAPPIST comet survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jehin, E.; Opitom, C.; Manfroid, J.; Hutsemékers, D.; Gillon, M.

    2014-07-01

    distribution of several species among which OH, NH, CN, C2 and C3 as well as ions like CO+. The dust production rates (Afrho) and color of the dust are determined through four dust continuum bands (UC, BC, GC, RC). Such regular measurements are rare because of the lack of observing time on larger telescopes. Yet they are very valuable as they show how the gas production rate of each species evolves with respect to the distance to the Sun. Those observations allow to determine the composition of the comets and the chemical class to which they belong (rich or poor in carbon for instance [3]), possibly revealing the origin of those classes but also if there are some changes of the abundance ratios along the orbit (evolutionary effects). Indeed with half a dozen of comets observed each year --- and as long as possible along their orbit --- this program will provide a good statistical sample after a few years. We will present the results of this monitoring after three years of operations. Thanks to the way the telescope is operated, follow-up of split comets and of special outburst events is possible right after an alert is given and can bring important information on the nature of comets. In addition to providing the productions rates of the different species through a proper photometric calibration, image analysis can reveal coma features (jets, fans, tails), that can lead to the detection of active regions and measure the rotation period of the nucleus. The monitoring is also useful to assess the gas and dust activity of a given comet in order to prepare more detailed observations with larger telescopes. Such data can be obtained at any time under request. Finally a dozen of faint comets (V < 20) are monitored once a week through B, V, Rc, Ic filters and magnitudes and positions are sent to the MPC.

  3. Dissociation of F-actin induced by hydrostatic pressure.

    PubMed

    Garcia, C R; Amaral Júnior, J A; Abrahamsohn, P; Verjovski-Almeida, S

    1992-11-01

    F-actin purified from rabbit skeletal muscle undergoes reversible dissociation when subjected to hydrostatic pressures up to 240 MPa. Dissociation and reversibility were detected by the following procedures: fluorescence spectral changes observed under pressure, when either intrinsic tryptophan or pyrenyl emission of N-(1-pyrenyl)iodoacetamide-labeled actin were monitored; electron microscopy of samples fixed under pressure; size-exclusion HPLC of pressurized actin. The effect of pressure upon F-actin that had been polymerized in the presence of either Mg2+, Ca2+ or K+ was studied. The standard volume changes for the association of actin subunits, calculated from pressure/dissociation curves were 74 +/- 14 ml/mol for Mg-F-actin, 79 +/- 12 ml/mol for Ca-F-actin and 328 +/- 63 ml/mol for K-F-actin, indicating that actin subunits are packed differently in the polymer depending on which cation is present. All pressure/dissociation data could be fitted by a model for dissociation of a dimer, which suggests that in the F-actin filament there is a predominant intersubunit interaction interface, most likely the head-to-tail intrastrand interaction between two subunits which repeats itself along the polymer. A tenfold change in total protein concentration from 20 micrograms to 200 micrograms/ml Mg-F-actin did not cause a change in the pressure required for half-maximal dissociation. This indicates a heterogeneity of free energy of association among actin monomers in the Mg-F-actin polymer, suggesting that, in addition to the predominant intersubunit interaction, the disordered interactions in the filament significantly contribute to the heterogeneity of microenvironments in the interface between the subunits. PMID:1425683

  4. The international cometary explorer mission to comet Giacobini-Zinner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Von Rosenvinge, T. T.; Brandt, J. C.; Farquhar, R. W.

    1986-01-01

    The encounter, on September 11, 1985, between the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) and the comet Giacobini-Zinner, is described in detail. The primary goal of this encounter was to study the interaction between the solar wind and the comet. At the time of the encounter, the spacecraft was approximately 50 times farther from the earth than it was designed to go, making it difficult to recover data. The seven instruments on board ICE which were operational in this mission were the plasma electron, magnetometer, plasma waves, radio waves, plasma composition, low-energy cosmic ray, and energetic proton instruments. The encounter is depicted schematically, showing the times different regions were crossed. The spacecraft velocity vector, measured relative to the comet, made a 93 deg angle with respect to the plasma tail axis. The spacecraft crossed the center of the comet ion tail at approximately 1102 U.T. A cold, dense plasma was found near the center of the tail; at the very center was a temperature reading of only 13,000 K and a density of 670 electrons/cu cm. Alfven's model of comet tail formation was confirmed and it was found that water group ions are the dominant comet component. Pulses were detected which were attributed to dust particles hitting the spacecraft.

  5. Puzzling Snowballs: Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Bin; Meech, Karen

    2015-03-01

    Main belt comets (MBCs) are a class of newly discovered objects that exhibit comet-like appearances and yet are dynamically indistinguishable from ordinary main belt asteroids. The measured size and albedo of MBCs are similar to those of classical comets. At present, six MBCs have been discovered, namely 133P/Elst-Pizarro, 176P/LINEAR, 238P/Read, P/2008 R1, P/La Sagra and P/2006 VW139. The total number of active MBCs is estimated to be at the level of a few hundreds (Hsieh & Jewitt, 2006). Several explanations for the activity of MBCs have been suggested. These include impact ejection, sublimation and rotational instability. However, since renewed activity has been observed in 133P and 238P at successive perihelion passages, the most likely explanation may be a thermally-driven process - e.g sublimation of exposed surface ice. Although the proximity of MBCs to the Sun (r ~ 3 AU) makes the survival of surface ice improbable, thermal models have shown that water ice is thermally stable under a regolith layer a few meters thick. The study of MBCs has recently been complicated by the discoveries of two asteroid collisional events (P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) and (596) Scheila) in 2010, where comet-like dust coma/tail have been attributed to recent impacts. If MBCs are indeed icy, they represent the closest and the third established reservoir of comets (after the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt). As such, they may have been an important source of water for the Earth's oceans. I will review the current state of MBC studies, present the latest observational results and discuss possible mechanisms that could produce the observed activity. I will also talk about current and future space missions that are dedicated or closely related to MBC studies.

  6. Actin in Herpesvirus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Kari L.; Baines, Joel D.

    2011-01-01

    Actin is important for a variety of cellular processes, including uptake of extracellular material and intracellular transport. Several emerging lines of evidence indicate that herpesviruses exploit actin and actin-associated myosin motors for viral entry, intranuclear transport of capsids, and virion egress. The goal of this review is to explore these processes and to highlight potential future directions for this area of research. PMID:21994736

  7. Interior decoration: tropomyosin in actin dynamics and cell migration.

    PubMed

    Lees, Justin G; Bach, Cuc T T; O'Neill, Geraldine M

    2011-01-01

    Cell migration and invasion requires the precise temporal and spatial orchestration of a variety of biological processes. Filaments of polymerized actin are critical players in these diverse processes, including the regulation of cell anchorage points (both cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix), the uptake and delivery of molecules via endocytic pathways and the generation of force for both membrane protrusion and retraction. How the actin filaments are specialized for each of these discrete functions is yet to be comprehensively elucidated. The cytoskeletal tropomyosins are a family of actin associating proteins that form head-to-tail polymers which lay in the major groove of polymerized actin filaments. In the present review we summarize the emerging isoform-specific functions of tropomyosins in cell migration and invasion and discuss their potential roles in the specialization of actin filaments for the diverse cellular processes that together regulate cell migration and invasion.

  8. Actin Rings of Power.

    PubMed

    Schwayer, Cornelia; Sikora, Mateusz; Slováková, Jana; Kardos, Roland; Heisenberg, Carl-Philipp

    2016-06-20

    Circular or ring-like actin structures play important roles in various developmental and physiological processes. Commonly, these rings are composed of actin filaments and myosin motors (actomyosin) that, upon activation, trigger ring constriction. Actomyosin ring constriction, in turn, has been implicated in key cellular processes ranging from cytokinesis to wound closure. Non-constricting actin ring-like structures also form at cell-cell contacts, where they exert a stabilizing function. Here, we review recent studies on the formation and function of actin ring-like structures in various morphogenetic processes, shedding light on how those different rings have been adapted to fulfill their specific roles. PMID:27326928

  9. CME impact on comet 67P

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edberg, Niklas J. T.; Andrews, David J.; Burch, Jim L.; Carr, Christopher M.; Cupido, Emanuele; Eriksson, Anders I.; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz; Goldstein, Ray; Henri, Pierre; Koenders, Christoph; Mandt, Kathy; Nilsson, Hans; Odelstad, Elias; Stenberg Wieser, Gabriella; Vigren, Erik

    2016-04-01

    We present observations from the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC) of an impact of a coronal mass ejection (CMEs) on comet 67P. The CME impacted during a dayside excursion in early October 2015 when Rosetta slowly moved from a distance of ~300 km to 1500 km from the comet nucleus. Although this was still deep down in the cometary coma, the CME impact caused a significant disturbance to the plasma environment. As the CME impacted, the magnetic field strength increased to reach a maximum of 250 nT, which is the highest magnetic field strength ever observed at 67P. Lots of magnetic field oscillations and increased fluxes of energized (~100 eV) electrons and ions were observed concurrently, and the ionospheric low-energy plasma density increased by roughly one order of magnitude. An interesting phenomenon that could occur during a CME impact is a so-called tail disconnection event, when magnetic reconnection, either on the dayside of the comet or in the tail, causes a large fraction of the tail to be disconnected from the comet. Rosetta, being relatively close to the nucleus, can at best directly observe signatures of dayside reconnection when draped interplanetary magnetic fields of different polarities convects through the plasma environment and reconnects at the location of Rosetta. Rosetta cannot directly observe any tail-side disconnection event due to the orbit constraints. However, signatures of such events might resemble substorm effects in the terrestrial ionosphere with increased wave activity, increased ionization, energization of electrons and possibly ions. We discuss the RPC measurements during the October CME in this context and try to determine if a tail disconnection event could have occurred at this time.

  10. Symmetry breaking in actin gels - Implications for cellular motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, Karin; Peyla, Philippe; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2007-03-01

    The physical origin of cell motility is not fully understood. Recently minimal model systems have shown, that polymerizing actin itself can produce a motile force, without the help of motor proteins. Pathogens like Shigella or Listeria use actin to propel themselves forward in their host cell. The same process can be mimicked with polystyrene beads covered with the activating protein ActA, which reside in a solution containing actin monomers. ActA induces the growth of an actin gel at the bead surface. Initially the gel grows symmetrically around the bead until a critical size is reached. Subsequently one observes a symmetry breaking and the gel starts to grow asymmetrically around the bead developing a tail of actin at one side. This symmetry breaking is accompanied by a directed movement of the bead, with the actin tail trailing behind the bead. Force generation relies on the combination of two properties: growth and elasticity of the actin gel. We study this phenomenon theoretically within the framework of a linear elasticity theory and linear flux-force relationships for the evolution of an elastic gel around a hard sphere. Conditions for a parity symmetry breaking are identified analytically and illustrated numerically with the help of a phasefield model.

  11. The spacecraft 'fleet' to comet Halley - An introduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsurutani, B. T.

    1985-01-01

    Questions related to the formation and the characteristics of comets are discussed, and it is suggested that an evolutionary link exists between comets, prebiotic organic synthesis, and the origin of life as it is known. Fundamental questions about the solar wind interaction with comets, are considered, giving attention to the ionization mechanisms in the different cometary regions, the presence of field-aligned currents, and the cometary plasma tail. It is pointed out that some of the questions will soon be answered when the NASA-ESA International Cometary Explorer (ICE) goes through the tail of Giacobini-Zinner in September 1985, and when a five spacecraft 'fleet' arrives at comet Halley in March 1986.

  12. Validation of raw data measurements in the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Duez, P; Dehon, G; Dubois, J

    2004-07-01

    General guidance recently proposed for the comet assay concluded that "the method should be adjusted scientifically at each laboratory to obtain valid and reproducible results". However, the comet widely used metrics, Tail DNA and Tail moment, are actually based on a ratio of fluorescence signals, a relative and semi-quantitative measurement, and are quite difficult to validate according to classical criteria. As the validation of analytical methods increasingly becomes an absolute requirement in many fields, this paper investigates a scheme to study the variability of raw data measurements for computer-assisted comet measurement, including the between-operators reproducibility. In the overall analysis process, we show that the image acquisition step gives the highest variability, notably for the Tail length parameter that negatively influences the Olive tail moment. However, when the operator interacts with the system to correct obviously mistaken measurements, the reproducibility is sensibly improved. For the metrics Tail DNA and Olive tail moment, the total variability in measurements for a panel of comets quantified by different operators in real conditions is about 4%. The proposed validation scheme allows to assess the measurement process and to verify if there are any major difference between trained operators, an essential requirement for long-term investigations. PMID:18969513

  13. Studying Short-Period Comets and Long-Period Comets Detected by WISE/NEOWISE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramer, Emily A.; Fernández, Yanga R.; Bauer, James M.; Stevenson, Rachel; Mainzer, Amy K.; Grav, Tommy; Masiero, Joseph; Walker, Russell G.; Lisse, Carey M.

    2014-11-01

    The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission surveyed the sky in four infrared wavelength bands (3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22-micron) between January 2010 and February 2011 [1, 2]. During the mission, WISE serendipitously observed 160 comets, including 21 newly discovered objects. About 89 of the comets observed by WISE displayed a significant dust tail in the 12 and 22-micron (thermal emission) bands, showing a wide range of activity levels and dust morphology. Since the observed objects are a mix of both long-period comets (LPCs) and short-period comets (SPCs), differences in their activity can be used to better understand the thermal evolution that each of these populations has undergone. For the comets that displayed a significant dust tail, we have estimated the sizes and ages of the particles using dynamical models based on the Finson-Probstein method [3, 4]. For a selection of 40 comets, we have then compared these models to the data using a novel tail-fitting method that allows the best-fit model to be chosen analytically rather than subjectively. For comets that were observed multiple times by WISE, the dust tail particle properties were estimated separately, and then compared. We find that the dust tails of both LPCs and SPCs are primarily comprised of ~mm to cm sized particles, which were the result of emission that occurred several months to several years prior to the observations. The LPCs nearly all have strong dust emission close to the comet's perihelion distance, and the SPCs mostly have strong dust emission close to perihelion, but some have strong dust emission well before perihelion. Acknowledgments: This publication makes use of data products from (1) WISE, which is a joint project of UCLA and JPL/Caltech, funded by NASA; and (2) NEOWISE, which is a project of JPL/Caltech, funded by the Planetary Science Division of NASA. EK was supported by a NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship. RS gratefully acknowledges support from the NASA

  14. Comet Assay measurements: a perspective.

    PubMed

    Kumaravel, T S; Vilhar, Barbara; Faux, Stephen P; Jha, Awadhesh N

    2009-02-01

    The Comet Assay or single cell gel electrophoresis assay is one of the very widely used assays to microscopically detect DNA damage at the level of a single cell. The determination of damage is carried out either through visual scoring of cells (after classification into different categories on the basis of tail length and shape) or by using different commercially available or public domain software (which automatically recognise the extent of damage). In this assay, the shape, size and amount of DNA within the 'comet' play important roles in the determination of the level of damage. The use of a software in particular also provides a range of different parameters, many of which might not be relevant in determining the extent of DNA damage. As a large number of factors could influence the shape, size, identification and determination of induced damage, which includes the scoring criteria, staining techniques, selection of parameters (whilst using the software packages) and appearance of 'hedgehog' or 'clouds', this article aims (a) to provide an overview of evolution of measurements of DNA damage using the Comet Assay and (b) to summarise and critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches currently being adopted whilst using this assay. It is suggested that judicious selection of different parameters, staining methods along with inter-laboratory validation and harmonisation of methodologies will further help in making this assay more robust and widely acceptable for scientific as well as regulatory studies.

  15. Flight of the Comet

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video clip was compiled from images taken by NASA's EPOXI mission spacecraft during its flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4, 2010. During the encounter, the spacecraft and comet whisked past ea...

  16. Bye, Bye Comet

    NASA Video Gallery

    SOHO watched as a fairly bright comet dove towards the Sun in a white streak and was not seen again after its close encounter (May 10-11, 2011). The comet, probably part of the Kreutz family of com...

  17. STUDY OF THE 2007 APRIL 20 CME-COMET INTERACTION EVENT WITH AN MHD MODEL

    SciTech Connect

    Jia, Y. D.; Russell, C. T.; Jian, L. K.; Manchester, W. B.; Cohen, O.; Hansen, K. C.; Combi, M. R.; Gombosi, T. I.; Vourlidas, A.

    2009-05-01

    This study examines the tail disconnection event on 2007 April 20 on comet 2P/Encke, caused by a coronal mass ejection (CME) at a heliocentric distance of 0.34 AU. During their interaction, both the CME and the comet are visible with high temporal and spatial resolution by the STEREO-A spacecraft. Previously, only current sheets or shocks have been accepted as possible reasons for comet tail disconnections, so it is puzzling that the CME caused this event. The MHD simulation presented in this work reproduces the interaction process and demonstrates how the CME triggered a tail disconnection in the April 20 event. It is found that the CME disturbs the comet with a combination of a 180 deg. sudden rotation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), followed by a 90 deg. gradual rotation. Such an interpretation applies our understanding of solar wind-comet interactions to determine the in situ IMF orientation of the CME encountering Encke.

  18. A worldwide photographic network for wide-field observations of Halley's Comet in 1985-1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, M. B., Jr.; Brandt, J. C.; Rahe, J.

    1982-01-01

    A global network of ground-based observatories for the study of Halley's Comet in 1985/1986 is discussed. Recommendations are made with respect to improving coordination between reporting observatories, in order to ensure detailed imaging of such fast-generating cometary phenomena as plasma-tail knots, helices, disconnected tails, rays and condensations. A method for calibrating telescopes is considered by which well-studied objects will be photographed to provide references for images of Halley's Comet. This procedure is expected to reduce errors to approximately 0.05 mag. A coordinated study of Halley's Comet will provide important data on the physical properties of the Comet. Examples of the topics of study related to the plasma physics of the Comet's tail include: magnetic reconnection, rippling and tearing modes, kink instability, Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, and the flute instability.

  19. Direct dynamin–actin interactions regulate the actin cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Changkyu; Yaddanapudi, Suma; Weins, Astrid; Osborn, Teresia; Reiser, Jochen; Pollak, Martin; Hartwig, John; Sever, Sanja

    2010-01-01

    The large GTPase dynamin assembles into higher order structures that are thought to promote endocytosis. Dynamin also regulates the actin cytoskeleton through an unknown, GTPase-dependent mechanism. Here, we identify a highly conserved site in dynamin that binds directly to actin filaments and aligns them into bundles. Point mutations in the actin-binding domain cause aberrant membrane ruffling and defective actin stress fibre formation in cells. Short actin filaments promote dynamin assembly into higher order structures, which in turn efficiently release the actin-capping protein (CP) gelsolin from barbed actin ends in vitro, allowing for elongation of actin filaments. Together, our results support a model in which assembled dynamin, generated through interactions with short actin filaments, promotes actin polymerization via displacement of actin-CPs. PMID:20935625

  20. Genesis of a Comet (Artist's Concept)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Quick Time Movie for PIA02106 Genesis of a Comet

    This artist's animation depicts one of the most widely accepted theories pertaining to the origin of comets.

    The simulation opens with a protoplanetary disk, which will eventually turn into a solar system. The fiery yellow ball in the center represents a star like our Sun.

    Like a raindrop forming in a cloud, a star forms in a diffuse gas cloud in deep space. As the star grows, its gravitational pull draws in dust and gas from the surrounding molecular cloud to form a swirling disk called a 'protoplanetary disk.' This disk eventually further consolidates to form planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

    As the animation zooms into the disk, micron-size particles of dust can be seen sticking together to form centimeter- and millimeter-sized rocks. As the rocks become more massive, gravity takes over, forcing other surrounding pebbles and dust particles to collide with the larger rocks. The process continues until a comet is born.

    Since comets form far from their star in the icy regions of the planetary system, molecules, such as water, carbon dioxide and methane, freeze onto the micron-sized dust particles and rocks before they collide to form a comet.

    Once a solar system is formed, the gravitational pull from large planets manipulates a comet's orbit and brings it into the inner solar system. As the comet approaches its star, sunlight warms and transforms the frozen gas on and just below the comet's surface directly into vapor, effectively bypassing the liquid phase. This process is called sublimation.

    Sublimation of the molecules beneath the surface forces streams of gas and dust to jet out of the comet, creating an aura or 'coma' around the rock. Interactions between ingredients in the coma with surrounding sunlight and solar winds eventually create the comet's tail, pictured here at the end of the animation.

    This movie is

  1. Interaction of Comets and the Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, William (Technical Monitor); Raymond, John C.

    2004-01-01

    The analysis of Comet Kudo-Fujikawa at perihelion was published and picked up by Der Spiegel. Besides a large and rapidly increasing water outgassing rate, we detected a bright tail in doubly ionized carbon. The amount of carbon was greater than could be accounted for by CO photodissociation, and we attribute it to evaporation of organics from dust. A spectacular disconnection event was apparent in the C III tail, and it coincides within the uncertainties to the position of the heliospheric current sheet. The analysis of the sungrazing comet C2001 C2 is in press. It showed evidence for subfragments and for a very long lasting source of neutrals, which we identify as evaporation of pyroxene dust grains. Results were also presented at COSPAR. We are working on observations of another sungrazer, comet C2002 S2, which shows a sudden 2 magnitude drop in optical brightness and an equally sudden recovery. UVCS observations during that time show a steadily increasing outgassing rate. We have derived solar wind densities for both comets, but we are still sorting out the ambiguities involving the fragmentation and optical behavior.

  2. MHD (magnetohydrodynamic) simulation of a comet magnetosphere. Memorandum report

    SciTech Connect

    Fedder, J.A.; Brecht, S.H.; Lyon, J.G.

    1984-04-12

    This paper presents results of a numerical magnetohydrodynamic simulation of the interaction of the solar wind with a comet. It states that for a steady solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) the cometary plasma has a distinctive structure; a spheroidal head and a long ribbon-like tail. Rotational discontinuities in the IMF lead to changes in the tail structure. It is shown how these effects occur and describe ray-like structures as well as a tail disconnection event. The simulation results provide a simple explanation for a number of observable features in cometary plasma tails.

  3. Actin Mechanics and Fragmentation*

    PubMed Central

    De La Cruz, Enrique M.; Gardel, Margaret L.

    2015-01-01

    Cell physiological processes require the regulation and coordination of both mechanical and dynamical properties of the actin cytoskeleton. Here we review recent advances in understanding the mechanical properties and stability of actin filaments and how these properties are manifested at larger (network) length scales. We discuss how forces can influence local biochemical interactions, resulting in the formation of mechanically sensitive dynamic steady states. Understanding the regulation of such force-activated chemistries and dynamic steady states reflects an important challenge for future work that will provide valuable insights as to how the actin cytoskeleton engenders mechanoresponsiveness of living cells. PMID:25957404

  4. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, David; Neugebauer, Marcia; Weissman, Paul R.

    1989-01-01

    The Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission is designed to answer the many questions raised by the Halley missions by exploring a cometary nucleus in detail, following it around its orbit and studying its changing activity as it moves closer to and then away from the Sun. In addition, on its way to rendezvous with the comet, CRAF will fly by a large, primitive class main belt asteroid and will return valuable data for comparison with the comet results. The selected asteroid is 449 Hamburga with a diameter of 88 km and a surface composition of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. The expected flyby date is January, 1998. The CRAF spacecraft will continue to make measurements in orbit around the cometary nucleus as they both move closer to the Sun, until the dust and gas hazard becomes unsafe. At that point the spacecraft will move in and out between 50 and 2,500 kilometers to study the inner coma and the cometary ionosphere, and to collect dust and gas samples for onboard analysis. Following perihelion, the spacecraft will make a 50,000 km excursion down the comet's tail, further investigating the solar wind interaction with the cometary atmosphere. The spacecraft will return to the vicinity of the nucleus about four months after perihelion to observe the changes that have taken place. If the spacecraft remains healthy and adequate fuel is still onboard, an extended mission to follow the comet nucleus out to aphelion is anticipated.

  5. Comet Bennett 1969i

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendrie, M. J.

    1999-02-01

    On 1969 December 28, our member Jack C. Bennett in Pretoria, South Africa, discovered a small, diffuse comet of 8.5 magnitude. The discovery was made during a regular programme of sweeping for new comets he had been carrying out over several years. The comet was in Tucana, declination 65 deg south. Precise positions were soon obtained at the Perth Observatory, Western Australia, by Harris, Candy and Gans. The orbit computed by M. P. Candy, a former Director of the Comet Section, showed the comet to have a perihelion distance of about 0.5AU and an inclination close to 90 deg. Our Comet Section Director and Circulars Editor S. W. Milbourn noted in BAAC 515 that comet Bennett was 'likely to become a bright naked-eye object as it moves quickly north at the end of March.' We were not to be disappointed.

  6. RhoA activation and actin reorganization involved in endothelial CAM-mediated endocytosis of anti-PECAM carriers: critical role for tyrosine 686 in the cytoplasmic tail of PECAM-1.

    PubMed

    Garnacho, Carmen; Shuvaev, Vladimir; Thomas, Anu; McKenna, Lindsay; Sun, Jing; Koval, Michael; Albelda, Steven; Muzykantov, Vladimir; Muro, Silvia

    2008-03-15

    Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1), a transmembrane glycoprotein involved in leukocyte transmigration, represents a good target for endothelial drug delivery (eg, using antibody-directed nanocarriers, anti-PECAM/NCs). Although endothelial cells do not internalize PECAM antibodies, PECAM-1 engagement by multivalent anti-PECAM conjugates and nanocarriers causes endocytosis via a nonclassic CAM-mediated pathway. We found that endothelial uptake of multivalent anti-PECAM complexes is associated with PECAM-1 phosphorylation. Using model REN cells expressing a series of PECAM-1 deletion and point mutants, we found that the PECAM-1 cytoplasmic domain and, more precisely, PECAM-1 tyrosine 686, is critical in mediating RhoA activation and recruitment of EGFP-RhoA to anti-PECAM/NC binding sites at the plasmalemma, actin polymerization into phalloidin-positive stress fibers, and finally CAM endocytosis of anti-PECAM/NCs. Endothelial targeting and endocytosis of anti-PECAM/NCs were markedly efficient and did not compromise endothelial barrier function in vitro (determined by immunostaining of VE-cadherin and (125)I-albumin transport across endothelial monolayers) or in vivo (determined by electron microscopy imaging of pulmonary capillaries and (125)I-albumin transport from the blood into the lung tissue after intravenous injection of anti-PECAM/NCs in mice). These results reveal PECAM-1 signaling and interactions with the cytoskeleton, which are required for CAM-endocytosis, and may provide safe intra-endothelial drug delivery by anti-PECAM/NCs. PMID:18182571

  7. A Microscopic Formulation for the Actin-Driven Motion of Listeria in Curved Paths

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yuan; Shenoy, V.B.; Hu, Bin; Bai, Limiao

    2010-01-01

    Using a generalized Brownian ratchet model that accounts for the interactions of actin filaments with the surface of Listeria mediated by proteins like ActA and Arp2/3, we have developed a microscopic model for the movement of Listeria. Specifically, we show that a net torque can be generated within the comet tail, causing the bacteria to spin about its long axis, which in conjunction with spatially varying polymerization at the surface leads to motions of bacteria in curved paths that include circles, sinusoidal-like curves, translating figure eights, and serpentine shapes, as observed in recent experiments. A key ingredient in our formulation is the coupling between the motion of Listeria and the force-dependent rate of filament growth. For this reason, a numerical scheme was developed to determine the kinematic parameters of motion and stress distribution among filaments in a self-consistent manner. We find that a 5–15% variation in polymerization rates can lead to radii of curvatures of the order of 4–20 μm, measured in experiments. In a similar way, our results also show that most of the observed trajectories can be produced by a very low degree of correlation, <10%, among filament orientations. Since small fluctuations in polymerization rate, as well as filament orientation, can easily be induced by various factors, our findings here provide a reasonable explanation for why Listeria can travel along totally different paths under seemingly identical experimental conditions. Besides trajectories, stress distributions corresponding to different polymerization profiles are also presented. We have found that although some actin filaments generate propelling forces that push the bacteria forward, others can exert forces opposing the movement of Listeria, consistent with recent experimental observations. PMID:20712987

  8. Septin 9 Exhibits Polymorphic Binding to F-Actin and Inhibits Myosin and Cofilin Activity.

    PubMed

    Smith, Clayton; Dolat, Lee; Angelis, Dimitrios; Forgacs, Eva; Spiliotis, Elias T; Galkin, Vitold E

    2015-10-01

    Septins are a highly conserved family of proteins in eukaryotes that is recognized as a novel component of the cytoskeleton. Septin 9 (SEPT9) interacts directly with actin filaments and functions as an actin stress fiber cross-linking protein that promotes the maturation of nascent focal adhesions and cell migration. However, the molecular details of how SEPT9 interacts with F-actin remain unknown. Here, we use electron microscopy and image analysis to show that SEPT9 binds to F-actin in a highly polymorphic fashion. We demonstrate that the basic domain (B-domain) of the N-terminal tail of SEPT9 is responsible for actin cross-linking, while the GTP-binding domain (G-domain) does not bundle F-actin. We show that the B-domain of SEPT9 binds to three sites on F-actin, and the two of these sites overlap with the binding regions of myosin and cofilin. SEPT9 inhibits actin-dependent ATPase activity of myosin and competes with the weakly bound state of myosin for binding to F-actin. At the same time, SEPT9 significantly reduces the extent of F-actin depolymerization by cofilin. Taken together, these data suggest that SEPT9 protects actin filaments from depolymerization by cofilin and myosin and indicate a mechanism by which SEPT9 could maintain the integrity of growing and contracting actin filaments.

  9. Quantification of applied dose in irradiated citrus fruits by DNA Comet Assay together with image analysis.

    PubMed

    Cetinkaya, Nurcan; Ercin, Demet; Özvatan, Sümer; Erel, Yakup

    2016-02-01

    The experiments were conducted for quantification of applied dose for quarantine control in irradiated citrus fruits. Citrus fruits exposed to doses of 0.1 to 1.5 kGy and analyzed by DNA Comet Assay. Observed comets were evaluated by image analysis. The tail length, tail moment and tail DNA% of comets were used for the interpretation of comets. Irradiated citrus fruits showed the separated tails from the head of the comet by increasing applied doses from 0.1 to 1.5 kGy. The mean tail length and mean tail moment% levels of irradiated citrus fruits at all doses are significantly different (p < 0.01) from control even for the lowest dose at 0.1 kGy. Thus, DNA Comet Assay may be a practical quarantine control method for irradiated citrus fruits since it has been possible to estimate the applied low doses as small as 0.1 kGy when it is combined with image analysis. PMID:26304361

  10. Quantification of applied dose in irradiated citrus fruits by DNA Comet Assay together with image analysis.

    PubMed

    Cetinkaya, Nurcan; Ercin, Demet; Özvatan, Sümer; Erel, Yakup

    2016-02-01

    The experiments were conducted for quantification of applied dose for quarantine control in irradiated citrus fruits. Citrus fruits exposed to doses of 0.1 to 1.5 kGy and analyzed by DNA Comet Assay. Observed comets were evaluated by image analysis. The tail length, tail moment and tail DNA% of comets were used for the interpretation of comets. Irradiated citrus fruits showed the separated tails from the head of the comet by increasing applied doses from 0.1 to 1.5 kGy. The mean tail length and mean tail moment% levels of irradiated citrus fruits at all doses are significantly different (p < 0.01) from control even for the lowest dose at 0.1 kGy. Thus, DNA Comet Assay may be a practical quarantine control method for irradiated citrus fruits since it has been possible to estimate the applied low doses as small as 0.1 kGy when it is combined with image analysis.

  11. Actin Automata with Memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso-Sanz, Ramón; Adamatzky, Andy

    Actin is a globular protein which forms long polar filaments in eukaryotic. The actin filaments play the roles of cytoskeleton, motility units, information processing and learning. We model actin filament as a double chain of finite state machines, nodes, which take states “0” and “1”. The states are abstractions of absence and presence of a subthreshold charge on actin units corresponding to the nodes. All nodes update their state in parallel to discrete time. A node updates its current state depending on states of two closest neighbors in the node chain and two closest neighbors in the complementary chain. Previous models of actin automata consider momentary state transitions of nodes. We enrich the actin automata model by assuming that states of nodes depend not only on the current states of neighboring node but also on their past states. Thus, we assess the effect of memory of past states on the dynamics of acting automata. We demonstrate in computational experiments that memory slows down propagation of perturbations, decrease entropy of space-time patterns generated, transforms traveling localizations to stationary oscillators, and stationary oscillations to still patterns.

  12. Stability properties of a cometary plasma tail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malara, Francesco; Einaudi, Giorgio; Mangeney, Andre

    1989-09-01

    The linear stability of the plasma tail of a comet is numerically investigated. Effects both of finite resistivity and of velocity shear are taken into account. The tail appears to be unstable against Kelvin-Helmholtz-like modes in which a certain amount of reconnection occurs. Because of the velocity flow shear the perturbation extends far beyond the singular layer and affects in depth the magnetic lobes. The relative importance of the Kelvin-Helmoltz turbulence in the lobes and the level of reconnection, the typical wavelengths, and the growth time of the mode depend on the particular cometary tail considered.

  13. Chemical abundance of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, Susan; Wehinger, Peter

    1988-01-01

    Observations of NH2, (OI) and molecular ion spectra in comets represent virtually all of the volatile fraction of a comet nucleus. Their study leads to the N2, NH3, H2O, CO2, CO content of the nucleus, and thus to important constraints on models of comet formation and chemical processing in the primitive solar nebula. The observations of Comet Halley provide the opportunity for the first comprehensive determination of the abundances in a comet nucleus. The carbon isotope abundance ratio 12 C/13 C = 65 plus or minus 8 has been determined for Comet Halley from resolved rotational line structure in the CN B-X (0,0) band. The ratio is approximately 30 pct lower than the solar system value, 89, indicating either an enhancement of 13CN or a depletion of 12CN in the comet. Scenarios consistent with the observed carbon isotope ratio are: (1) formation of the comet at the periphery of the solar nebula in a fractionation-enriched 13CN region, or hidden from 12CN enrichment sources, and (2) capture of an interestellar comet. Long-slit charge coupled device (CCD) spectra obtained at the time of the spacecraft encounter of Comet Halley have also been analyzed. Scale lengths, production rates and column densities of CH, CN, C2 and NH2 were determined.

  14. The Molecular Evolution of Actin

    PubMed Central

    Hightower, Robin C.; Meagher, Richard B.

    1986-01-01

    We have investigated the molecular evolution of plant and nonplant actin genes comparing nucleotide and amino acid sequences of 20 actin genes. Nucleotide changes resulting in amino acid substitutions (replacement substitutions) ranged from 3–7% for all pairwise comparisons of animal actin genes with the following exceptions. Comparisons between higher animal muscle actin gene sequences and comparisons between higher animal cytoplasmic actin gene sequences indicated <3% divergence. Comparisons between plant and nonplant actin genes revealed, with two exceptions, 11–15% replacement substitution. In the analysis of plant actins, replacement substitution between soybean actin genes SAc1, SAc3, SAc4 and maize actin gene MAc1 ranged from 8–10%, whereas these members within the soybean actin gene family ranged from 6–9% replacement substitution. The rate of sequence divergence of plant actin sequences appears to be similar to that observed for animal actins. Furthermore, these and other data suggest that the plant actin gene family is ancient and that the families of soybean and maize actin genes have diverged from a single common ancestral plant actin gene that originated long before the divergence of monocots and dicots. The soybean actin multigene family encodes at least three classes of actin. These classes each contain a pair of actin genes that have been designated kappa (SAc1, SAc6), lambda (SAc2, SAc4) and mu (SAc3, SAc7). The three classes of soybean actin are more divergent in nucleotide sequence from one another than higher animal cytoplasmic actin is divergent from muscle actin. The location and distribution of amino acid changes were compared between actin proteins from all sources. A comparison of the hydropathy of all actin sequences, except from Oxytricha, indicated a strong similarity in hydropathic character between all plant and nonplant actins despite the greater number of replacement substitutions in plant actins. These protein sequence

  15. Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught): Observations by STEREO and SOHO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, G. H.; Morrill, J. S.; Battams, K.; Owens, M. J.; Howard, R. A.; Stenborg, G. A.

    2008-09-01

    We present January 2007 observations of comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) by the ESA/NASA SOHO spacecraft's LASCO coronagraph and the twin NASA STEREO spacecraft's SECCHI heliospheric imagers. McNaught's extensive dust tail displayed a mixture of ordered and quasi-random distribution of particles that was well-captured by these instruments. Linear dust tail features termed striae were common; these can be explained by the mass-fragmentation of large dust grains within brief time periods, once the grains are well-separated from the comet's nucleus. We model this process, in an attempt to reproduce McNaught's dust tail features. The attempts to simulate the tail's appearance as seen by SOHO and STEREO are presented, and we summarize the implications of our interpretation of these simulated tail structures for the nature of the comet's dust population.

  16. ISO's analysis of Comet Hale-Bopp

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-03-01

    of the comet's dust and vapour, and also rates of escape of vapour, which will help in assessing the loss of material from Comet Hale-Bopp during this visit to the Sun's vicinity. "Watch out for some fascinating news," says Thijs de Graauw of Groningen University, who is in charge of the SWS instrument used in this study. "What excites me is the opportunity we shall have to compare dusty Comet Hale-Bopp, seen in the Solar System, with dusty objects far away among the stars which seem to be made of similar materials. Infrared astronomy has a special ability to unify cosmic chemistry at all scales from little dust grains in the Earth's vicinity to vast and distant galaxies." The dust itself interests the infrared astronomers, not least because their view of the Universe at large is spoiled to some extent by dust left behind by comets. Together with fine debris from asteroids, the comet dust makes a bright infrared band around the sky, which corresponds with the zodiacal light sometimes seen by eye, slanting above the horizon at twilight. ISO's predecessor, the US-Dutch-UK infrared astronomical satellite IRAS, found trails of comet dust much longer and more persistent than the familiar comet tails. ISO has seen a trail from Comet Kopff. By detecting dust grains that are typically much larger than those seen by visible light, ISO scientists hope to learn more about the dust's long-term behaviour in the Solar System. A series of images of Comet Hale-Bopp, obtained by the camera ISOCAM in October 1996, is the subject of continuing analysis. Leading this work in progress is Philippe Lamy of Marseille, France. "We hope to unveil the nucleus of the comet," Professor Lamy explains. "In principle, the Hubble Space Telescope can see finer details by visible light, but the contrast of the nucleus against the bright surrounding coma is superior at infrared wavelengths. This is because the thermal emission from the nucleus is very large and can be detected thanks to the high

  17. Actin-cytoskeleton dynamics in non-monotonic cell spreading

    PubMed Central

    Heinrich, Doris; Youssef, Simon; Schroth-Diez, Britta; Engel, Ulrike; Aydin, Daniel; Blümmel, Jacques; Spatz, Joachim P

    2008-01-01

    The spreading of motile cells on a substrate surface is accompanied by reorganization of their actin network. We show that spreading in the highly motile cells of Dictyostelium is non-monotonic, and thus differs from the passage of spreading cells through a regular series of stages. Quantification of the gain and loss of contact area revealed fluctuating forces of protrusion and retraction that dominate the interaction of Dictyostelium cells with a substrate. The molecular basis of these fluctuations is elucidated by dual-fluorescence labeling of filamentous actin together with proteins that highlight specific activities in the actin system. Front-to-tail polarity is established by the sorting out of myosin-II from regions where dense actin assemblies are accumulating. Myosin-IB identifies protruding front regions, and the Arp2/3 complex localizes to lamellipodia protruded from the fronts. Coronin is used as a sensitive indicator of actin disassembly to visualize the delicate balance of polymerization and depolymerization in spreading cells. Short-lived actin patches that co-localize with clathrin suggest that membrane internalization occurs even when the substrate-attached cell surface expands. We conclude that non-monotonic cell spreading is characterized by spatiotemporal patterns formed by motor proteins together with regulatory proteins that either promote or terminate actin polymerization on the scale of seconds. PMID:19262103

  18. Ultraviolet observations of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Code, A. D.; Houck, T. E.; Lillie, C. F.

    1972-01-01

    The first observations of a comet in the vacuum ultraviolet were obtained on January 14, 1970, when OAO-2 recorded the spectrum of the bright comet Tago-Sato-Kosaka (1969g). The observations revealed, among other things, the predicted extensive hydrogen Lyman alpha halo. OAO-2 continued to collect spectrophotometric measurements of this comet throughout January of that year; a photograph of the nucleus in Lyman alpha revealed finer scale structures. In February of 1970, the bright comet Bennet (1969i) became favorable for space observations. On the basis of the OAO discovery, OGO-V made several measurements of comet Bennet with low spatial resolution photometers. Comet Enke was detected by OGO in January of 1971 at a large heliocentric distance from its Lyman alpha emission.

  19. Physics of comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishna Swamy, K. S.

    1. General introduction. 1.1. Historical perspective. 1.2. Discovery. 1.3. Appearance. 1.4. Statistics. 1.5. Importance. 1.6. Brightness. 1.7. Main characteristics. 1.8. Spacecraft encounters with comets. 1.9. An overall view -- 2. Dynamics. 2.1. Orbital elements. 2.2. Orbit in space -- 3. Physical aspects. 3.1. Black body radiation. 3.2. Perfect gas law. 3.3. Dissociative equilibrium. 3.4. Doppler shift. 3.5. Spectroscopy. 3.6. Isotopic effect. 3.7. Franck-Condon factors. 3.8. Intensity of emitted lines. 3.9. Boltzmann distribution. 3.10. [symbol]-doubling. 3.11. Photochemistry of water. 3.12. Silicate. 3.13. Annealing. 3.14. Carbon. 3.15. Solar radiation. 3.16. Solar wind -- 4. Spectra. 4.1. Main characteristics. 4.2. Forbidden transitions. 4.3. Line-to-continuum ratio -- 5. Spectra of coma. 5.1. Fluorescence process. 5.2. Excitation temperature. 5.3. Abundances of heavy elements. 5.4. Isotopic abundances. 5.5. Summary -- 6. Gas production rates in coma. 6.1. Theoretical models. 6.2. Results. 6.3. Analysis of hydrogen observations. 6.4. Related studies. 6.5. Parent molecules. 6.6. Chemical diversity. 6.7. Summary -- 7. Dust tails. 7.1. Dynamics. 7.2. Anti-tail. 7.3. Dust trails. 7.4. Sodium gas tails. 7.5. Dust features -- 8. Light scattering theory. 8.1. Mie scattering theory. 8.2. Approximate expressions. 8.3. Computation of cross sections. 8.4. Results. 8.5. Particles of other types. 8.6. Optical constants -- 9. The nature of dust particles. 9.1. Visible continuum. 9.2. Polarization. 9.3. Grain sizes. 9.4. Infrared measurements. 9.5. Spectral feature. 9.6. Properties derived from direct measurements. 9.7. Radiation pressure effects. 9.8. Summary -- 10. Ion tails. 10.1. Evidence for the solar wind. 10.2. Dynamical aberration. 10.3. Theoretical considerations. 10.4. Instabilities and waves. 10.5. Acceleration of cometary ions. 10.6. Large scale structures. 10.7. X-rays. 10.8. Summary -- 11. Nucleus. 11.1. Morphology. 11.2. Theory of vapourization. 11

  20. Special Report: Chemistry of Comets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    A'Hearn, Michael F.

    1984-01-01

    Discusses the chemistry of comets. How comets provide clues to the birth of the solar system, photolytic reactions on comets involving water, chemical modeling, nuclear chemistry, and research findings are among the areas considered. (JN)

  1. I Spy a Comet!

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This image shows comet Tempel 1 as seen through the clear filter of the medium resolution imager camera on Deep Impact. It was taken on June 25, 2005, when the spacecraft was 8,007,845.1 kilometers (4,976,075 miles) away from the comet. Ten images were combined to create this picture, and a logarithmic stretch was applied to enhance the coma of the comet.

  2. Infrared emission from comets.

    PubMed

    Krishna-Swamy, K S; Sandford, S A; Allamandola, L J; Witteborn, F C; Bregman, J D

    1989-05-01

    A brief discussion of the infrared observations from 4 to 20 micrometers of seven comets is presented. The observed infrared emission from comets depends primarily on their heliocentric distance. A model based on grain populations composed of a mixture of silicate and amorphous carbon particles in the mass ratio of about 40 to 1, with a power-law size distribution similar to that inferred for comet Halley, is applied to the observations. The model provides a good match to the observed heliocentric variation of both the 10 micrometers feature and the overall thermal emission from comets West and Halley. Matches to the observations of comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock and the antitail of comet Kohoutek require slightly larger grains. While the model does not match the exact profile and position of the 3.4 micrometers feature discovered in comet Halley, it does produce a qualitative fit to the observed variation of the feature's strength as a function of heliocentric distance. The calculations predict that the continuum under the 3.4 micrometers feature is due primarily to thermal emission from the comet dust when the comet is close to the Sun and to scattered solar radiation at large heliocentric distances, as is observed. A brief discussion of the determination of cometary grain temperatures from the observed infrared emission is presented. It is found that the observed shape of the emission curve from about 4 to 8 micrometers provides the best spectral region for estimating the cometary grain temperature distribution.

  3. Intranuclear Actin Regulates Osteogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sen, Buer; Xie, Zhihui; Uzer, Gunes; Thompson, William R.; Styner, Maya; Wu, Xin; Rubin, Janet

    2016-01-01

    Depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton induces nuclear trafficking of regulatory proteins and global effects on gene transcription. We here show that in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), cytochalasin D treatment causes rapid cofilin-/importin-9-dependent transfer of G-actin into the nucleus. The continued presence of intranuclear actin, which forms rod-like structures that stain with phalloidin, is associated with induction of robust expression of the osteogenic genes osterix and osteocalcin in a Runx2-dependent manner, and leads to acquisition of osteogenic phenotype. Adipogenic differentiation also occurs, but to a lesser degree. Intranuclear actin leads to nuclear export of Yes-associated protein (YAP); maintenance of nuclear YAP inhibits Runx2 initiation of osteogenesis. Injection of cytochalasin into the tibial marrow space of live mice results in abundant bone formation within the space of 1 week. In sum, increased intranuclear actin forces MSC into osteogenic lineage through controlling Runx2 activity; this process may be useful for clinical objectives of forming bone. PMID:26140478

  4. The visual appearance of comets under varying solar wind conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.; Guan, L.; Luhmann, J. G.; Fedder, J. A.

    1989-01-01

    Three-dimensional MHD simulations have been performed for four different sets of solar wind conditions and cometary outgassing rates appropriate to the Halley encounters. Even though the simulations are single fluid calculations, it is possible to separate the solar wind and cometary ions using the divergenceless nature of the solar wind ions. The cometary ion density is then integrated along the line-of-sight from the observer through the comet to determine how the comet would look to a distant observer under these different conditions. In general, comet tails appear longer when the interplanetary magnetic field lies in the plane of the sky rather than along the line-of-sight. Also, the tail shrinks as the speed of the solar wind increases and/or the mass loading rate decreases.

  5. Organic Molecules in Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chuang, Y.-L.; Kuan, Y.-J.; Cordiner, M. A.; Charnley, S. B.

    2015-12-01

    Results obtained from ALMA observations of Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) are presented. The 265-GHz continuum peak is uncovered to be offset spatially from spectral peaks, probably due to contamination from dust-tail emission. An isovelocity pattern typical to a rotating solid-body plane is apparent in the moment-1 HCN map. HNCO, cyclopropenylidene and vinyl cyanide are tentatively detected. The spatial distribution of HNCO appears to be localized and inhomogeneous in the cometary nucleus if HNCO is a primary species. Methanol gas is not only concentrated on the cometary nucleus but also extended to the north. c-C3H2 is likely associated with the cometary nucleus and C2H3CN, with the dust tail. The mighty ALMA certainly turns every ordinary comet into a Hale-Bopp, the brightest comet of the 20th century.

  6. Automatic analysis of silver-stained comets by CellProfiler software.

    PubMed

    González, J E; Romero, I; Barquinero, J F; García, O

    2012-10-01

    The comet assay is one of the most widely used methods to evaluate DNA damage and repair in eukaryotic cells. The comets can be measured by software, in a semi-automatic or automatic process. In this paper, we apply the CellProfiler open-source software for automatic analysis of comets from digitized images, reporting the percentage of tail DNA. A side-by-side comparison of CellProfiler with CASP software demonstrated good agreement between the two packages. Our work demonstrates that automatic measurement of silver-stained comets with open-source software is possible, providing significant time savings. PMID:22771502

  7. Interaction between microtubules and the Drosophila formin Cappuccino and its effect on actin assembly.

    PubMed

    Roth-Johnson, Elizabeth A; Vizcarra, Christina L; Bois, Justin S; Quinlan, Margot E

    2014-02-14

    Formin family actin nucleators are potential coordinators of the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, as they can both nucleate actin filaments and bind microtubules in vitro. To gain a more detailed mechanistic understanding of formin-microtubule interactions and formin-mediated actin-microtubule cross-talk, we studied microtubule binding by Cappuccino (Capu), a formin involved in regulating actin and microtubule organization during Drosophila oogenesis. We found that two distinct domains within Capu, FH2 and tail, work together to promote high-affinity microtubule binding. The tail domain appears to bind microtubules through nonspecific charge-based interactions. In contrast, distinct residues within the FH2 domain are important for microtubule binding. We also report the first visualization of a formin polymerizing actin filaments in the presence of microtubules. Interestingly, microtubules are potent inhibitors of the actin nucleation activity of Capu but appear to have little effect on Capu once it is bound to the barbed end of an elongating filament. Because Capu does not simultaneously bind microtubules and assemble actin filaments in vitro, its actin assembly and microtubule binding activities likely require spatial and/or temporal regulation within the Drosophila oocyte.

  8. The interaction of active comets with the solar wind

    SciTech Connect

    Neugebauer, M. )

    1990-11-01

    The interaction of the solar wind with active comets is investigated based on observations of cometary plasma processes and studies of comets using telescopes and photographic plates. Data were also collected when a spacecraft flew through the tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner in 1985 and five spacecraft encountered Comet Halley in 1986. The solar wind is considered to be supersonic (thermal Mach number 2-10) and to carry a magnetic field twisted into an Archimedean spiral by the rotation of the sun. Since the wind can change its properties during the time a spacecraft is inside the ionosphere or magnetosphere of the body being studied, it is difficult to separate spatial from temporal effects. Photoionization results in addition of plasma to the solar wind. Between the outer and inner edges of the cometosheath, the increasing rate of ion pickup causes the flow to slow down until it stagnates, while the plasma density and the magnetic field strength increase.

  9. The evolution of comet orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Everhart, E.

    1976-01-01

    The origin of comets and the evolution of their orbits are discussed. Factors considered include: the law of survival of comets against ejection on hyperbolic orbits; short-period comets are not created by single close encounters of near-parabolic comets with Jupiter; observable long-period comets do not evolve into observable short-period comets; unobservable long-period comets with perihelia near Jupiter can evolve into observable short-period comets; long-period comets cannot have been formed or created within the planetary region of the solar system (excluding the effects of stellar perturbations); it is possible that some of the short-period comets could have been formed inside the orbit of Neptune; circularly-restricted three-body problem, and its associated Jacobi integral, are not valid approximations to use in studying origin and evolution of comets.

  10. Meteoroid streams and comet disintegration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guliyev, A.

    2016-01-01

    The results of the statistical analysis of the dynamic parameters of 114 comets that have undergone nuclear splitting are presented in the article. The list of the objects contains: comets that have split in the period of the observation; data of twin-comets; lost comets with designation D; comets with large-scale structure in the coma. We will describe these comets as "splitted". Some aspects of the following hypothesis are studied: disintegration of comet nuclei happens as the result of their collision with meteoroid streams. For the verification of this hypothesis, the position of splitted comet orbits relatively to 125 meteor streams from Kronk's list is analyzed. It was found that the total number of comet orbit nodes located close to the meteor stream planes (for the distances up to 0.1 AU) is N = 1041. It is shown that if these comets are replaced by randomly selected different comets, N will be reduced by a factor of approximately three.

  11. Selective localization of myosin-I proteins in macropinosomes and actin waves.

    PubMed

    Brzeska, Hanna; Koech, Hilary; Pridham, Kevin J; Korn, Edward D; Titus, Margaret A

    2016-02-01

    Class I myosins are widely expressed with roles in endocytosis and cell migration in a variety of cell types. Dictyostelium express multiple myosin Is, including three short-tailed (Myo1A, Myo1E, Myo1F) and three long-tailed (Myo1B, Myo1C, Myo1D). Here we report the molecular basis of the specific localizations of short-tailed Myo1A, Myo1E, and Myo1F compared to our previously determined localization of long-tailed Myo1B. Myo1A and Myo1B have common and unique localizations consistent with the various features of their tail region; specifically the BH sites in their tails are required for their association with the plasma membrane and heads are sufficient for relocalization to the front of polarized cells. Myo1A does not localize to actin waves and macropinocytic protrusions, in agreement with the absence of a tail region which is required for these localizations of Myo1B. However, in spite of the overall similarity of their domain structures, the cellular distributions of Myo1E and Myo1F are quite different from Myo1A. Myo1E and Myo1F, but not Myo1A, are associated with macropinocytic cups and actin waves. The localizations of Myo1E and Myo1F in macropinocytic structures and actin waves differ from the localization of Myo1B. Myo1B colocalizes with F-actin in the actin waves and at the tips of mature macropinocytic cups whereas Myo1E and Myo1F are in the interior of actin waves and along the entire surface of macropinocytic cups. Our results point to different mechanisms of targeting of short- and long-tailed myosin Is, and are consistent with these myosins having both shared and divergent cellular functions.

  12. Changing Speed of Comets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Follows, Mike

    2003-01-01

    It is shown that highly elliptical orbits, such as those of comets, can be explained well in terms of energy rather than forces. The principle of conservation of energy allows a comet's velocity to be calculated at aphelion and perihelion. An example asks students to calculate whether they can run fast enough to escape from a small asteroid.…

  13. Piece of a Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This image shows a comet particle collected by the Stardust spacecraft. The particle is made up of the silicate mineral forsterite, also known as peridot in its gem form. It is surrounded by a thin rim of melted aerogel, the substance used to collect the comet dust samples. The particle is about 2 micrometers across.

  14. Spectroscopy of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Wehinger, P. A.

    1986-01-01

    Comets constitute the most accessible samples of the outer solar system in its most primitive state. The physical and chemical properties of comet nuclei were determined to infer the conditions and processes related to the origin and evolution of the outer solar system. The procedure is to acquire and analyze digital spectra of a sample of comets covering a large range in heliocentric distance. During 1984 to 1986 the emphasis has been on Comet P/Halley (1982i). Large ground-based telescopes and state-of-the-art detectors were used to observe Comet P/Halley pre- and post-perihelion, covering a heliocentric distance range, 0.9 to 6.1 AU.

  15. Mira's Tail There All Along

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer discovered an exceptionally long comet-like tail of material trailing behind Mira -- a star that has been studied thoroughly for about 400 years. So, why had this tail gone unnoticed for so long? The answer is that nobody had scanned the extended region around Mira in ultraviolet light until now.

    As this composite demonstrates, the tail is only visible in ultraviolet light (top), and does not show up in visible light (bottom). Incidentally, Mira is much brighter in visible than ultraviolet light due to its low surface temperature of about 3,000 kelvin (about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit).

    The Galaxy Evolution Explorer, one of NASA's Small Explorer class missions, is the first all-sky survey in ultraviolet light. It found Mira's tail by chance during a routine scan. Since the mission's launch more than four years ago, it has surveyed millions of galaxies and stars. Such vast collections of data often bring welcome surprises, such as Mira's unusual tail.

    The visible-light image is from the United Kingdom Schmidt Telescope in Australia, via the Digitized Sky Survey, a program affiliated with the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.

  16. Tail Buffeting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdrashitov, G.

    1943-01-01

    An approximate theory of buffeting is here presented, based on the assumption of harmonic disturbing forces. Two cases of buffeting are considered: namely, for a tail angle of attack greater and less than the stalling angle, respectively. On the basis of the tests conducted and the results of foreign investigators, a general analysis is given of the nature of the forced vibrations the possible load limits on the tail, and the methods of elimination of buffeting.

  17. Amplification of actin polymerization forces

    PubMed Central

    Dmitrieff, Serge; Nédélec, François

    2016-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton drives many essential processes in vivo, using molecular motors and actin assembly as force generators. We discuss here the propagation of forces caused by actin polymerization, highlighting simple configurations where the force developed by the network can exceed the sum of the polymerization forces from all filaments. PMID:27002174

  18. Vinculin Is a Dually Regulated Actin Filament Barbed End-capping and Side-binding Protein

    PubMed Central

    Le Clainche, Christophe; Dwivedi, Satya Prakash; Didry, Dominique; Carlier, Marie-France

    2010-01-01

    The focal adhesion protein vinculin is an actin-binding protein involved in the mechanical coupling between the actin cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. An autoinhibitory interaction between the N-terminal head (Vh) and the C-terminal tail (Vt) of vinculin masks an actin filament side-binding domain in Vt. The binding of several proteins to Vh disrupts this intramolecular interaction and exposes the actin filament side-binding domain. Here, by combining kinetic assays and microscopy observations, we show that Vt inhibits actin polymerization by blocking the barbed ends of actin filaments. In low salt conditions, Vt nucleates actin filaments capped at their barbed ends. We determined that the interaction between vinculin and the barbed end is characterized by slow association and dissociation rate constants. This barbed end capping activity requires C-terminal amino acids of Vt that are dispensable for actin filament side binding. Like the side-binding domain, the capping domain of vinculin is masked by an autoinhibitory interaction between Vh and Vt. In contrast to the side-binding domain, the capping domain is not unmasked by the binding of a talin domain to Vh and requires the dissociation of an additional autoinhibitory interaction. Finally, we show that vinculin and the formin mDia1, which is involved in the processive elongation of actin filaments in focal adhesions, compete for actin filament barbed ends. PMID:20484056

  19. Realm of the comets

    SciTech Connect

    Weissman, P.R.

    1987-03-01

    Studies of Jovian perturbations of the orbits of long-period comets led to the concept of the Oort cloud of 180 billion comets at 50,000-150,000 AU from the sun. Several comets are induced to move toward the sun every million years by the passage of a star at a distance of a few light years. The location of the cloud has since been revised to 20,000-100,000 AU, and comets are now accepted as remnant material fron the proto-solar system epoch. The galactic disk and random, close-passing stars may also cause rare, large perturbations in the orbits of the cloud comets, sending large numbers of comets through the inner solar system. The resulting cometary storm is a candidate cause for the wholesale extinction of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous-Terniary transition due to large number of planetesimals, or one large comet, striking the earth, in a short period of time. The IRAS instruments have detected similar clouds of material around other stars.

  20. Realm of the comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.

    1987-01-01

    Studies of Jovian perturbations of the orbits of long-period comets led to the concept of the Oort cloud of 180 billion comets at 50,000-150,000 AU from the sun. Several comets are induced to move toward the sun every million years by the passage of a star at a distance of a few light years. The location of the cloud has since been revised to 20,000-100,000 AU, and comets are now accepted as remnant material fron the proto-solar system epoch. The galactic disk and random, close-passing stars may also cause rare, large perturbations in the orbits of the cloud comets, sending large numbers of comets through the inner solar system. The resulting cometary storm is a candidate cause for the wholesale extinction of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous-Terniary transition due to large number of planetesimals, or one large comet, striking the earth, in a short period of time. The IRAS instruments have detected similar clouds of material around other stars.

  1. Detection of irradiated quail meat by using DNA comet assay and evaluation of comets by image analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erel, Yakup; Yazici, Nizamettin; Özvatan, Sumer; Ercin, Demet; Cetinkaya, Nurcan

    2009-09-01

    A simple technique of microgel electrophoresis of single cells (DNA comet assay) was used to detect DNA comets in irradiated quail meat samples. Obtained DNA comets were evaluated by both photomicrographic and image analysis. Quail meat samples were exposed to radiation doses of 0.52, 1.05, 1.45, 2.00, 2.92 and 4.00 kGy in gamma cell (gammacell 60Co, dose rate 1.31 kGy/h) covering the permissible limits for enzymatic decay and stored at 2 °C. The cells isolated from muscle (chest, thorax) in cold PBS were analyzed using the DNA comet assay on 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 11 day post irradiation. The cells were lysed between 2, 5 and 9 min in 2.5% SDS and electrophorosis was carried out at a voltage of 2 V/cm for 2 min. After propidium iodide staining, the slides were evaluated through a fluorescent microscope. In all irradiated samples, fragmented DNA stretched towards the anode and damaged cells appeared as a comet. All measurement data were analyzed using BS 200 ProP with software image analysis (BS 200 ProP, BAB Imaging System, Ankara, Turkey). The density of DNA in the tails increased with increasing radiation dose. However, in non-irradiated samples, the large molecules of DNA remained relatively intact and there was only minor or no migration of DNA; the cells were round or had very short tails only. The values of tail DNA%, tail length and tail moment were significantly different and identical between 0.9 and 4.0 kGy dose exposure, and also among storage times on day 1, 4 and 8. In conclusion, the DNA Comet Assay EN 13784 standard method may be used not only for screening method for detection of irradiated quail meat depending on storage time and condition but also for the quantification of applied dose if it is combined with image analysis. Image analysis may provide a powerful tool for the evaluation of head and tail of comet intensity related with applied doses.

  2. Using the EUV to Weigh a Sun-Grazing Comet as it Disappears in the Solar Corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pesnell, William Dean; Schrijiver, Carolus J.; Brown, John C.; Battams, Karl; Saint-Hilaire, Pascal; Hudson Hugh S.; Lui, Wei

    2012-01-01

    On July 6,2011, the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AlA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed a comet in most of its EUY passbands. The comet disappeared while moving through the solar corona. The comet penetrated to 0.146 solar radii ($\\simapprox.100,000 km) above the photosphere before its EUY faded. Before then, the comet's coma and a tail were observed in absorption and emission, respectively. The material in the variable tail quickly fell behind the nucleus. An estimate of the comet's mass based on this effect, one derived from insolation, and one using the tail's EUY brightness, all yield $\\sim 50$ giga-grams some 10 minutes prior to the end of its visibility. These unique first observations herald a new era in the study of Sun-grazing comets close to their perihelia and of the conditions in the solar corona and solar wind. We will discuss the observations and interpretation of the comet by SDO as well as the coronagraph observations from SOHO and STEREO. A search of the SOHO comet archive for other comets that could be observed in the SDO; AlA EUY channels will be described

  3. Comet Bursting Through Relaxation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, D. J.

    2012-10-01

    Comets may be excited and occupy non-principal axis (complex) rotation states for a large fraction of their lifetimes. Many comet nuclei have been identified or are suspected to occupy non-principal axis (complex) rotation [Belton 2005, etc.] as well as have evolving rotation rates [Belton 2011, etc.]. Comet orbits drive these rotation states through cycles of excitation due to surface jets and relaxation due to time variable internal stresses that dissipate energy in the anelastic comet interior. Furthermore, relaxation from complex rotation can increase the loads along the symmetry axis of prolate comets. These loads stretch the body along the symmetry axis and may be the cause of the characteristic ``bowling pin’’ shape and eventually may lead to failure. This is an alternative model for comet bursting. Each cycle deposits only a small amount of energy and stress along the axis, but this process is repeated every orbit during which jets are activated. Our model for the evolution of comet nuclei includes torques due to a number of discrete jets located on the surface based on Neishtadt et al. [2002]. The model also includes internal dissipation using an approach developed by Sharma et al. [2005] and Vokrouhlicky et al. [2009]. These equations are averaged over the instantaneous spin state and the heliocentric orbit so the long-term evolution of the comet can be determined. We determine that even after the inclusion of internal dissipation there still exist non-principal axis equilibrium states for certain jet geometries. For ranges of dissipation factors and jet geometries, prolate comets are found to occupy states that have time variable internal loads over long time periods. These periodic loadings along the symmetry axis may lead to ``necking’’ as the body extends along the axis to release the stress and eventually disruption.

  4. Morphology of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in its 1969--1970 apparition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, K.; Mozgova, A.; Kleshchonok, V.

    2014-07-01

    The short-period comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko or 67P was discovered by the Kyiv astronomers Klim Churyumov and Svitlana Gerasimenko on October 22, 1969, on the basis of five photographic plates exposed with the help of the 50-cm Maksutov reflector of the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute on 9, 11, and 21 Sept. 1969. The first 5 precise positions of the comet were sent to Dr. Brian Marsden, who showed it was a new comet. The comet had an apparent magnitude of 13 and a faint tail about 1 arcmin in length at the position angle 280°. Over the entire period of our observations from Sept. 9, 1969 to March 1, 1970, the comet had a narrow, straight tail, probably of type I. Its length ranged from 1' to 11'. On November 16, the comet had a fan-like tail. Some characteristics related to the structure of the comet are determined and discussed: d, the diameter of the coma; P, the position angle of the tail; and, s, the length of the tail. The tail axis deviated from the prolonged radius vector by up to the average angle ˜ 6°, during Nov. 17 -- Dec. 11, 1969, and by up to the average angle ˜ 21° during Dec. 16, 1969 -- March 1, 1970. This fact tells probably about the decrease of the speed of the solar wind and the decrease of the interaction between the solar wind and the plasma tail of the comet. Rosetta, a European space vehicle was launched on March 2, 2004 from Kourou to visit the icy nucleus of the short-period comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko . On Jan. 20, 2014, after 10 years of flight and 31-month sleep, Rosetta was woken up successfully and will now approach the icy nucleus of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and pass into orbit around the cometary nucleus. In Nov. 2014, the Philae probe will be sent from Rosetta to the nucleus of comet 67P to study relict matter from the era of Solar System formation.

  5. Guardians of the actin monomer.

    PubMed

    Xue, Bo; Robinson, Robert C

    2013-01-01

    Actin is a universal force provider in eukaryotic cells. Biological processes harness the pressure generated from actin polymerization through dictating the time, place and direction of filament growth. As such, polymerization is initiated and maintained via tightly controlled filament nucleation and elongation machineries. Biological systems integrate force into their activities through recruiting and activating these machineries. In order that actin function as a common force generating polymerization motor, cells must maintain a pool of active, polymerization-ready monomeric actin, and minimize extemporaneous polymerization. Maintenance of the active monomeric actin pool requires the recycling of actin filaments, through depolymerization, nucleotide exchange and reloading of the polymerization machineries, while the levels of monomers are constantly monitored and supplemented, when needed, via the access of a reserve pool of monomers and through gene expression. Throughout its monomeric life, actin needs to be protected against gratuitous nucleation events. Here, we review the proteins that act as custodians of monomeric actin. We estimate their levels on a tissue scale, and calculate the implied concentrations of each actin complex based on reported binding affinities. These estimations predict that monomeric actin is rarely, if ever, alone. Thus, the guardians keep the volatility of actin in check, so that its explosive power is only released in the controlled environments of the nucleation and polymerization machineries. PMID:24268205

  6. Comet Halley in 1910, as viewed from a Maltese perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galea, Adrian

    2009-07-01

    Comet Halley's return in 1910 was keenly anticipated globally by scientists and the lay public alike. Although cometary science had progressed rapidly during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, superstition remained significant in different parts of the world and there were fears that people would die if the prediction that the Earth would pass through the comet's tail were correct. Malta was a small British island colony in the Mediterranean, and the inhabitants there were no exception. Local newspapers reported concerns from their readers and from foreign sources, but they also included reassuring scientific information about comets. Under the patronage of the colonial government a local amateur astronomer named Francis Reynolds reassured the public through lectures that he delivered. Overall the local population appeared to have been calm about the impending return. The first recorded sighting from Malta was on 24 April 1910 and the first naked eye sighting occurred the following day. Accounts were published in the local newspapers and in private correspondence, suggesting a high level of public interest in this object. No photographs of the comet from Malta have been traced, but the aforementioned Mr Reynolds and a well-known Maltese artist, G. Cali, did make a number of paintings. On the night when the Earth was due to pass through the comet's tail many local people congregated around the bastions of the city under an overcast sky in the early hours of the morning, but no untoward events were experienced.

  7. Spectroscopy of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, Susan

    1991-01-01

    Observations of NH2, OI, CH, CO(+), CO2(+), H2O(+), and N2(+) in optical spectra of comets represent ionization and dissociation product abundances of N2, NH3, H2O, CH4, CO2, and CO. The primary objectives are to determine: (1) accurate production rates for the observed species, and (2) accurate relative abundances of condensates in a sample of comet nuclei. The ultimate goal is to constrain models of comet formation and chemical processing in the outer primordial solar nebula.

  8. Evaluation of irradiation in foods using DNA Comet assay.

    PubMed

    Khawar, Affaf; Bhatti, Ijaz Ahmad; Khan, Q M; Khan, A I; Asi, M R; Ali, T

    2011-02-01

    Comet assay is a rapid, inexpensive and sensitive biological technique to detect DNA damage in food stuffs by irradiation. In this study the Comet assay is applied on foods of plant and animal origins. Samples were irradiated by using Co-60 gamma-radiation source. The applied doses were 2, 6 and 10 kGy for food of plant origin and 0.5, 1 and 2 kGy for meat items. The un-irradiated and irradiated samples were clearly differentiated on the basis of DNA fragmentation. During the electrophoresis study, it was found that in un-irradiated cells DNA remained intact and appeared as Comets without tail whereas in irradiated cells Comets with tails were visible due to stretching of fragmented DNA. Moreover, it was also revealed that the DNA tail length was dose dependent. Dry food stuffs (seeds) showed good results as compared to moist foods (meat, fruits and vegetables) due to the absence of background damage. PMID:23572724

  9. A Comet's Missing Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    On 28 November 2013, comet C/2012 S1 better known as comet ISON should have passed within two solar radii of the Suns surface as it reached perihelion in its orbit. But instead of shining in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths as it grazed the solar surface, the comet was never detected by EUV instruments. What happened to comet ISON?Missing EmissionWhen a sungrazing comet passes through the solar corona, it leaves behind a trail of molecules evaporated from its surface. Some of these molecules emit EUV light, which can be detected by instruments on telescopes like the space-based Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).Comet ISON, a comet that arrived from deep space and was predicted to graze the Suns corona in November 2013, was expected to cause EUV emission during its close passage. But analysis of the data from multiple telescopes that tracked ISON in EUV including SDO reveals no sign of it at perihelion.In a recent study, Paul Bryans and DeanPesnell, scientists from NCARs High Altitude Observatory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, try to determine why ISON didnt display this expected emission.Comparing ISON and LovejoyIn December 2011, another comet dipped into the Suns corona: comet Lovejoy. This image, showingthe orbit Lovejoy took around the Sun, is a composite of SDO images of the pre- and post-perihelion phases of the orbit. Click for a closer look! The dashed part of the curve represents where Lovejoy passed out of view behind the Sun. [Bryans Pesnell 2016]This is not the first time weve watched a sungrazing comet with EUV-detecting telescopes: Comet Lovejoy passed similarly close to the Sun in December 2011. But when Lovejoy grazed the solar corona, it emitted brightly in EUV. So why didnt ISON? Bryans and Pesnell argue that there are two possibilities:the coronal conditions experienced by the two comets were not similar, orthe two comets themselves were not similar.To establish which factor is the most relevant, the authors first demonstrate that both

  10. Actin stress in cell reprogramming

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Jun; Wang, Yuexiu; Sachs, Frederick; Meng, Fanjie

    2014-01-01

    Cell mechanics plays a role in stem cell reprogramming and differentiation. To understand this process better, we created a genetically encoded optical probe, named actin–cpstFRET–actin (AcpA), to report forces in actin in living cells in real time. We showed that stemness was associated with increased force in actin. We reprogrammed HEK-293 cells into stem-like cells using no transcription factors but simply by softening the substrate. However, Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell reprogramming required, in addition to a soft substrate, Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog expression. Replating the stem-like cells on glass led to redifferentiation and reduced force in actin. The actin force probe was a FRET sensor, called cpstFRET (circularly permuted stretch sensitive FRET), flanked by g-actin subunits. The labeled actin expressed efficiently in HEK, MDCK, 3T3, and bovine aortic endothelial cells and in multiple stable cell lines created from those cells. The viability of the cell lines demonstrated that labeled actin did not significantly affect cell physiology. The labeled actin distribution was similar to that observed with GFP-tagged actin. We also examined the stress in the actin cross-linker actinin. Actinin force was not always correlated with actin force, emphasizing the need for addressing protein specificity when discussing forces. Because actin is a primary structural protein in animal cells, understanding its force distribution is central to understanding animal cell physiology and the many linked reactions such as stress-induced gene expression. This new probe permits measuring actin forces in a wide range of experiments on preparations ranging from isolated proteins to transgenic animals. PMID:25422450

  11. Comparison of comet assay parameters for estimation of genotoxicity by sum of ranking differences.

    PubMed

    Sunjog, K; Kolarević, S; Héberger, K; Gačić, Z; Knežević-Vukčević, J; Vuković-Gačić, B; Lenhardt, M

    2013-05-01

    The genotoxic potential of waters in six rivers and reservoirs from Serbia was monitored in different tissues of chub (Squalius cephalus L. 1758) with the alkaline comet assay. The comet assay, or single-cell gel electrophoresis, has a wide application as a simple and sensitive method for evaluating DNA damage in fish exposed to various xenobiotics in the aquatic environment. Three types of cells, erythrocytes, gill cells, and liver cells, were used for assessing DNA damage. Images of randomly selected cells were analyzed with a Leica fluorescence microscope and image analysis by software (Comet Assay IV Image analysis system, PI, UK). Three parameters (tail length-l, tail intensity-i, and Olive tail moment-m) were analyzed on 1,700 nuclei per cell type. The procedure for sum of ranking differences (SRD) was implemented to compare different types of cells and different parameters for estimation of DNA damage. Regarding our nine different estimations of genotoxicity: tail length, intensity, and moment in erythrocytes (rel, rei, rem), liver cells (rll, rli, rlm), and gill cells (rgl, rgi, rgm), the SRD procedure has shown that the Olive tail moment and tail intensity are (almost) equally good parameters; the SRD value was lower for the tail moment and tail intensity than for tail length in the case of all types of cells. The least reliable parameter was rel; close to the borderline case were rei, rll, and rgl (~5 % probability of random ranking).

  12. Tycho Brahe, Abū Macshar, and the comet beyond Venus (ninth century A.D.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuhäuser, Ralph; Kunitzsch, Paul; Mugrauer, Markus; Luge, Daniela; van Gent, Rob

    2016-05-01

    From his observations of the A.D. 1572 super-nova and the A.D. 1577 comet, Tycho Brahe concluded that such transient celestial objects are outside the Earth's atmosphere, and he quoted the 9th century A.D. Persian astrologer and astronomer Abu Mashar: Dixit Albumasar, Cometa supra Venerem visus fuit, i.e. that he had reported much earlier that comets were seen beyond Venus. However, even from a more detailed Latin translation, the observations and logic behind Abu Mashar's conclusion were not understandable. We present here the original Arabic text (MS Ankara, Saib 199) together with our translation and interpretation: Abu Mashar reported that he had observed Venus in (or projected onto) the tail of a comet and concluded that the comet was behind Venus, because he had observed the extinction of Venus due to the cometary tail to be negligible (light of Venus was unimpaired). He then concluded that the comet would be located behind Venus. He also mentioned that others had observed Jupiter and Saturn in cometary tails, so that those comets would even be located beyond those two outer planets - in the sphere of the stars. The dates of the observed close conjunctions were not mentioned; using known orbital elements for a few comets, we found a few close conjunctions between comets and planets from A.D. 770 to 868, but we cannot be sure regarding which conjunctions were reported. While the argument of Abu Mashar is not correct (as cometary tails are optically thin), parts of the conclusion - namely that comets are outside the Earth atmosphere and beyond the moon - is correct. This may have helped Tycho Brahe to come to his revolutionary conclusion.

  13. Imaging polarimetry of Comet P/Halley

    SciTech Connect

    Sen, A.K.; Joshi, U.C.; Deshpande, M.R.; Debi Prasad, C. )

    1990-07-01

    Polarimetric imaging of Comet Halley's coma and tail regions on January 5, 1986 has led to the discovery of a small region in the inner coma with low polarization, as well as two enhanced-polarization regions in the outer coma which are probably associated with jet activities. The coma's low-polarization region may also be associated with a fresh dust-jet's ejecta; in this case, the low polarization would be due to multiple scattering in a region of high dust concentration. The polarization vectors are generally noted to lie perpendicular to the scattering plane. 17 refs.

  14. Evaluation of DNA damage in Eurasian marsh frogs (Pelophylax ridibundus) by comet assay for determination of possible pollution in the different lakes in central Anatolia, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Erismis, Ugur Cengiz; Ciğerci, İbrahim Hakki; Konuk, Muhsin

    2013-06-01

    In the present study, adult Eurasian marsh frogs, Pelophylax ridibundus, and water samples were collected from a reference lake and three water bodies in central Anatolia, Turkey, to evaluate the water for chemical pollutants and possible effects of pollutants on the DNA of frog erythrocytes by using a comet assay. The results for DNA damage parameters of the comet assay (total comet length, tail intensity, and olive tail moment) and their statistical analysis by ANOVA demonstrated that P. ridibundus and the comet assay together represent an useful approach for the early detection of polluted water bodies.

  15. Usefulness of ultrasound lung comets as a nonradiologic sign of extravascular lung water.

    PubMed

    Jambrik, Zoltan; Monti, Simonetta; Coppola, Vincenzo; Agricola, Eustachio; Mottola, Gaetano; Miniati, Massimo; Picano, Eugenio

    2004-05-15

    The "comet-tail" is an ultrasound sign detectable with ultrasound chest instruments; this sign consists of multiple comet-tails fanning out from the lung surface. They originate from water-thickened interlobular septa and would be ideal for nonradiologic bedside assessment of extravascular lung water. To assess the feasibility and value of ultrasonic comet signs, we studied 121 consecutive hospitalized patients (43 women and 78 men; aged 67 +/- 12 years) admitted to our combined cardiology-pneumology department (including cardiac intensive care unit); the study was conducted with commercially available echocardiographic systems including a portable unit. Transducer frequencies (range 2.5 to 3.5 MHz) were used. In each patient, the right and left chest was scanned by examining predefined locations in multiple intercostal spaces. Examiners blinded to clinical diagnoses noted the presence and numbers of lung comets at each examining site. A patient lung comet score was obtained by summing the number of comets in each of the scanning spaces. Within a few minutes, patients underwent chest x-ray, with specific assessment of extravascular lung water score by 2 pneumologist-radiologists blinded to clinical and echo findings. The chest ultrasound scan was obtained in all patients (feasibility 100%). The imaging time per examination was always <3 minutes. There was a linear correlation between echocardiographic comet score and radiologic lung water score (r = 0.78, p <0.01). Intrapatient variations (n = 15) showed an even stronger correlation between changes in echocardiographic lung comet and radiologic lung water scores (r = 0.89; p <0.01). In 121 consecutive hospitalized patients, we found a linear correlation between echocardiographic comet scores and radiologic extravascular lung water scores. Thus, the comet-tail is a simple, non-time-consuming, and reasonably accurate chest ultrasound sign of extravascular lung water that can be obtained at bedside (also with portable

  16. Space missions to comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neugebauer, M. (Editor); Yeomans, D. K. (Editor); Brandt, J. C. (Editor); Hobbs, R. W. (Editor)

    1979-01-01

    The broad impact of a cometary mission is assessed with particular emphasis on scientific interest in a fly-by mission to Halley's comet and a rendezvous with Tempel 2. Scientific results, speculations, and future plans are discussed.

  17. Comet: A VOEvent broker

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swinbank, J.

    2014-11-01

    The VOEvent standard provides a means of describing transient celestial events in a machine-readable format. This is an essential step towards analysing and, where appropriate, responding to the large volumes of transients which will be detected by future large scale surveys. The VOEvent Transport Protocol (VTP) defines a system by which VOEvents may be disseminated to the community. We describe the design and implementation of Comet, a freely available, open source implementation of VTP. We use Comet as a base to explore the performance characteristics of the VTP system, in particular with reference to meeting the requirements of future survey projects. We describe how, with the aid of simple extensions to VTP, Comet can help users filter high-volume streams of VOEvents to extract only those which are of relevance to particular science cases. Based on these tests and on the experience of developing Comet, we derive a number of recommendations for future refinements of the VTP standard.

  18. Submillimeter Studies of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David; Morgan, Thomas (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This proposal supported observations of comets at submillimeter wavelengths. The prime science objectives were to use rotational transitions in molecules to measure the compositions and outgassing rates of the comets. The second science objectives focussed on the use of the submillimeter continuum radiation to provide a measure of the solid particle content and production rate in the comets. Both quantities provide fundamental constraints on the nature of these primitive bodies. The gas and dust measurements provide context for NASA's on-going and future studies of comets using in-situ spacecraft. Submillimeter continuum data, in particular, samples the largest particles in the cometary dust grain size distribution. These particles contain the bulk of the mass and present potential hazards to spacecraft when inside the dust coma.

  19. The end states of long-period comets and the origin of Halley-type comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Gallardo, Tabaré; Young, Juan D.

    2016-09-01

    We analyse a sample of 73 old long-period comets (LPCs) (orbital periods 200 < P < 1000 yr) with perihelion distances q < 2.5 au, discovered in the period 1850-2014. We cloned the observed comets and also added fictitious LPCs with perihelia in the Jupiter's zone. We consider both a purely dynamical evolution and a physico-dynamical one with different physical lifetimes. We can fit the computed energy distribution of comets with q < 1.3 au to the observed one only within the energy range 0.01 < x < 0.04 au-1 (or periods 125 < P < 1000 yr), where the `energy' is taken as the inverse of the semimajor axis a, namely x ≡ 1/a. The best results are obtained for physical lifetimes of about 200-300 revolutions (for a comet with a standard q = 1 au). We find that neither a purely dynamical evolution, nor a physico-dynamical one can reproduce the long tail of larger binding energies (x ≳ 0.04 au-1) that correspond to most Halley-type comets (HTCs) and Jupiter-family comets. We conclude that most HTCs are not the end states of the evolution of LPCs, but come from a different source, a flattened one that we identify with the Centaurs that are scattered to the inner planetary region from the trans-Neptunian belt. These results also show that the boundary between LPCs and HTCs should be located at an energy x ˜ 0.04 au-1 (P ˜ 125 yr), rather than the conventional classical boundary at P = 200 yr.

  20. Influence of instabilities on plasma flow around a comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellogg, P. J.

    1989-01-01

    A multifluid hydrodynamic approximation allowing for the relative motion along the magnetic field of the newly created ions and the original fluid is used to treat the ion-pickup process. Due to the processes characterized by these means, the ion tail of a comet may not be antisolar; the derivation from radial is anticipated to be largest for oxygen due to its ionization at the greatest distances. Other ions, created nearer the comet where flow speed is lower, should have smaller transverse velocities.

  1. The comet assay, DNA damage, DNA repair and cytotoxicity: hedgehogs are not always dead.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo, Yolanda; Costa, Solange; Collins, Andrew R; Azqueta, Amaya

    2013-07-01

    DNA damage is commonly measured at the level of individual cells using the so-called comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis). As the frequency of DNA breaks increases, so does the fraction of the DNA extending towards the anode, forming the comet tail. Comets with almost all DNA in the tail are often referred to as 'hedgehog' comets and are widely assumed to represent apoptotic cells. We review the literature and present theoretical and empirical arguments against this interpretation. The level of DNA damage in these comets is far less than the massive fragmentation that occurs in apoptosis. 'Hedgehog' comets are formed after moderate exposure of cells to, for example, H2O2, but if the cells are incubated for a short period, 'hedgehogs' are no longer seen. We confirm that this is not because DNA has degraded further and been lost from the gel, but because the DNA is repaired. The comet assay may detect the earliest stages of apoptosis, but as it proceeds, comets disappear in a smear of unattached DNA. It is clear that 'hedgehogs' can correspond to one level on a continuum of genotoxic damage, are not diagnostic of apoptosis and should not be regarded as an indicator of cytotoxicity. PMID:23630247

  2. Actin dynamics in living mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Ballestrem, C; Wehrle-Haller, B; Imhof, B A

    1998-06-01

    The actin cytoskeleton maintains the cellular architecture and mediates cell movements. To explore actin cytoskeletal dynamics, the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) was fused to human &bgr ;-actin. The fusion protein was incorporated into actin fibers which became depolymerized upon cytochalasin B treatment. This functional EGFP-actin construct enabled observation of the actin cytoskeleton in living cells by time lapse fluorescence microscopy. Stable expression of the construct was obtained in mammalian cell lines of different tissue origins. In stationary cells, actin rich, ring-like structured 'actin clouds' were observed in addition to stress fibers. These ruffle-like structures were found to be involved in the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. In migratory cells, EGFP-actin was found in the advancing lamellipodium. Immobile actin spots developed in the lamellipodium and thin actin fibers formed parallel to the leading edge. Thus EGFP-actin expressed in living cells unveiled structures involved in the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton.

  3. Carbon in comet dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brownlee, D. E.

    1990-01-01

    The association of Halley particle results with data from existing meteoritic materials that can be analyzed in the laboratory is discussed. Comet samples must exist in present collections of meteoritic materials and the Halley results provide clues for identifying them. Although it is not presently possible to positively identify cometary meteorites or cometary interplanetary dust (IDP) samples, it is possible to determine which materials are similar to Halley dust and which ones are distinctly unlike Halley. The properties of these existing Halley-compatible samples provide insight into the possible properties of cometary material. Positive identification of meteoritic comet samples or direct samples returned from a comet nucleus would of course revolutionize our ability to study carbonaceous matter in comets. Modern analytical techniques are very powerful and it is possible to perform elemental, chemical, mineralogical and even limited isotopic analysis on micron-size particles. There is an important synergism between the laboratory studies of collected samples and astronomical data from comets and interstellar grains. To fully interpret results there must be convincing methods for associating a particular class or classes of meteoritic material with comets. Ultimately this will be done by direct comet sample return such as the Rosetta mission under development by ESA. At the present time the only links that can be made involve comparison with sample properties and measurable properties of comets. Unfortunately there is at present no known unique property of cometary dust that allows its absolute identification in the laboratory. The results from Halley encounters and observation do provide much new information on cometary grains. The Halley grain compositions, density, size distribution and scattering properties all provide a basis for future investigations. Other Halley properties such as the presence of polyoxymethylene and the 3.4um emission feature could

  4. Theories of comets to the age of Laplace

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heidarzadeh, Tofigh

    the physical sciences in defining the properties of comets. The number of publications containing ideas about the physical properties of comets shows a radical increase in the third period of our account of cometology. From numerous general astronomy texts or treatises devoted to comets in this period, those were discussed here that either proposed a different theory of comets or criticized the physical aspects of contemporary theories. The survey includes only works published in England and France, and a few in German-speaking countries. Although Laplace's achievement in estimation of cometary masses became the basis of modern cometology, our current ideas about the actual size, mass and composition of comets, and the processes by which the coma and tail are formed have been developed only since the mid twentieth century. Post-Laplacian developments in the study of comets are highlighted in an appendix, which briefly reviews the major achievements in the observational and theoretical study of comets in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. Although the present study is mainly focused on the physical theories of comets, its results will be relevant to studies in the history of geology, planetary science, and astrology. On the other hand, those results may initiate new studies about educational practices for physics and astronomy in post- Newtonian Europe, the ways that different parts of Newton's physical, astronomical and cosmological ideas evolved after him, and the influence of cometary studies on the foundation of astrophysics.

  5. Assaying DNA damage in hippocampal neurons using the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Nowsheen, Somaira; Xia, Fen; Yang, Eddy S

    2012-12-19

    A number of drugs target the DNA repair pathways and induce cell kill by creating DNA damage. Thus, processes to directly measure DNA damage have been extensively evaluated. Traditional methods are time consuming, expensive, resource intensive and require replicating cells. In contrast, the comet assay, a single cell gel electrophoresis assay, is a faster, non-invasive, inexpensive, direct and sensitive measure of DNA damage and repair. All forms of DNA damage as well as DNA repair can be visualized at the single cell level using this powerful technique. The principle underlying the comet assay is that intact DNA is highly ordered whereas DNA damage disrupts this organization. The damaged DNA seeps into the agarose matrix and when subjected to an electric field, the negatively charged DNA migrates towards the cathode which is positively charged. The large undamaged DNA strands are not able to migrate far from the nucleus. DNA damage creates smaller DNA fragments which travel farther than the intact DNA. Comet Assay, an image analysis software, measures and compares the overall fluorescent intensity of the DNA in the nucleus with DNA that has migrated out of the nucleus. Fluorescent signal from the migrated DNA is proportional to DNA damage. Longer brighter DNA tail signifies increased DNA damage. Some of the parameters that are measured are tail moment which is a measure of both the amount of DNA and distribution of DNA in the tail, tail length and percentage of DNA in the tail. This assay allows to measure DNA repair as well since resolution of DNA damage signifies repair has taken place. The limit of sensitivity is approximately 50 strand breaks per diploid mammalian cell (1,2). Cells treated with any DNA damaging agents, such as etoposide, may be used as a positive control. Thus the comet assay is a quick and effective procedure to measure DNA damage.

  6. Comets and the Stardust Mission

    SciTech Connect

    LLNL - University of California Television

    2008-05-16

    The occasional appearance of comets has awed humans throughout history. But how much do we really know about comets? Did a comet kill the dinosaurs? And, what can comets tell us about our own ancient history? With comet dust from NASA's Stardust mission, scientists like Hope Ishii, a Research Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, are beginning to answer these questions. She and high school teacher Tom Shefler look at how comets formed, their role in the Earth's history and the clues about what happened over 4 billion years ago. Series: Science on Saturday [5/2008] [Science] [Show ID: 14492

  7. Comets and the Stardust Mission

    ScienceCinema

    LLNL - University of California Television

    2016-07-12

    The occasional appearance of comets has awed humans throughout history. But how much do we really know about comets? Did a comet kill the dinosaurs? And, what can comets tell us about our own ancient history? With comet dust from NASA's Stardust mission, scientists like Hope Ishii, a Research Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, are beginning to answer these questions. She and high school teacher Tom Shefler look at how comets formed, their role in the Earth's history and the clues about what happened over 4 billion years ago. Series: Science on Saturday [5/2008] [Science] [Show ID: 14492

  8. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-03-01

    We present 25 accounts of comets from 40 Australian Aboriginal communities, citing both supernatural perceptions of comets and historical accounts of historically bright comets. Historical and ethnographic descriptions include the Great Comets of 1843, 1861, 1901, 1910, and 1927. We describe the perceptions of comets in Aboriginal societies and show that they are typically associated with fear, death, omens, malevolent spirits, and evil magic, consistent with many cultures around the world. We also provide a list of words for comets in 16 different Aboriginal languages.

  9. Wave Patterns in Cell Membrane and Actin Cortex Uncoupled from Chemotactic Signals.

    PubMed

    Gerisch, Günther; Ecke, Mary

    2016-01-01

    When cells of Dictyostelium discoideum orientate in a gradient of chemoattractant, they are polarized into a protruding front pointing toward the source of attractant, and into a retracting tail. Under the control of chemotactic signal inputs, Ras is activated and PIP3 is synthesized at the front, while the PIP3-degrading phosphatase PTEN decorates the tail region. As a result of signal transduction, actin filaments assemble at the front into dendritic structures associated with the Arp2/3 complex, in contrast to the tail region where a loose actin meshwork is associated with myosin-II and cortexillin, an antiparallel actin-bundling protein. In axenically growing strains of D. discoideum, wave patterns built by the same components evolve in the absence of any external signal input. Since these autonomously generated patterns are constrained to the plane of the substrate-attached cell surface, they are optimally suited to the optical analysis of state transitions between front-like and tail-like states of the membrane and the actin cortex. Here, we describe imaging techniques using fluorescent proteins to probe for the state of the membrane, the reorganization of the actin network, and the dynamics of wave patterns.

  10. Vinculin-dependent actin bundling regulates cell migration and traction forces

    PubMed Central

    Jannie, Karry M.; Ellerbroek, Shawn M.; Zhou, Dennis W.; Chen, Sophia; Crompton, David J.; García, Andrés J.; DeMali, Kris A.

    2015-01-01

    Vinculin binding to actin filaments is thought to be critical for force transduction within a cell, but direct experimental evidence to support this conclusion has been limited . In this study, we found mutation (R1049E) of the vinculin tail impairs its ability to bind F-actin, stimulate actin polymerization, and bundle F-actin in vitro. Further , mutant (R1049E) vinculin expressing cells are altered in cell migration, which is accompanied by changes in cell adhesion, cell spreading, and cell generation of traction forces, providing direct evidence for the critical role of vinculin in mechanotransduction at adhesion sites. Lastly, we herein discuss the viability of models detailing the F-actin-binding surface on vinculin in context of our mutational analysis. PMID:25358683

  11. In vitro genoprotective and genotoxic effect of nicotine on human leukocytes evaluated by the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Sobkowiak, Robert; Musidlak, Jakub; Lesicki, Andrzej

    2014-07-01

    The comet assay was used to measure the DNA damage induced in vitro by nicotine in human leukocytes as the extent of DNA migration in the comet head area, tail length, percent DNA in the tail, and Olive tail moment. Samples of whole blood were collected and blood cells were challenged with acute doses of 0.1, 1 and 10 µM of (-)-nicotine for 60 minutes. We found that nicotine treatment had dose-dependent effects on the level of DNA damage. At 1 and 10 µM of nicotine, both Olive tail moment and percent DNA in the tail significantly increased (p < 0.001), compared to the control. In the presence of 10 µM of nicotine, the shortest tail length and the smallest head area were detected. At a concentration of 0.1 µM, surprisingly, DNA damage detected by the comet assay was lower than in the control, which was proved by the observed significantly (p < 0.001) lower Olive tail moment and percent DNA in the tail as well as larger head area. The results suggest that nicotine, at a reasonably low concentration (0.1 µM), comparable to those found in the blood of habitual smokers, may have a protective effect, whereas higher doses of nicotine (1 and 10 µM) are genotoxic. The possible participation of reactive oxygen species in the DNA-damaging potential of nicotine is discussed. PMID:24245828

  12. Multi-fluid model of a sun-grazing comet in the rapidly ionizing, magnetized low corona

    SciTech Connect

    Jia, Y.-D.; Russell, C. T.; Liu, W.; Shou, Y. S.

    2014-11-20

    Two Sun-grazing comets were recently imaged in the low solar corona by space telescopes in unprecedented detail, revealing a wide range of new phenomena. This sparked growing interest in the interaction of comets with the coronal plasma and magnetic field and their diagnostic potential as solar probes. However, interpretation of such rich observational data requires profound understanding of relevant physical processes in an unexplored regime. Here advanced numerical modeling can provide critical clues. To this end, we present a prototype, multi-fluid, magnetohydrodynamic model of a steady-state comet in the low solar corona. These simulation results are compared with previously modeled comets in the solar wind environment. By inspecting their projection and column densities, we find a dominance of O{sup 6+} ions in the cometary tail, which can explain the observed extreme ultraviolet emission. The tail is found to be comparable to recent EUV images of these comets. In addition, the comet tail appears wider when the observer's line of sight is perpendicular rather than parallel to the local magnetic field. This is opposite to the trend in the interplanetary space permeated in the solar wind, because the ratio between dynamic pressure and magnetic pressure is an order of magnitude smaller than at 1 AU. On the other hand, we find that iron ions in the comet head build up to a density comparable to that of oxygen ions, but are unlikely to form a visible tail because of the shorter mean free paths of the neutrals.

  13. The comet assay in human biomonitoring.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Diana; Dhawan, Alok; Laubenthal, Julian

    2013-01-01

    Human biomonitoring studies aim to identify potential exposures to environmental, occupational, or lifestyle toxicants in human populations and are commonly used by public health decision makers to predict disease risk. The Comet assay measures changes in genomic stability and is one of the most reliable biomarkers to indicate early biological effects, and therefore accepted by various governmental regulatory agencies. The appeal of the Comet assay lies in its relative simplicity, rapidity, sensitivity, and economic efficiency. Furthermore, the assay is known for its broad versatility, as it can be applied to virtually any human cell and easily adapted in order to detect particular biomarkers of interest, such as DNA repair capacity or single- and double-strand breaks. In a standard experiment, isolated single cells are first embedded in agarose, and then lysed in high-salt solutions in order to remove all cellular contents except the DNA attached to a nuclear scaffold. Subsequent electrophoresis results in accumulation of undamaged DNA sequences at the proximity of the nuclear scaffold, while damaged sequences migrate towards the anode. When visualized with fluorochromes, these migrated DNA fragments resemble a comet tail and can be quantified for their intensity and shape according to internationally drafted guidelines.

  14. A Role for Nuclear Actin in HDAC 1 and 2 Regulation.

    PubMed

    Serebryannyy, Leonid A; Cruz, Christina M; de Lanerolle, Primal

    2016-06-27

    Class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) are known to remove acetyl groups from histone tails. This liberates positive charges on the histone tail and allows for tighter winding of DNA, preventing transcription factor binding and gene activation. Although the functions of HDAC proteins are becoming apparent both biochemically and clinically, how this class of proteins is regulated remains poorly understood. We identified a novel interaction between nuclear actin and HDAC 1 and HDAC 2. Nuclear actin has been previously shown to interact with a growing list of nuclear proteins including chromatin remodeling complexes, transcription factors and RNA polymerases. We find that monomeric actin is able to bind the class I HDAC complex. Furthermore, increasing the concentration of actin in HeLa nuclear extracts was able to suppress overall HDAC function. Conversely, polymerizing nuclear actin increased HDAC activity and decreased histone acetylation. Moreover, the interaction between class I HDACs and nuclear actin was found to be activity dependent. Together, our data suggest nuclear actin is able to regulate HDAC 1 and 2 activity.

  15. A Role for Nuclear Actin in HDAC 1 and 2 Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Serebryannyy, Leonid A.; Cruz, Christina M.; de Lanerolle, Primal

    2016-01-01

    Class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) are known to remove acetyl groups from histone tails. This liberates positive charges on the histone tail and allows for tighter winding of DNA, preventing transcription factor binding and gene activation. Although the functions of HDAC proteins are becoming apparent both biochemically and clinically, how this class of proteins is regulated remains poorly understood. We identified a novel interaction between nuclear actin and HDAC 1 and HDAC 2. Nuclear actin has been previously shown to interact with a growing list of nuclear proteins including chromatin remodeling complexes, transcription factors and RNA polymerases. We find that monomeric actin is able to bind the class I HDAC complex. Furthermore, increasing the concentration of actin in HeLa nuclear extracts was able to suppress overall HDAC function. Conversely, polymerizing nuclear actin increased HDAC activity and decreased histone acetylation. Moreover, the interaction between class I HDACs and nuclear actin was found to be activity dependent. Together, our data suggest nuclear actin is able to regulate HDAC 1 and 2 activity. PMID:27345839

  16. Molecular characterization and expression analysis of the β-actin gene from the ridgetail white prawn Exopalaemon carinicauda.

    PubMed

    Liang, J P; Wang, Y; Ge, Q Q; Li, J T; Liu, P; Li, J; Nie, G X

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a highly conserved protein that is found in all eukaryotic cells, and has been widely used as an internal control gene in gene expression studies. In this study, we cloned an actin gene (named Ecβ-actin) from Exopalaemon carinicauda and determined its expression levels. The full-length cDNA of Ecβ-actin was 1335 bp long, comprising a 1131-bp ORF encoding 376 amino acids, a 65-bp 5'-UTR, and a 139-bp 3'-UTR with a poly(A) tail. The A + T content was approximately 79% in the 3'-UTR of the Ecβ-actin mRNA. The 3'-UTR contained two repeats of the AUUUA motif. The putative protein Ecβ-actin showed high identity (97-99%) with other actins from various species. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Ecβ-actin belongs to Crustacea, although it formed a singleton sub-branch that was located a short distance from crabs and other shrimp species. Ecβ- actin expression was detected in the hepatopancreas, ovary, muscle, gill, stomach, and hemocytes, and was strongly expressed in the hemocytes and ovary of E. carinicauda. Ecβ-actin mRNA expression varied during ovarian development, with high levels observed at stages I and V. Therefore, caution should be taken when using the Ecβ-actin gene as an endogenous control gene. PMID:27173226

  17. Molecular characterization and expression analysis of the β-actin gene from the ridgetail white prawn Exopalaemon carinicauda.

    PubMed

    Liang, J P; Wang, Y; Ge, Q Q; Li, J T; Liu, P; Li, J; Nie, G X

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a highly conserved protein that is found in all eukaryotic cells, and has been widely used as an internal control gene in gene expression studies. In this study, we cloned an actin gene (named Ecβ-actin) from Exopalaemon carinicauda and determined its expression levels. The full-length cDNA of Ecβ-actin was 1335 bp long, comprising a 1131-bp ORF encoding 376 amino acids, a 65-bp 5'-UTR, and a 139-bp 3'-UTR with a poly(A) tail. The A + T content was approximately 79% in the 3'-UTR of the Ecβ-actin mRNA. The 3'-UTR contained two repeats of the AUUUA motif. The putative protein Ecβ-actin showed high identity (97-99%) with other actins from various species. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Ecβ-actin belongs to Crustacea, although it formed a singleton sub-branch that was located a short distance from crabs and other shrimp species. Ecβ- actin expression was detected in the hepatopancreas, ovary, muscle, gill, stomach, and hemocytes, and was strongly expressed in the hemocytes and ovary of E. carinicauda. Ecβ-actin mRNA expression varied during ovarian development, with high levels observed at stages I and V. Therefore, caution should be taken when using the Ecβ-actin gene as an endogenous control gene.

  18. Comet disintegration and meteor streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guliyev, Ayyub S.; Poladova, Ulviyya J.

    2013-01-01

    The possibilities for disintegration of a cometary nucleus by collision with meteoroid streams, pre- dicted by one of authors (Guliyev, 2010) are considered in three zones of the Solar System. A list of disintegrating comets consisting of 118 cases has been made by the authors. The list contains data about observed cases of comet splitting, comet twins, and data about disappeared comets. Testing the comet parameters by applying the methods of mathematical statistics confirms the hypothesis underlying this article. The frequency of passing through the three zones where there might be a collapse of a proto-comet is rather high for the proto-comets of the Sun-grazer group. The results of the statistical analysis of comet outbursts yields additional arguments in favor of our hypothesis.

  19. Hubble View of Comet ISON

    NASA Video Gallery

    This time-lapse sequence of images from the Hubble Space Telescope shows comet ISON as it appeared on May 8, 2013. At the time the images were taken, the comet was 403 million miles from the Earth,...

  20. Outbursting comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami): A miniature comet Holmes

    SciTech Connect

    Ishiguro, Masateru; Jewitt, David; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Miyaji, Takeshi; Fukushima, Hideo; Watanabe, Jun-ichi; Usui, Fumihiko; Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Kuroda, Daisuke; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Ohta, Kouji; Kawai, Nobuyuki

    2014-05-20

    The short-period comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami, hereafter {sup V}1{sup )} was discovered visually by two amateur astronomers. The appearance of the comet was peculiar, consisting of an envelope, a spherical coma near the nucleus and a tail extending in the anti-solar direction. We investigated the brightness and the morphological development of the comet by taking optical images with ground-based telescopes. Our observations show that V1 experienced a large-scale explosion between UT 2010 October 31 and November 3. The color of the comet was consistent with the Sun (g' – R {sub C} = 0.61 ± 0.20, R {sub C} – I {sub C} = 0.20 ± 0.20, and B – R {sub C} = 0.93 ± 0.25), suggesting that dust particles were responsible for the brightening. We used a dynamical model to understand the peculiar morphology, and found that the envelope consisted of small grains (0.3-1 μm) expanding at a maximum speed of 500 ± 40 m s{sup –1}, while the tail and coma were composed of a wider range of dust particle sizes (0.4-570 μm) and expansion speeds 7-390 m s{sup –1}. The total mass of ejecta is ∼5 × 10{sup 8} kg and kinetic energy ∼5 × 10{sup 12} J. These values are much smaller than in the historic outburst of 17P/Holmes in 2007, but the energy per unit mass (1 × 10{sup 4} J kg{sup –1}) is comparable. The energy per unit mass is about 10% of the energy released during the crystallization of amorphous water ice suggesting that crystallization of buried amorphous ice can supply the mass and energy of the outburst ejecta.

  1. Outbursting Comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami): A Miniature Comet Holmes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishiguro, Masateru; Jewitt, David; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Usui, Fumihiko; Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Kuroda, Daisuke; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Ohta, Kouji; Kawai, Nobuyuki; Miyaji, Takeshi; Fukushima, Hideo; Watanabe, Jun-ichi

    2014-05-01

    The short-period comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami, hereafter "V1") was discovered visually by two amateur astronomers. The appearance of the comet was peculiar, consisting of an envelope, a spherical coma near the nucleus and a tail extending in the anti-solar direction. We investigated the brightness and the morphological development of the comet by taking optical images with ground-based telescopes. Our observations show that V1 experienced a large-scale explosion between UT 2010 October 31 and November 3. The color of the comet was consistent with the Sun (g' - R C = 0.61 ± 0.20, R C - I C = 0.20 ± 0.20, and B - R C = 0.93 ± 0.25), suggesting that dust particles were responsible for the brightening. We used a dynamical model to understand the peculiar morphology, and found that the envelope consisted of small grains (0.3-1 μm) expanding at a maximum speed of 500 ± 40 m s-1, while the tail and coma were composed of a wider range of dust particle sizes (0.4-570 μm) and expansion speeds 7-390 m s-1. The total mass of ejecta is ~5 × 108 kg and kinetic energy ~5 × 1012 J. These values are much smaller than in the historic outburst of 17P/Holmes in 2007, but the energy per unit mass (1 × 104 J kg-1) is comparable. The energy per unit mass is about 10% of the energy released during the crystallization of amorphous water ice suggesting that crystallization of buried amorphous ice can supply the mass and energy of the outburst ejecta.

  2. Application of MCM image construction to IRAS comet observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schlapfer, Martin F.; Walker, Russell G.

    1994-01-01

    There is a wealth of IRAS comet data, obtained in both the survey and pointed observations modes. However, these measurements have remained largely untouched due to difficulties in removing instrumental effects from the data. We have developed a version of the Maximum Correlation Method for Image Construction algorithm (MCM) which operates in the moving coordinate system of the comet and properly treats both real cometary motion and apparent motion due to spacecraft parallax. This algorithm has been implemented on a 486/33 PC in FORTRAN and IDL codes. Preprocessing of the IRAS CRDD includes baseline removal, deglitching, and removal of long tails due to dielectric time constants of the detectors. The resulting images are virtually free from instrumental effects and have the highest possible spatial resolution consistent with the data sampling. We present examples of high resolution IRAS images constructed from survey observations of Comets P/Tempel 1 and P/Tempel 2, and pointed observations of IRAS-Araki-Alcock.

  3. Comet ejection and dynamics of nonspherical dust particles and meteoroids

    SciTech Connect

    Gustafson, B.A.S.

    1989-02-01

    This paper generalizes the formalism for calculating the ejection velocity of meteoroids and dust from comets and the forces to which such objects are subject in interplanetary space, including the dust tail of comets. It is found that spheres have the smallest cross section of any geometrical figures of the same valume averaged over random orientations, so for a fixed volume and mass, both the ejection velocity and beta reaches a minimum for bodies of spherical shapes. Flakes in random orientation are ejected near 70 percent of the highest ejection velocity for any orientation. Needles in random orientation escape a comet at nearly 90 percent of their maximum velocities. Randomly oriented cylinders of finite thickness escape at lower velocities that are slightly closer to their maximum velocities. The average beta acting on spin-aligned, perfectly absorbing needles is more than half that acting on a sphere of the same material and radius. 16 references.

  4. Study of a comet rendezvous mission, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The feasibility, scientific objectives, modes of exploration and implementation alternatives of a rendezvous mission to Encke's comet in 1984 are considered. Principal emphasis is placed on developing the scientific rationale for such a mission, based on available knowledge and best estimates of this comet's physical characteristics, including current theories of its origin, evolution and composition. Studied are mission profile alternatives, performance tradeoffs, preferred exploration strategy, and a spacecraft design concept capable of performing this mission. The study showed that the major scientific objectives can be met by a Titan IIID/Centaur-launched 17.5 kw solar electric propulsion spacecraft which carries 60 kg of scientific instruments and is capable of extensive maneuvering within the comet envelope to explore the coma, tail and nucleus.

  5. The nature of comet nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Walker, Russell G.

    1992-01-01

    The icy-conglomerate model of comet nuclei has dominated all others since its introduction. It provided a basis for understanding the non-gravitational motions of comets which had perplexed dynamicists up to that time, and provided a focus for understanding cometary composition and origin. The image of comets as dirty snowballs was quickly adopted. Comet nuclei including their trail mass loss rates and refractory to volatile mass ratios are described.

  6. An explanation for the bedforms on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Pan; Andreotti, Bruno; Claudin, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    The recent approach of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the European Space Agency spacecraft Rosetta has revealed the presence of geomorphologic features at its surface. In particular, surface patterns resembling aeolian ripples or dunes as well as `wind tails' have been observed, especially in the `neck' region. Erosion/deposition processes are unexpected on a comet because of the absence of an atmosphere, that would generate a wind to transport the grains at the surface. However, it is well known that comets experience outgassing when approaching the sun: the solar heat flux induces ice sublimation, generating dust/gas jets, which is at the origin of the comet's coma. Combining a description of sediment transport and hydrodynamics with a thermal model of the comet's surface and outgassing, we show that, albeit generated by a rarefied atmosphere, these bedforms are paradoxically analogous to ripplemarks emerging on granular beds submitted to viscous shear flows.

  7. Detection of Alu sequences and mtDNA in comets using padlock probes.

    PubMed

    Shaposhnikov, Sergey; Larsson, Chatarina; Henriksson, Sara; Collins, Andrew; Nilsson, Mats

    2006-07-01

    Single cell gel electrophoresis, or the comet assay, is widely used to measure DNA damage and repair. However, the behaviour of the DNA under the conditions used for the comet assay is not fully understood. In developing a method for studying specific gene sequences within comets, using 'padlock probes' (circularizable oligonucleotide probes), we have first applied probes that hybridize to Alu repetitive elements and to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). During the sequence of stages in the comet assay, mtDNA progressively disperses into the surrounding agarose gel, showing no tendency to remain with nuclear DNA in the comets. In contrast, Alu probes remain associated with both tail and head DNA. PMID:16940044

  8. Decametric radio emission from comets - an attempt at detection

    SciTech Connect

    Gergely, T.E.; Mahoney, M.J.

    1986-06-01

    In a brief discussion of radio emission of comets, it is pointed out that an occurrence of nonthermal radio emissions would be expected only at decametric or longer wavelengths. An attempt is reported to detect emission at decameter wavelengths during the International Halley Watch trial run on Comet P/Crommelin in March 1984. No plasma effects in the tail were observed either at visible or at radio wavelengths. Assuming free-free emission from an optically thin gas, the observations make it possible to place an upper limit in the range from 560 to 8900 electrons per cu cm on the electron density in the tail. The Teepee Tee array employed in the investigations has a frequency coverage of 15-125 MHz, and a sensitivity of approximately 1 Jy, (the highest currently available from the ground at low frequencies). 10 references.

  9. Term Projects on Interstellar Comets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mack, John E.

    1975-01-01

    Presents two calculations of the probability of detection of an interstellar comet, under the hypothesis that such comets would escape from comet clouds similar to that believed to surround the sun. Proposes three problems, each of which would be a reasonable term project for a motivated undergraduate. (Author/MLH)

  10. Discovering the Nature of Comets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whipple, Fred L.

    1986-01-01

    "The Mystery of Comets" by Dr. Fred Whipple provides an introduction to the modern picture of comets and his personal reminiscences of how his model of comets came to be. An adaptation of several sections of the book is presented. (JN)

  11. Look--It's a Comet!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berglund, Kay

    1997-01-01

    Describes a classroom lesson on comets that uses modeling and guided imagery to spark students' curiosity. Comet models are built using chunks of rock salt, polystyrene balls, and tinsel. Abstract ideas are made more concrete with a guided imagery story called Comet Ride! Includes an introduction to the use of parallax to measure the distance of…

  12. Astrobiology of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Wickramasinghe, Nalin C.; Wallis, Max K.; Sheldon, Robert B.

    2004-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge concerning microbial extremophiles and comets and the potential significance of comets to Astrobiology. We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy from sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of near surface ices, some under stable porous crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We provide data concerning new evidence for indigenous microfossils in CI meteorites, which may be the remains of extinct cometary cores. We discuss the dominant microbial communities of polar sea-ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and cryoconite environments as possible analogs for microbial ecosystems that may grow in sub-crustal pools or in ice/water films in comets.

  13. IRAS observations of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, R. G.; Matson, D. L.; Veeder, G. J.

    1986-01-01

    The moderate spatial resolution and high sensitivity of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), which surveyed the celestial sphere during 1983 at wavelengths of 12, 25, 60, and 100 microns, were particularly well suited to detecting extended thermal emission from cometary dust. Sources with infrared color temperatures characteristic of solar system bodies, and at the ephemerides position of known comets were selected for analysis by the IRAS Asteroid Data Analysis System (ADAS). The data base is now available for use by researchers. This paper describes the development of the data base, details its entries, and presents a statistical analysis of its contents. The IRAS survey contains multiple observations of many periodic comets. A brief description and analysis is given of the observed infrared and derived physical properties for several comets of special interest.

  14. The comet assay as biomarker of heavy metal genotoxicity in earthworms.

    PubMed

    Reinecke, S A; Reinecke, A J

    2004-02-01

    The ubiquitous occurring earthworm species, Eisenia fetida, were exposed to nickel chloride to determine whether the heavy metal Ni caused DNA damage, as measured by the comet (single cell gel electrophoresis) assay. Primary cell cultures of earthworm coelomocytes were exposed in vitro and whole animals either in spiked artificial soil water or in spiked cattle manure substrates. Comets formed were scored using mean tail lengths as well as comparing percentages of damage in five different damage classes. The exposure concentrations used for the in vitro exposure (2, 6, and 12 microg/ml) caused the formation of comets of which the mean tail lengths differed significantly (p < 0.05) from those of unexposed controls but not from each other. Coelomocytes from worms exposed in artificial soil water at concentrations of 0.0049, 0.0078, 0.0175, and 0.025 mg/ml formed comets of which the mean tail lengths differed significantly (p < 0.05) between the exposure groups with increasingly longer tail lengths with higher concentration (dose-related response). The tail length means of the comets of the three highest exposure concentrations also differed significantly (p < 0.05) from the controls. No dose-related response was found between comet tail lengths of the three exposure concentrations (60, 240, and 480 mg/kg) used for the worms in the cattle manure substrates, but the mean tail lengths of comets from all three exposure groups differed significantly (p > 0.05) from the controls. The comets formed in cells from animals exposed in artificial soil water and in cattle manure substrates, scored within damage classes, indicated a clear shift with increasing exposure concentrations from low to high damage. Our results indicated DNA single-strand breaks in soil invertebrate cells caused by exposure to a nickel compound, verifying previous findings for mammals which indicated that this heavy metal has genotoxic potential. These results therefore suggest that earthworms may be

  15. The Plasma Environment in Comets over a Wide Range of Heliocentric Distances: Application to Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shou, Y.; Combi, M.; Jia, Y.-D.; Gombosi, T.; Toth, G.; Rubin, M.

    2015-08-01

    On 2007 January 12, comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) passed its perihelion at 0.17 AU. Abundant remote observations offer plenty of information on the neutral composition and neutral velocities within 1 million kilometers of the comet nucleus. In early February, the Ulysses spacecraft made an in situ measurement of the ion composition, plasma velocity, and magnetic field when passing through the distant ion tail and the ambient solar wind. The measurement by Ulysses was made when the comet was at around 0.8 AU. With the constraints provided by remote and in situ observations, we simulated the plasma environment of Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) using a multi-species comet MHD model over a wide range of heliocentric distances from 0.17 to 1.75 AU. The solar wind interaction of the comet at various locations is characterized and typical subsolar standoff distances of the bow shock and contact surface are presented and compared to analytic solutions. We find the variation in the bow shock standoff distances at different heliocentric distances is smaller than the contact surface. In addition, we modified the multi-species model for the case when the comet was at 0.7 AU and achieved comparable water group ion abundances, proton densities, plasma velocities, and plasma temperatures to the Ulysses/SWICS and SWOOPS observations. We discuss the dominating chemical reactions throughout the comet-solar wind interaction region and demonstrate the link between the ion composition near the comet and in the distant tail as measured by Ulysses.

  16. New plasma physics lab at Giacobini-Zinner. [Comet

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, R.A.

    1985-10-01

    The observations of the coma and tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner from the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) are presented. The formation of the 70,000 km coma of the Giacobini-Zinner from the gas sublimated from the surface is examined. The means by which the bow shock of the Giacobini-Zinner occurred is explained. The large amount of turbulence in the interaction region provided the plasma physicists with a useful environment for research. The tail observations confirmed model predictions. The effects of the impact of ICE with Giacobini-Zinner and the impact rate are discussed.

  17. [The comet assay as a method of identifying chromosomes instability].

    PubMed

    Czubaszek, Magdalena; Szostek, Małgorzata; Wójcik, Ewa; Andraszek, Katarzyna

    2014-06-02

    The basic method for analyzing the degree of DNA fragmentation caused by genotoxic factors is gel electrophoresis of single cells (single cell gel electrophoresis), also called the comet assay. The comet assay enables the analysis of the level of several different DNA modifications. The basic testing procedure has been only slightly modified. This method helps identify single-strand and double-strand DNA cracks, as well as any chemical and enzymatic modifications that can potentially turn into cracks in DNA or chromatids. The comet assay makes it possible to detect DNA damage at the level of single cells. It can be employed in analyses of any tissues which provide cellular suspensions. Analysed cells are submerged in agarose on a microscope slide. DNA is what is left after proteins have been broken down. The slide is then subjected to electrophoresis and stained with a fluorescent dye. A "comet-like" image is obtained. The "head" is the cell fixation site prior to lysis; the "tail" represents damaged DNA fragments. The extent of DNA damage is reflected in the length of the tail and the amount of DNA contained in it. The assay finds research applications in the following fields: genetic toxicology, monitoring of DNA repair following chemotherapy and radiotherapy, ecotoxicology, animal and human nourishment, biomonitoring of genotoxicity, epidemiology and assessment of material deposited in sperm and blood banks.

  18. Preliminary Results of Observations of Comets De Vico and Hyakutake by the Ulysses Comet Watch Network

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petersen, C. C.; Brandt, J. C.; Yi, Y.

    1996-01-01

    Cometary interactions with the solar wind allow us to use comets as probes of the inner regions of the heliosphere. During their close passage to the Sun, comets are exposed to different environments depending on their latitude. Until recently, characterizing these environments has been difficult because most spacecraft studying the sun have been confined to studying its mid-latitudes. A valuable source of information about the differing regimes of the solar wind is the joint ESA/NASA ULYSSES mission, which is the first spacecraft to explore the polar regions of the heliosphere. In 1995, ULYSSES' orbit covered a range of solar latitudes from -80 degrees to +80 degrees - an interval referred to as the 'fast latitude scan.' The Ulysses Comet Watch incorporates in-situ measurements during these periods by the ULYSSES spacecraft with images contributed by a world-wide network of observers (both amateur and professional). Bright comets whose paths come within 20 degrees solar latitude of the spacecraft are considered especially good targets for correlation between spacecraft data and plasma tail activity. Ulysses findings of interest to cometary plasma research are: Verification of global differences in solar wind properties (speed and density) at different solar latitudes. At polar latitudes - ranging from roughly +/-30 degrees to +/-80 degrees - the solar wind speed is about 750 kilometers/sec, and has a proton density (1 AU) around 3 cm(exp -3). Changes in properties are small and the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) is not seen. In the equatorial latitudes (roughly +30 to -30 degrees), the average solar wind speed is about 450 kilometers/sec, with an average proton density (at 1 AU) around 9 cm(exp -3). The HCS is seen and changes in properties can be large. An object, spacecraft or comet, at a given latitude, can be entirely in the polar, entirely in the equatorial, or can experience both - sort of a transition region.

  19. Comets, meteorites and atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Owen, T; Bar-Nun, A

    1996-01-01

    The relatively low value of Xe/Kr in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars seems to rule out meteorites as the major carriers of noble gases to the inner planets. Laboratory experiments on the trapping of gases in ice forming at low temperatures suggest that comets may be a better choice. It is then possible to develop a model for the origin of inner planet atmospheres based on volatiles delivered by comets added to volatiles originally trapped in planetary rocks. The model will be tested by results from the Galileo Entry Probe.

  20. Comets, meteorites and atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, T.; Bar-Nun, A.

    1996-01-01

    The relatively low value of Xe/Kr in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars seems to rule out meteorites as the major carriers of noble gases to the inner planets. Laboratory experiments on the trapping of gases in ice forming at low temperatures suggest that comets may be a better choice. It is then possible to develop a model for the origin of inner planet atmospheres based on volatiles delivered by comets added to volatiles originally trapped in planetary rocks. The model will be tested by results from the Galileo Entry Probe.

  1. Sungrazing comets observed by the Solar Maximum Mission coronagraph

    SciTech Connect

    Macqueen, R.M.; St. cyr, O.C. )

    1991-03-01

    The 10 sun-grazing comets (all members of the Kreutz group) detected by the white-light coronagraph of the SMM satellite during its 6-year operational lifetime are described. Numerical data are summarized in tables, and images are provided. Consideration is given to the question of detectability, apparent motions and orbits, coma brightness variations, tail behavior, and occurrence rates. The data are shown to confirm the episodic nature of sun-grazing events, as suggested by Marsden (1967). 18 refs.

  2. Comet LINEAR Splits Further

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-05-01

    Third Nucleus Observed with the VLT Summary New images from the VLT show that one of the two nuclei of Comet LINEAR (C/2001 A2), now about 100 million km from the Earth, has just split into at least two pieces . The three fragments are now moving through space in nearly parallel orbits while they slowly drift apart. This comet will pass through its perihelion (nearest point to the Sun) on May 25, 2001, at a distance of about 116 million kilometres. It has brightened considerably due to the splitting of its "dirty snowball" nucleus and can now be seen with the unaided eye by observers in the southern hemisphere as a faint object in the southern constellation of Lepus (The Hare). PR Photo 18a/01 : Three nuclei of Comet LINEAR . PR Photo 18b/01 : The break-up of Comet LINEAR (false-colour). Comet LINEAR splits and brightens ESO PR Photo 18a/01 ESO PR Photo 18a/01 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 438 pix - 55k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 875 pix - 136k] ESO PR Photo 18b/01 ESO PR Photo 18b/01 [Preview - JPEG: 367 x 400 pix - 112k] [Normal - JPEG: 734 x 800 pix - 272k] Caption : ESO PR Photo 18a/01 shows the three nuclei of Comet LINEAR (C/2001 A2). It is a reproduction of a 1-min exposure in red light, obtained in the early evening of May 16, 2001, with the 8.2-m VLT YEPUN (UT4) telescope at Paranal. ESO PR Photo 18b/01 shows the same image, but in a false-colour rendering for more clarity. The cometary fragment "B" (right) has split into "B1" and "B2" (separation about 1 arcsec, or 500 km) while fragment "A" (upper left) is considerably fainter. Technical information about these photos is available below. Comet LINEAR was discovered on January 3, 2001, and designated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as C/2001 A2 (see IAU Circular 7564 [1]). Six weeks ago, it was suddenly observed to brighten (IAUC 7605 [1]). Amateurs all over the world saw the comparatively faint comet reaching naked-eye magnitude and soon thereafter, observations with professional telescopes indicated

  3. Newton's propositions on comets: steps in transition, 1681 - 84.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruffner, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    Isaac Newton's closest approach to a system of the world in the critical period 1681 - 84 is provided in a set of untitled propositions concerning comets. These notes drastically revise his position maintained against Flamsteed in 1681 and may signal his adoption of a single comet solution for the comet appearances of 1680/81. Points of agreement and difference with the key pre-Principia texts of 1684 - 85 are analysed here. Newton shows substantial control of the phenomena of comet tails, and these concepts change very little in mechanical detail throughout his subsequent work. An emerging theory of gravitation brings planets, their satellites, and comets under the same laws of motion, yet retains a celestial vortex and includes a singular proposition in lieu of the usual formulation of Kepler's area law. The present analysis raises questions on a number of issues of recent Newtonian scholarship, ranging from his achievement following his correspondence with Robert Hooke in 1679 to his veneration of the wisdom of the ancients.

  4. DIRBE Comet Trails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2015-01-01

    Re-examination of the COBE DIRBE data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails.The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported.The known trails of 2P/Encke, and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 microns surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy/sr, respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals one additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  5. DRBE comet trails

    SciTech Connect

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2014-12-01

    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy sr{sup −1}, respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals 1 additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  6. Halley's Comet: A Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freitag, Ruth S., Comp.

    Included in this bibliography are over 3,200 references to publications on Halley's Comet, its history, orbital motion, and physical characteristics, meteor streams associated with it, preparations for space missions to study it in 1986, and popular reaction to its appearances. Also cited are a few papers that, although they devote little…

  7. Comets and life.

    PubMed

    Oró, J; Berry, J M

    1987-01-01

    Some of the chemical species which have been detected in comets include H2O, HCN, CH3CN, CO, CO2, NH3, CS, C2 and C3. All of these have also been detected in the interstellar medium, indicating a probable relationship between interstellar dust and gas clouds and comets. Laboratory experiments carried out with different mixtures of these molecules give rise to the formation of the biochemical compounds which are necessary for life, such as amino acids, purines, pyrimidines, monosaccharides, etc. However, in spite of suggestions to the contrary, the presence of life in comets is unlikely. On the other hand, the capture of cometary matter by the primitive Earth is considered essential for the development of life on this planet. The amount of cometary carbon-containing matter captured by the Earth, as calculated by different authors, is several times larger than the total amount of organic matter present in the biosphere (10(18)g). The major classes of reactions which were probably involved in the formation of key biochemical compounds are discussed. Our tentative conclusions are that: 1) comets played a predominant role in the emergence of life on our planet, and 2) they are the cosmic connection with extraterrestrial life.

  8. The Composition of Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, Anita L.; Levasseur-Regourd, Anny-Chantal; Cordiner, Martin; Hadamcik, Edith; Lasue, Jérémie; Gicquel, Adeline; Schleicher, David G.; Charnley, Steven B.; Mumma, Michael J.; Paganini, Lucas; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Biver, Nicolas; Kuan, Yi-Jehng

    2015-12-01

    This paper is the result of the International Cometary Workshop, held in Toulouse, France in April 2014, where the participants came together to assess our knowledge of comets prior to the ESA Rosetta Mission. In this paper, we look at the composition of the gas and dust from the comae of comets. With the gas, we cover the various taxonomic studies that have broken comets into groups and compare what is seen at all wavelengths. We also discuss what has been learned from mass spectrometers during flybys. A few caveats for our interpretation are discussed. With dust, much of our information comes from flybys. They include in situ analyses as well as samples returned to Earth for laboratory measurements. Remote sensing IR observations and polarimetry are also discussed. For both gas and dust, we discuss what instruments the Rosetta spacecraft and Philae lander will bring to bear to improve our understanding of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as "ground-truth" for our previous comprehensive studies. Finally, we summarize some of the initial Rosetta Mission findings.

  9. DIRBE Comet Trails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2014-12-01

    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of \\lt 0.1 and \\lt 0.15 MJy sr-1, respectively, which is \\lt 1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals 1 additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  10. Finding Comet Halley.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glenn, William H.

    1985-01-01

    Provides background information and references on Comet Halley (which will be observable by telescope in October 1985 and reach its most brilliant appearance in March and April of 1986). Suggestions for equipment and maps of its path through the sky are included. (DH)

  11. Comet radar explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farnham, Tony; Asphaug, Erik; Barucci, Antonella; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Brownlee, Donald; Capria, Maria Teresa; Carter, Lynn; Chesley, Steve; Farnham, Tony; Gaskell, Robert; Gim, Young; Heggy, Essam; Herique, Alain; Klaasen, Ken; Kofman, Wlodek; Kreslavsky, Misha; Lisse, Casey; Orosei, Roberto; Plaut, Jeff; Scheeres, Dan

    The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) is designed to perform a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the interior, surface, and inner coma structures of a scientifically impor-tant Jupiter family comet. These structures will be used to investigate the origins of cometary nuclei, their physical and geological evolution, and the mechanisms driving their spectacular activity. CORE is a high heritage spacecraft, injected by solar electric propulsion into orbit around a comet. It is capable of coherent deep radar imaging at decameter wavelengths, high resolution stereo color imaging, and near-IR imaging spectroscopy. Its primary objective is to obtain a high-resolution map of the interior structure of a comet nucleus at a resolution of ¿100 elements across the diameter. This structure shall be related to the surface geology and morphology, and to the structural details of the coma proximal to the nucleus. This is an ideal complement to the science from recent comet missions, providing insight into how comets work. Knowing the structure of the interior of a comet-what's inside-and how cometary activity works, is required before we can understand the requirements for a cryogenic sample return mission. But more than that, CORE is fundamental to understanding the origin of comets and their evolution in time. The mission is made feasible at low cost by the use of now-standard MARSIS-SHARAD reflec-tion radar imaging hardware and data processing, together with proven flight heritage of solar electric propulsion. Radar flight heritage has been demonstrated by the MARSIS radar on Mars Express (Picardi et al., Science 2005; Plaut et al., Science 2007), the SHARAD radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Seu et al., JGR 2007), and the LRS radar onboard Kaguya (Ono et al, EPS 2007). These instruments have discovered detailed subsurface structure to depths of several kilometers in a variety of terrains on Mars and the Moon. A reflection radar deployed in orbit about a comet

  12. Cytogenetic status and oxidative DNA-damage induced by atorvastatin in human peripheral blood lymphocytes: Standard and Fpg-modified comet assay

    SciTech Connect

    Gajski, Goran Garaj-Vrhovac, Vera; Orescanin, Visnja

    2008-08-15

    To investigate the genotoxic potential of atorvastatin on human lymphocytes in vitro standard comet assay was used in the evaluation of basal DNA damage and to investigate possible oxidative DNA damage produced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) Fpg-modified version of comet assay was also conducted. In addition to these techniques the new criteria for scoring micronucleus test were applied for more complete detection of baseline damage in binuclear lymphocytes exposed to atorvastatin 80 mg/day in different time periods by virtue of measuring the frequency of micronuclei, nucleoplasmic bridges and nuclear buds. All parameters obtained with the standard comet assay and Fpg-modified comet assay were significantly higher in the treated than in control lymphocytes. The Fpg-modified comet assay showed a significantly greater tail length, tail intensity, and tail moment in all treated lymphocytes than did the standard comet assay, which suggests that oxidative stress is likely to be responsible for DNA damage. DNA damage detected by the standard comet assay indicates that some other mechanism is also involved. In addition to the comet assay, a total number of micronuclei, nucleoplasmic bridges and nuclear buds were significantly higher in the exposed than in controlled lymphocytes. Regression analyses showed a positive correlation between the results obtained by the comet (Fpg-modified and standard) and micronucleus assay. Overall, the study demonstrated that atorvastatin in its highest dose is capable of producing damage on the level of DNA molecule and cell.

  13. The ICQ Guide to Observing Comets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, D. W. E.

    1997-01-01

    The following topics were dealt with: basic information (comet names and designation nomenclature, basic anatomy of a comet, composition of comets and techniques for deriving this information, orbital characteristics of comets, the stellar-magnitude scale and general remarks on comet magnitudes, typical comet behaviors, and the role of solar activity, time and its role in observing comets, locating and identifying known comets, what to do if you discover a comet); a historical overview of the observation of comets (perceptions of comets via naked-eye observations prior to Halley, issues regarding the reading and interpretation of historical observations); visual observing (the human eye as a light detector, observing conditions and observing-site selection, instrumentation and observing "assessories", comet hunting, discovery, and follow-up, estimating a comet's total magnitude, estimating the comet's other physical parameters, drawing comets, daytime observations of comets); non-visual optical observations (CCD observations, photography of comets, narrow-band photometry, spectroscopy and spectrophotometry, occultations); observations outside the visual region (ground-based observations at non-optical wavelengths, satellite-based observations of comets); astrometry of comets (astrometric measurement of photographs and CCD frames, general measurement procedures and astrometric reductions, reporting of comet astrometry, radar astrometry, dealing with older astrometry). Appendices (list of numbered periodic comets, star catalogues, atlases, and charts).

  14. The Sodium Tail of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matta, M.; Smith, S.; Baumgardner, J.; Wilson, J.; Martinis, C.; Mendillo, M.

    2009-01-01

    During the few days centered about new Moon, the lunar surface is optically hidden from Earth-based observers. However, the Moon still offers an observable: an extended sodium tail. The lunar sodium tail is the escaping "hot" component of a coma-like exosphere of sodium generated by photon-stimulated desorption, solar wind sputtering and meteoroid impact. Neutral sodium atoms escaping lunar gravity experience solar radiation pressure that drives them into the anti-solar direction forming a comet-like tail. During new Moon time, the geometry of the Sun, Moon and Earth is such that the anti-sunward sodium flux is perturbed by the terrestrial gravitational field resulting in its focusing into a dense core that extends beyond the Earth. An all-sky camera situated at the El Leoncito Observatory (CASLEO) in Argentina has been successfully imaging this tail through a sodium filter at each lunation since April 2006. This paper reports on the results of the brightness of the lunar sodium tail spanning 31 lunations between April 2006 and September 2008. Brightness variability trends are compared with both sporadic and shower meteor activity, solar wind proton energy flux and solar near ultra violet (NUV) patterns for possible correlations. Results suggest minimal variability in the brightness of the observed lunar sodium tail, generally uncorrelated with any single source, yet consistent with a multi-year period of minimal solar activity and non-intense meteoric fluxes.

  15. The sodium tail of the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matta, M.; Smith, S.; Baumgardner, J.; Wilson, J.; Martinis, C.; Mendillo, M.

    2009-12-01

    During the few days centered about new Moon, the lunar surface is optically hidden from Earth-based observers. However, the Moon still offers an observable: an extended sodium tail. The lunar sodium tail is the escaping "hot" component of a coma-like exosphere of sodium generated by photon-stimulated desorption, solar wind sputtering and meteoroid impact. Neutral sodium atoms escaping lunar gravity experience solar radiation pressure that drives them into the anti-solar direction forming a comet-like tail. During new Moon time, the geometry of the Sun, Moon and Earth is such that the anti-sunward sodium flux is perturbed by the terrestrial gravitational field resulting in its focusing into a dense core that extends beyond the Earth. An all-sky camera situated at the El Leoncito Observatory (CASLEO) in Argentina has been successfully imaging this tail through a sodium filter at each lunation since April 2006. This paper reports on the results of the brightness of the lunar sodium tail spanning 31 lunations between April 2006 and September 2008. Brightness variability trends are compared with both sporadic and shower meteor activity, solar wind proton energy flux and solar near ultra violet (NUV) patterns for possible correlations. Results suggest minimal variability in the brightness of the observed lunar sodium tail, generally uncorrelated with any single source, yet consistent with a multi-year period of minimal solar activity and non-intense meteoric fluxes.

  16. Automated analysis of DNA damage in the high-throughput version of the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Stang, A; Brendamour, M; Schunck, C; Witte, I

    2010-04-30

    Recently a high-throughput version of the comet assay was developed using a special 96-well multichamber plate (MCP) [1]. In this version, the electrophoresis is performed directly on the MCP, which makes transferring of cells to microscope slides unnecessary. In order to facilitate the scoring procedure we adapted an automated slide-scanning system (Metafer MetaCyte with CometScan) to enable unattended analysis of comets on the MCP. The results of the system were compared with the data obtained with two interactive comet-assay analysis systems. For induction of DNA damage in human fibroblasts methylmethane sulfonate (MMS) or H2O2 was used. The three systems revealed similar, concentration-dependent results for all parameters tested: tail moment (tm), % DNA-in-tail and olive tail moment. Near the detection limit of 5-6% DNA-in-tail a significant difference with the untreated control was obtained by use of four parallel samples (p=0.01). With the newly developed automated analysis system, the evaluation of either 50 or 100 comets yielded similar standard errors for either treatment with MMS or H2O2, thus showing that the method is suitable to reveal the crucial low-dose effects with high precision. The results also show that the time needed for automated evaluation of comets on the MCP was reduced by a factor of 10 when compared with the time required for interactive evaluation. In summary, the high-throughput version of the comet assay combined with the automated evaluating system increased the output by a factor up to 180 compared with the standard method. PMID:20197109

  17. Comets as natural laboratories: Interpretations of the structure of the inner heliosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramanjooloo, Yudish; Jones, Geraint H.; Coates, Andrew J.; Owens, Mathew J.

    2015-11-01

    Much has been learnt about the heliosphere’s structure from in situ solar wind spacecraft observations. Their coverage is however limited in time and space. Comets can be considered to be natural laboratories of the inner heliosphere, as their ion tails trace the solar wind flow. Solar wind conditions influence comets’ induced magnetotails, formed through the draping of the heliospheric magnetic field by the velocity shear in the mass-loaded solar wind.I present a novel imaging technique and software to exploit the vast catalogues of amateur and professional images of comet ion tails. My projection technique uses the comet’s orbital plane to sample its ion tail as a proxy for determining multi-latitudinal radial solar wind velocities in each comet’s vicinity. Making full use of many observing stations from astrophotography hobbyists to professional observatories and spacecraft, this approach is applied to several comets observed in recent years. This work thus assesses the validity of analysing comets’ ion tails as complementary sources of information on dynamical heliospheric phenomena and the underlying continuous solar wind.Complementary velocities, measured from folding ion rays and a velocity profile map built from consecutive images, are derived as an alternative means of quantifying the solar wind-cometary ionosphere interaction, including turbulent transient phenomena such as coronal mass ejections. I review the validity of these techniques by comparing near-Earth comets to solar wind MHD models (ENLIL) in the inner heliosphere and extrapolated measurements by ACE to the orbit of comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz), a near-Earth comet. My radial velocities are mapped back to the solar wind source surface to identify sources of the quiescent solar wind and heliospheric current sheet crossings. Comets were found to be good indicators of solar wind structure, but the quality of results is strongly dependent on the observing geometry.

  18. Plasma distribution of Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) observed using the radio scintillation method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iju, Tomoya; Abe, Shinsuke; Tokumaru, Munetoshi; Fujiki, Ken'ichi

    2015-05-01

    We report the electron density in a plasma tail of Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) derived from interplanetary scintillation (IPS) observations during November 1-28, 2013. Comet ISON showed a well-developed plasma tail (longer than 2.98 ×107 km) before its perihelion passage on November 28. We identified a radio source whose line-of-sight approached the ISON's plasma tail in the above period and obtained its IPS data using the Solar Wind Imaging Facility at 327 MHz. We used the Heliospheric Imager onboard the Solar-Terrestrial Relation Observatory to distinguish between the cometary tail and solar eruption origins of their enhanced scintillation. From our examinations, we confirmed three IPS enhancements of a radio source 1148-00 on November 13, 16, and 17, which could be attributed to the disturbance in the cometary tail. Power spectra of 1148-00 had the steeper slope than normal ones during its occultation by the plasma tail. We estimated the electron density in the ISON's plasma tail and found 84 cm-3 around the tail axis at a distance of 3.74 ×107 km from the cometary nucleus and an unexpected variation of the electron density in the vicinity of the tail boundary.

  19. Formin' actin in the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Baarlink, Christian; Grosse, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Many if not most proteins can, under certain conditions, change cellular compartments, such as, for example, shuttling from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Thus, many proteins may exert functions in various and very different subcellular locations, depending on the signaling context. A large amount of actin regulatory proteins has been detected in the mammalian cell nucleus, although their potential roles are much debated and are just beginning to emerge. Recently, members of the formin family of actin nucleators were also reported to dynamically localize to the nuclear environment. Here we discuss our findings that specific diaphanous-related formins can promote nuclear actin assembly in a signal-dependent manner.

  20. Regulation of an Actin Spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tam, Barney; Shin, Jennifer; Brau, Ricardo; Lang, Matthew; Mahadevan, L.; Matsudaira, Paul

    2006-03-01

    To produce motion, cells rely on the conversion of potential energy into mechanical work. One such example is the dramatic process involving the acrosome reaction of Limulus sperm, whereby a 60 μm-long bundle of actin filaments straightens from a coiled conformation to extend out of the cell in five seconds. This cellular engine and the motion it produces represent a third type of actin-based motility fundamentally different from polymerization or myosin-driven processes. The motive force for this extension originates from stored elastic energy in the overtwisted, pre-formed coil---much like a compressed mechanical spring. When the actin bundle untwists, this energy is converted to mechanical work powering the extension. We report on experiments probing the regulation of this actin spring by extracellular calcium. We find that extracellular calcium needs to be present for the spring to activate, and that calcium regulates the velocity of the extension.

  1. PROBING THE SOLAR WIND ACCELERATION REGION WITH THE SUN-GRAZING COMET C/2002 S2

    SciTech Connect

    Giordano, S.; Raymond, J. C.; Lamy, P.; Uzzo, M.; Dobrzycka, D.

    2015-01-01

    Comet C/2002 S2, a member of the Kreutz family of sungrazing comets, was discovered in white-light images of the Large Angle and Spectromeric Coronagraph Experiment coronagraph on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) on 2002 September 18 and observed in H I Lyα emission by the SOHO Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) instrument at four different heights as it approached the Sun. The H I Lyα line profiles detected by UVCS are analyzed to determine the spectral parameters: line intensity, width, and Doppler shift with respect to the coronal background. Two-dimensional comet images of these parameters are reconstructed at the different heights. A novel aspect of the observations of this sungrazing comet data is that, whereas the emission from most of the tail is blueshifted, that along one edge of the tail is redshifted. We attribute these shifts to a combination of solar wind speed and interaction with the magnetic field. In order to use the comet to probe the density, temperature, and speed of the corona and solar wind through which it passes, as well as to determine the outgassing rate of the comet, we develop a Monte Carlo simulation of the H I Lyα emission of a comet moving through a coronal plasma. From the outgassing rate, we estimate a nucleus diameter of about 9 m. This rate steadily increases as the comet approaches the Sun, while the optical brightness decreases by more than a factor of 10 and suddenly recovers. This indicates that the optical brightness is determined by the lifetimes of the grains, sodium atoms, and molecules produced by the comet.

  2. Some results of exploration of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - the main target of the Rosetta space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, K. I.

    The short period comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from the Jupiter comet family is selected as main target of the European space mission Rosetta. In September 1969 the three collaborators of expedition of Kyiv Shevchenko University went to the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute to conduct a survey of short period and new comets. The main result of the expedition was the discovery of the new short period comet 67P on Oct. 22 ,1969 on the five plates obtained by Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko Sept. 9, 11 and 21, 1969 with the help of 50-cm f/2.4 Maksutov telescope in Alam-Ata. The astronomer Nikolay Belyaev from Saint-Petersbourg showed the comet followed an elliptical orbit. The fact that the comet had a close encounter with Jupiter in 1959 very important because only after this encounter comet 67P could be discovered in 1969 with the help of terrestrial telescopes. The comparison of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's light curve in its 1982-1983 apparition and the curve of the solar activity indices changes that are reduced to the comet`s center shows that the variations of the comet's brightness rather well correlate with the changes of the solar indices. On the basis of photometric processing of the two photographic images of comet 67P obtained in Nizhny Arkhyz with the help of the 6- BTA reflector of SAO of RAS some physical parameters of the comet plasma tail (coefficients of diffusion D?? , Dbot and induction of magnetic field B) were determined. (Jan. 12.105, 1983 UT: D??=5.07× 1014div 1.21× 1015 cm2/s, Dbot =5.73× 1013div 1.37× 1014 cm2/s, B=46div 111 nT; Jan. 13.124, 1983 UT: D??=4.67× 1014div 1.14× 1015 cm2/s, Dbot =4.30× 1013div 1.05× 1014 cm2/s, B=55div 134 nT). The obtained upper estimates of induction of the magnetic field B≅ 111 nT for Jan. 12,1983 and B≅ 134 nT for Jan. 13,1983 probably surpass real values of B in the cometary plasma tail. I think that this peculiarity of magnetic fields in plasma tail of comet 67P is tight connected

  3. Chemotaxis and Actin Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Hsu, Hsin-Fang; Negrete, Jose; Beta, Carsten; Pumir, Alain; Gholami, Azam; Tarantola, Marco; Westendorf, Christian; Zykov, Vladimir

    Recently, self-oscillations of the cytoskeletal actin have been observed in Dictyostelium, a model system for studying chemotaxis. Here we report experimental results on the self-oscillation mechanism and the role of regulatory proteins and myosin II. We stimulate cells rapidly and periodically by using photo un-caging of the chemoattractant in a micro-fluidic device and measured the cellular responses. We found that the response amplitude grows with stimulation strength only in a very narrow region of stimulation, after which the response amplitude reaches a plateau. Moreover, the frequency-response is not constant but rather varies with the strength of external stimuli. To understand the underlying mechanism, we analyzed the polymerization and de-polymerization time in the single cell level. Despite of the large cell-to-cell variability, we found that the polymerization time is independent of external stimuli and the de-polymerization time is prolonged as the stimulation strength increases. Our conclusions will be summarized and the role of noise in the signaling network will be discussed. German Science Foundation CRC 937.

  4. Three's company: the fission yeast actin cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Kovar, David R; Sirotkin, Vladimir; Lord, Matthew

    2011-03-01

    How the actin cytoskeleton assembles into different structures to drive diverse cellular processes is a fundamental cell biological question. In addition to orchestrating the appropriate combination of regulators and actin-binding proteins, different actin-based structures must insulate themselves from one another to maintain specificity within a crowded cytoplasm. Actin specification is particularly challenging in complex eukaryotes where a multitude of protein isoforms and actin structures operate within the same cell. Fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe possesses a single actin isoform that functions in three distinct structures throughout the cell cycle. In this review we explore recent studies in fission yeast that help unravel how different actin structures operate in cells.

  5. A case–control study to detect the extent of DNA damage in oral lichen planus and oral lichenoid reactions using comet assay

    PubMed Central

    Madhulika, N.; Rangdhol, R. Vishwanath; Sitra, G.; Ballaiah, John; Jaikumar, R. Arun; Brooklyin, S.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: This study aims to quantify the extent of DNA damage in lymphocytes of patients with oral lichen planus (OLP) and oral lichenoid reactions (OLRs) using comet assay. Methodology: Lymphocytes from peripheral blood were subjected to alkaline comet assay. Comet length (CL), head diameter (HD), percentage of DNA in head, tail length (TL), percentage of DNA in tail, tail intensity, tail mean and tail moment were compared between study group (OLP and OLR) and control group using Student's t-test. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to examine the linear association between the variables. Results: Significantly higher levels of DNA damage was present in study group as reflected by CL, HD and TL, tail intensity and tail moment with P = 0.0001; percentage of DNA in head and tail with P = 0.02 and tail mean with P = 0.012. Conclusion: This study brings out the fact that DNA damage measured by comet assay was greater in the study group when compared to the control group. As a reflection of uniqueness, this study crowns the scenario with respect to early detection and prevention of potentially malignant disorders and the process of malignant transformation. PMID:26538896

  6. Structural insights into de novo actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    Summary Many cellular functions depend on rapid and localized actin polymerization/depolymerization. Yet, the de novo polymerization of actin in cells is kinetically unfavorable because of the instability of polymerization intermediates (small actin oligomers) and the actions of actin monomer binding proteins. Cells use filament nucleation and elongation factors to initiate and sustain polymerization. Structural biology is beginning to shed light on the diverse mechanisms by which these unrelated proteins initiate polymerization, undergo regulation, and mediate the transition of monomeric actin onto actin filaments. A prominent role is played by the W domain, which in some of these proteins occurs in tandem repeats that recruit multiple actin subunits. Pro-rich regions are also abundant and mediate the binding of profilin-actin complexes, which are the main source of polymerization competent actin in cells. Filament nucleation and elongation factors frequently interact with Rho family GTPases, which relay signals from membrane receptors to regulate actin cytoskeleton remodeling. PMID:20096561

  7. Catching the Tail of the Comet: Technology in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bullard, Bettie

    2005-01-01

    During the past 10 years, the level of technology in schools has increased with tremendous speed. Accessible through that medium is a body of information that will double in 6 years and quadruple in 12. Before teachers have mastered one type of technology, school administrators are stacking old computers in workrooms or behind stage curtains. Just…

  8. The 2009 Apparition of methuselah comet 107P/Wilson-Harrington: A case of comet rejuvenation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrín, Ignacio; Hamanowa, Hiromi; Hamanowa, Hiroko; Hernández, Jesús; Sira, Eloy; Sánchez, Albert; Zhao, Haibin; Miles, Richard

    2012-09-01

    The 2009 apparition of comet 107P was observed with a variety of instruments from six observatories. The main results of this investigation are: (1) 107P/Wilson-Harrington was found to be active not only in 1949 but also in 1979, 1992, 2005 and 2009. The activity is very weak and produces only a slight brightness increase above the nucleus. (ASEC=VNUC(1,1,0)-m(1,1)<1 mag). Since the amount of solar energy received by the object at perihelion has been monotonically increasing since 1928, we conclude that the comet has been active at all apparitions ever after. The probability that the activity in 1949 or in 2009 was due to a surface impact is very small. (2) The rotational period has been determined. We find PROT=6.093±0.002 h. The amplitude of the rotational light curve (peak to valley) is AROT=0.20±0.01 mag in V. From this data the minimum ratio of semi-axis is (a/b)MIN=1.20±0.02. The rotational light curve is identical to the shape of a saw tooth. The shape of the object must be peculiar and has sharp edges. (3) This is the first time that the phase curve of a comet has been determined in three colors, B, V and R. We find B(1,1,α)=16.88(±0.06)+0.041(±0.001)α, V(1,1,α)=16.31(±0.04)+0.043(±0.001)α, and R(1,1,α)=15.90(±0.04)+0.039(±0.001)α. (4) From the phase curves color indices can be deduced when the comet is not active. We find V-B=0.57±0.07 and V-R=0.41±0.06. (5) Assuming a geometric albedo pV=0.04 and the absolute magnitude from the phase plot, we find an effective diámeter free from rotational modulation DEFFE=3.67±0.06 km. (6) The secular light curves are presented. The comet is slightly active above the nucleus line (ASEC(1,LAG)=0.36±0.10 mag), but did not exhibited a coma. Activity started +26±1 d after perihelion. Using the definition of photometric age, we find T-AGE=4700 (+6000, -1700) cy (comet years), an exceedingly old object, a methuselah comet. (7) In the 2009 apparition no tail and no coma were detected using more sensitive

  9. Triggering Comet-Like Activity of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.; Maindl, T. I.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.; Dvorak, R.

    2016-01-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) have attracted a great deal of interest since their identification as a new class of bodies by Hsieh and Jewitt in 2006. Much of this interest is due to the implication that MBC activity is driven by the sublimation of volatile material (presumed to be water-ice) presenting these bodies as probable candidates for the delivery of a significant fraction of Earth's water. Results of the studies of the dynamics of MBCs suggest that these objects might have formed in-situ as the remnants of the break-up of large icy asteroids. Simulations also show that collisions among MBCs and small objects could have played an important role in triggering the cometary activity of these bodies. Such collisions might have exposed sub-surface water-ice which sublimated and created thin atmospheres and tails around MBCs. In order to drive the effort of understanding the nature of the activation of MBCs, we have investigated these collision processes by simulating the impacts in detail using a smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) approach that includes material strength and fracture models. We have carried out simulations for a range of impact velocities and angles, allowing m-sized impactors to erode enough of an MBC's surface to expose volatiles and trigger its activation. Impact velocities were varied between 0.5 km/s and 5.3 km/s, and the projectile radius was chosen to be 1 m. As expected, we observe significantly different crater depths depending on the impact energy, impact angle, and MBC's material strength. Results show that for all values of impact velocity and angle, crater depths are only a few meters, implying that if the activity of MBCs is due to the sublimation of water-ice, ice has to exist in no deeper than a few meters from the surface. We present details of our simulations and discuss the implications of their results.

  10. Comet Hyakutake to Approach the Earth in Late March 1996

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-03-01

    the very distant `Oort Cloud' of comets that surrounds the solar system. In this sense it is different from the periodical comets which move in closed orbits around the Sun with revolution periods between a few years and some decades. Its `dirty snowball' nucleus of ices and dust has therefore not been heated by the Sun for a very long time, perhaps never, if this is its first visit to the inner regions of the solar system. Hence it is particularly difficult to predict its future performance. Nevertheless, the available observations seem to indicate that it is a quite `active' comet and that it may therefore become comparatively bright when it approaches the Earth and later at perihelion. But how bright ? Imaging as well as spectroscopic observations have been performed in order to better characterize Comet Hyakutake. On CCD-frames obtained of the comet in early February with telescopes at the ESO La Silla Observatory and elsewhere, an elongation is clearly visible (cf. ESO Press Photo 11/96 ) in the anti-sunward direction of the coma (the cloud of gas and dust that surrounds the cometary nucleus). A real tail has not yet developed, but this is expected to happen soon. The size of the coma was measured as at least 7 arcmin, corresponding to a projected diameter of nearly 500,000 kilometres. It is also of interest that until recently the coma otherwise appeared absolutely symmetrical - there was no indication of `jets', i.e. no large vents on the surface of the nucleus had yet become active. However, on images obtained with the ESO 3.6-metre telescope in the morning of February 13, a `jet'-like feature is seen which emerges south-east of the nucleus (i.e. from the sunlit side) and curls counter-clockwise towards the opposite side (the `tail'-direction). This is probably the first evidence of localized dust production on the surface of the nucleus. CCD observations were made on February 9 at the Lowell Observatory (Flagstaff, U.S.A.) through special optical filters

  11. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission: A status report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Neugebauer, Marcia

    1991-01-01

    The Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission received a new start in fiscal year 1990. CRAF will match orbits with an active short-period comet and follow it around the Sun, making scientific measurements of the nucleus, coma, and tail. The Imaging system will map the nucleus surface at a resolution of 1 meter/line-pair or better, while Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) and Thermal Infrared Radiometer Experiment (TIREX) will produce spectral and thermal maps of the surface. Onboard instruments will collect cometary dust, ice, and gases and perform elemental and molecular analysis. A suite of fields and particles instruments will observe the solar wind interaction with the cometary atmosphere and tail. Radio tracking of the spacecraft will provide an accurate measure of the nucleus mass and higher harmonics in the comet's gravity field. En route to the comet, the spacecraft will make a close flyby of a large asteroid, preferably a primitive type from the outer main belt. Observations at the asteroid include remote sensing mapping of the surface, detection of any solar wind interaction observable at the flyby distance, and measurement of the asteroid mass to better than 10 percent accuracy. Detailed design of the CRAF spacecraft is currently underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Recent mass growth has necessitated a switch to Venus-Earth gravity assist type trajectories, similar to that used by the Galileo spacecraft. These trajectories require longer flight times from launch to rendezvous with the target comet. The details of the current baseline mission, spacecraft design, and instrument payload will be reviewed.

  12. Comets at radio wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crovisier, Jacques; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Colom, Pierre; Biver, Nicolas

    2016-11-01

    Comets are considered as the most primitive objects in the Solar System. Their composition provides information on the composition of the primitive solar nebula, 4.6 Gyr ago. The radio domain is a privileged tool to study the composition of cometary ices. Observations of the OH radical at 18 cm wavelength allow us to measure the water production rate. A wealth of molecules (and some of their isotopologues) coming from the sublimation of ices in the nucleus have been identified by observations in the millimetre and submillimetre domains. We present an historical review on radio observations of comets, focusing on the results from our group, and including recent observations with the Nançay radio telescope, the IRAM antennas, the Odin satellite, the Herschel space observatory, ALMA, and the MIRO instrument aboard the Rosetta space probe. xml:lang="fr"

  13. The composition of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feldman, P. D.

    1977-01-01

    Questions concerning the origin of comets are considered. It is pointed out that the molecular composition of a dense interstellar cloud appears to have exactly the composition needed to produce the observed features of the visible cometary spectrum, which consists mainly of emission bands of unstable free radicals. A working model of cometary structure is discussed together with the classical observations which have led to it. The discussed model was originally described by Whipple (1951). It is emphasized that the model can serve only as a rough guide in efforts to interpret the evolution of cometary behavior. A survey is provided of new techniques which have only recently been applied to cometary observations, taking into account the spectrum of a comet, radio observations, and ultraviolet observations.

  14. Diatoms in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, R.; Hoyle, F.; Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    1986-01-01

    The fossil record of the microscopic algae classified as diatoms suggests they were injected to earth at the Cretaceous boundary. Not only could diatoms remain viable in the cometary environment, but also many species might replicate in illuminated surface layers or early interior layers of cometary ice. Presumably they reached the solar system on an interstellar comet as an already-evolved assemblage of organisms. Diatoms might cause color changes to comet nuclei while their outgassing decays and revives around highly elliptical orbits. Just as for interstellar absorption, high-resolution IR observations are capable of distinguishing whether the 10-micron feature arises from siliceous diatom material or mineral silicates. The 10-30-micron band and the UV 220-nm region can also provide evidence of biological material.

  15. Maverick Comet Splits during Dramatic Outburst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

    encounters with this giant planet. For instance, it passed Jupiter at a distance of about 30 million kilometers in 1882 and 1894, and again at 40 million kilometres in 1965. SW-3 belongs to the so-called ``Jupiter family'' of comets. Some time ago, SW-3 was chosen as a back-up target for the upcoming Rosetta space mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) because the elliptical orbit of this particular comet may be reached with a relatively small expenditure of rocket fuel (the prime target is Comet Wirtanen). That allows to carry more scientific instruments on this extraordinary mission which aims at a long-term study of a cometary nucleus from a spacecraft in circum-cometary orbit. Rosetta will be launched early in the next century and will also carry two landing modules which will descend on the surface of the nucleus. The Dramatic Outburst of SW-3 In order to study this potential Rosetta target comet, Hermann Boehnhardt (Astronomical Institute of the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany) and Hans-Ulrich Kaufl (ESO-Garching) early in 1995 applied for simultaneous observing time at the ESO 3.6-m telescope and 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at the La Silla Observatory. In May 1995, the ESO Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) granted the astronomers some nights for these observations in mid-December 1995 with the TIMMI and EMMI instruments at the 3.6-m and the NTT, respectively, i.e. not quite two months after the predicted perihelion passage on September 22, when the comet would be closest to the Sun (140 million kilometres). Meanwhile, SW-3 was moving closer towards the Sun. After its recovery in December 1994 with the 3.5-metre reflector at the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain, Kurt Birkle and Hermann Boehnhardt collected a series of almost monthly images with that telescope until late June 1995, showing that the comet developed normally with respect to its brightness and the coma and tail. On August 20, it was observed by a Japanese amateur astronomer at

  16. IUE observations of faint comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, H. A.; Feldman, P. D.; Festou, M.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Keller, H. U.

    1981-09-01

    Ultraviolet spectra of seven comets taken with the same instrument are given. The comets P/Encke (1980), P/Tuttle (1980 h), P/Stephan-Oterma (1980 g), and Meier (1980 q) were observed in November and December 1980 with the IUE satellite, and comets P/Borrelly (1980 i) and Panther (1980 u) were observed with the IUE on March 6, 1981. The spectra of these comets are compared with one another, as well as with comet Bradfield (1978 X), which was extensively studied earlier in 1980 with the IUE. To simplify the interpretation of the data and to minimize the dependence upon a specific model, the spectra are compared at approximately the same value of heliocentric distance whenever possible. Effects arising from heliocentric velocity, geocentric distance, and optical depth are also discussed. All of the cometary spectra are found to be remarkably similar, suggesting that these comets may have a common composition and origin.

  17. Destruction of Sun-grazing comet C/2011 N3 (SOHO) within the low solar corona.

    PubMed

    Schrijver, C J; Brown, J C; Battams, K; Saint-Hilaire, P; Liu, W; Hudson, H; Pesnell, W D

    2012-01-20

    Observations of comets in Sun-grazing orbits that survive solar insolation long enough to penetrate into the Sun's inner corona provide information on the solar atmosphere and magnetic field as well as on the makeup of the comet. On 6 July 2011, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed the demise of comet C/2011 N3 (SOHO) within the low solar corona in five wavelength bands in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). The comet penetrated to within 0.146 solar radius (~100,000 kilometers) of the solar surface before its EUV signal disappeared. Before that, material released into the coma--at first seen in absorption--formed a variable EUV-bright tail. During the final 10 minutes of observation by SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, ~6 × 10(8) to 6 × 10(10) grams of total mass was lost (corresponding to an effective nucleus diameter of ~10 to 50 meters), as estimated from the tail's deceleration due to interaction with the surrounding coronal material; the EUV absorption by the comet and the brightness of the tail suggest that the mass was at the high end of this range. These observations provide evidence that the nucleus had broken up into a family of fragments, resulting in accelerated sublimation in the Sun's intense radiation field. PMID:22267810

  18. FROZEN HYDROCARBONS IN COMETS

    SciTech Connect

    Simonia, Irakli

    2011-02-15

    Recent investigations of the luminescence of frozen hydrocarbon particles of icy cometary halos have been carried out. The process of luminescence of organic icy particles in a short-wavelength solar radiation field is considered. A comparative analysis of observed and laboratory data leads to 72 luminescent emission lines in the spectrum of the comet 153P/Ikeya-Zhang. The concept of cometary relict matter is presented, and the creation of a database of unidentified cometary emission lines is proposed.

  19. The Dust Environment of Comet Austin 1990 V

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulle, M.; Bosio, S.; Cremonese, G.; Cristaldi, S.; Liller, W.; Pansecchi, L.

    1993-05-01

    We analyse 12 Schmidt plates concerning the dust tail of comet Austin 1990V taken at the Observatories of Catania, Cerro Tololo, ESO and Siding Spring during May and June, 1990. The absolute calibration of the images was performed by means of some standard fields of the Guide Star Photometric Catalogue I (Lasker et al. 1988) detected on the same plates containing the comet images. At the beginning of June the predicted Neck-Line Structure (Fulle & Pansecehi 1990) was detected and well observed as a streamer superimposed on the dust tail and an opposite sunward spike. We apply the inverse Monte- Carlo dust tail model (Fulle 1989) to two different sets of images, which provide results in reciprocal close agreement even if in the two sets the dust tail has a very different shape. We analyse dust grains of diameters between 10 μm and 10 cm ejected during the time interval -160 d < t < +60 d (days related to perihelion). The ejection velocity of millimeter-sized dust grains reaches its maximum value of 0.1 km s-1 at t = +10 d. The mass loss rate reaches a broad maximum of at least 3 l07 g s-1 a few days before perihelion. The power index of the time-averaged size distribution is -3.0±0.2. Strongly anisotropic dust ejections from the nucleus surface are incompatible with the observed shape of the dust tail. Further, the results of the photometry of the Neck-Line concerning the size dependence of the dust velocity and the observed length of the sunward spike indicate that the classical power index of the size dependence of the dust velocity u = -½ cannot account for all the observations. On the contrary, significantly higher index, u = -⅙, allows to reproduce very closely all the available data of the C/1990V dust tail. Also the size distribution and the mass loss rate given by the Neck- Line photometry agree with the results of the inverse Monte-Carlo model, thus supplying the first example of complete agreement between the two models. Although C/1990V was a new

  20. Physical parameters and morphology of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - a main target of Rosetta space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, Klim; Kleshchonok, Valery; Mozgova, Alyona

    Rosetta, a European space vehicle was head to the icy nucleus of the short period comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 2 March, 2004 from cosmodrome Kouru. On 20 Jan. 2014, Rosetta after 10 years of flight and 31-month sleep has been woke up succesfully and now will approche to the icy nucleus of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and pass away into orbit around the cometary nucleus. In November 2014 the Philae probe will be sent from Rosetta on the nucleus of comet 67P to study the relict matter of the Solar system. Comet 67P was discovered by the Kyiv astronomers Klim Churyumov and Svitlana Gerasimenko on 22 October 1969 on the five photographic plates exponed with the help of 50-cm Maksutov’s reflector of the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute on 9, 11 and 21 Sept. 1969. First 5 exact positions of comet were sent to Dr Brian Marsden. Dr B.Marsden showed it was new comet. The comet had an apparent magnitude of 13 and a faint tail about 1 arcmin in length at position angle 280 degrees. The astronomer Nikolay Belyaev from Saint-Petersbourg calculated that the comet followed an elliptical orbit. In 1982 it had the close encounter with the Earth at 0.3910 A.U. On the basis of the observations of comet 67P obtained in Nizhny Arkhyz with the help of the 6- BTA reflector of SAO of RAS some physical parameters of its comet plasma tail (coefficients of diffusion Dp(parallel) , Ds(perpendicular) and induction of magnetic field B) were determined. Other results of exploration of comet 67P (its polarisation, spectral observations, the light curve and morphology) in different apparitions are discussed.

  1. ESA Unveils Its New Comet Chaser.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-07-01

    hieroglyphics, so Rosetta will help scientists to unravel the mysteries of comets. Hieroglyphics were the building blocks of the Egyptian language. Comets are the most primitive objects in the Solar System, the building blocks from which the planets formed. Virtually unchanged after 4.6 billion years in the deep freeze of the outer Solar System, they still contain ices and dust from the original solar nebula. They also contain complex organic compounds which some scientists believe may have been the first building blocks for life on Earth. 200 years ago, the discovery of a slab of volcanic basalt near the Egyptian town of Rashid (Rosetta) led to a revolution in our understanding of the past. By comparing the inscriptions on the 'Rosetta Stone', historians were able to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time. Just as the Rosetta Stone provided the key to an ancient civilisation, so the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft will allow scientists to unlock the mysteries of the oldest building blocks of our Solar System - the comets. The legacy of Giotto. For centuries, comets have inspired awe and wonder. Many ancient civilisations saw them as portents of death and disaster, omens of great social and political upheavals. Shrouded in thin, luminous veils with tails streaming behind them, these 'long-haired stars' were given the name 'comets' by the ancient Greeks (the Greek word kome meant 'hair'). When ESA's Giotto spacecraft arrived at Halley's Comet in 1986, no one knew what a comet nucleus was really like. The problem was that it is impossible to see the solid heart of a comet from the Earth. As soon as the nucleus moves close enough to us for detailed observation, it is obscured from view by a shroud of gas and dust. The most popular theory about the nature of comets was put forward by American astronomer Fred Whipple, who believed they were like dirty snowballs - large chunks of water ice and dust mixed with ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide. As they

  2. An Introduction to Comets and Their Origin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Robert D.; Brandt, John C.

    1985-01-01

    Presents excerpts from "The Comet Book," a nontechnical primer on comets. Various topics discusses in these excerpts include such basic information about comets as their components, paths, and origins. (DH)

  3. Physical aging in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meech, Karen J.

    1991-01-01

    The question of physical aging in cometary nuclei is addressed in order to elucidate the relationship between the past conditions in the protosolar nebula and the present state of the cometary nucleus, and to understand the processes that will physically and chemically alter the nucleus as a function of time. Attention is given to some of the processes that might be responsible for causing aging in comets, namely, radiation damage in the upper layers of the nucleus during the long residences in the Oort cloud, processing from heating and collisions within the Oort cloud, loss of highly volatile species from the nucleus on the first passage through the inner solar system, buildup of a dusty mantle, which can eventually prohibit further sublimation, and a change in the porosity, and hence the thermal properties, of the nucleus. Recent observations suggest that there are distinct differences between 'fresh' Oort cloud comets and thermally processed periodic comets with respect to intrinsic brightness and rate of change of activity as a function of distance.

  4. Physical processes in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newburn, Ray L., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    Post-Halley comets are known to be irregular objects with most nucleus activity very localized and with the dust coma capable of fragmentation and apparently being a source of gas. Older, 1-D strategies which assume steady isotropic outflow of material can give poor time-and-space averaged results, at best. With 2-D data, images through interference filters, it is hoped that: dust structures can be seen that give evidence of the proper geometry for data reduction; gradients along the axes of symmetry and evidence of fragmentation can be studied; and that evidence for gas abundance gradients associated with the dust can be found. High quality data from brighter comets can then be used to suggest improved data reduction procedures for fainter ones. To obtain such data, large image-quality interference filters were procured for use with a charge coupled device (CCD) camera at Lick Observatory, where the scale of the 1 m Nickel reflector is ideal for brighter comets. Whenever possible, data is taken simultaneously with other telescopes and equipment, especially spectroscopy at the Lick 3 m or infrared photometry at the Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea.

  5. Comet Borrelly's Varied Landscape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    In this Deep Space 1 image of comet Borrelly, sunlight illuminates the bowling-pin shaped nucleus from directly below. At this distance, many features are become vivid on the surface of the nucleus, including a jagged line between day and night on the comet, rugged terrain on both ends with dark patches, and smooth, brighter terrain near the center. The smallest discernable features are about 110 meters (120 yards) across.

    Deep Space 1 completed its primary mission testing ion propulsion and 11 other advanced, high-risk technologies in September 1999. NASA extended the mission, taking advantage of the ion propulsion and other systems to undertake this chancy but exciting, and ultimately successful, encounter with the comet. More information can be found on the Deep Space 1 home page at http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1/ .

    Deep Space 1 was launched in October 1998 as part of NASA's New Millennium Program, which is managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The California Institute of Technology manages JPL for NASA.

  6. Genotoxicity testing in vitro - development of a higher throughput analysis method based on the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Ritter, Detlef; Knebel, Jan

    2009-12-01

    Higher throughput methods, high content analysis and automated screening methods are of highest demand in drug development today. In toxicology, these strategies are becoming increasingly important, as well. Therefore, an integrated higher throughput method for the comet assay is addressed by the development presented here. The sensitivity, specificity and relevance of the comet assay as a method for determination of DNA damage in vivo and in vitro have been highlighted in many studies. Actually, efforts are made to include it in a panel of genotoxicity tests for regulatory purposes. However, the standard comet assay is a time consuming procedure due to the specific methods needed. The improvements presented here lead to a faster and easier slide-production, a smaller amount of cells needed, a higher amount of comets quantified, a fully automated analysis of comets including reanalysis, storing, visualisation and documentation possibilities using standard comet quantification models such as tail length or tail moment, and - by introduction of clearly definable selection criteria based on image analysis algorithms - clearly improve objectivity and standardization of the analysis procedure. Results prove the high reproducibility, flexibility, efficiency and suitability of the procedure as a fully automated analysis method in higher throughput genotoxicity testing in vitro. PMID:19595757

  7. Polymerization of Actin from Maize Pollen.

    PubMed Central

    Yen, L. F.; Liu, X.; Cai, S.

    1995-01-01

    Here we describe the in vitro polymerization of actin from maize (Zea mays) pollen. The purified actin from maize pollen reported in our previous paper (X. Liu, L.F. Yen [1992] Plant Physiol 99: 1151-1155) is biologically active. In the presence of ATP, KCl, and MgCl2 the purified pollen actin polymerized into filaments. During polymerization the spectra of absorbance at 232 nm increased gradually. Polymerization of pollen actin was evidently accompanied by an increase in viscosity of the pollen actin solution. Also, the specific viscosity of pollen F-actin increased in a concentration-dependent manner. The ultraviolet difference spectrum of pollen actin is very similar to that of rabbit muscle actin. The activity of myosin ATPase from rabbit muscle was activated 7-fold by the polymerized pollen actin (F-actin). The actin filaments were visualized under the electron microscope as doubly wound strands of 7 nm diameter. If cytochalasin B was added before staining, no actin filaments were observed. When actin filaments were treated with rabbit heavy meromyosin, the actin filaments were decorated with an arrowhead structure. These results imply that there is much similarity between pollen and muscle actin. PMID:12228343

  8. Validation of an automatic comet assay analysis system integrating the curve fitting of combined comet intensity profiles.

    PubMed

    Dehon, G; Catoire, L; Duez, P; Bogaerts, P; Dubois, J

    2008-02-29

    In recent years, the single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay has become a reference technique for the assessment of DNA fragmentation both in vitro and in vivo at the cellular level. In order to improve the throughput of genotoxicity screening, development of fully automated systems is clearly a must. This would allow us to increase processing time and to avoid subjectivity brought about by frequent manual settings required for the 'classical' analysis systems. To validate a fully automatic system developed in our laboratory, different experiments were conducted in vitro on murine P388D1 cells with increasing doses of ethyl methanesulfonate (up to 5 mM), thus covering a large range of DNA damage (up to 80% of DNA in the tail). The present study (1) validates our 'in house' fully automatic system versus a widely used semi-automatic commercial system for the image-analysis step, and versus the human eye for the image acquisition step, (2) shows that computing tail DNA a posteriori on the basis of a curve fitting concept that combines intensity profiles [G. Dehon, P. Bogaerts, P. Duez, L. Catoire, J. Dubois, Curve fitting of combined comet intensity profiles: a new global concept to quantify DNA damage by the comet assay, Chemom. Intell. Lab. Syst. 73 (2004) 235-243] gives results not significantly different from the 'classical' approach but is much more accurate and easy to undertake and (3) demonstrates that, with these increased performances, the number of comets to be scored can be reduced to a minimum of 20 comets per slide without sacrificing statistical reliability. PMID:18160335

  9. Cofilin-mediated actin dynamics promotes actin bundle formation during Drosophila bristle development

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jing; Wang, Heng; Guo, Xuan; Chen, Jiong

    2016-01-01

    The actin bundle is an array of linear actin filaments cross-linked by actin-bundling proteins, but its assembly and dynamics are not as well understood as those of the branched actin network. Here we used the Drosophila bristle as a model system to study actin bundle formation. We found that cofilin, a major actin disassembly factor of the branched actin network, promotes the formation and positioning of actin bundles in the developing bristles. Loss of function of cofilin or AIP1, a cofactor of cofilin, each resulted in increased F-actin levels and severe defects in actin bundle organization, with the defects from cofilin deficiency being more severe. Further analyses revealed that cofilin likely regulates actin bundle formation and positioning by the following means. First, cofilin promotes a large G-actin pool both locally and globally, likely ensuring rapid actin polymerization for bundle initiation and growth. Second, cofilin limits the size of a nonbundled actin-myosin network to regulate the positioning of actin bundles. Third, cofilin prevents incorrect assembly of branched and myosin-associated actin filament into bundles. Together these results demonstrate that the interaction between the dynamic dendritic actin network and the assembling actin bundles is critical for actin bundle formation and needs to be closely regulated. PMID:27385345

  10. Cofilin-mediated actin dynamics promotes actin bundle formation during Drosophila bristle development.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jing; Wang, Heng; Guo, Xuan; Chen, Jiong

    2016-08-15

    The actin bundle is an array of linear actin filaments cross-linked by actin-bundling proteins, but its assembly and dynamics are not as well understood as those of the branched actin network. Here we used the Drosophila bristle as a model system to study actin bundle formation. We found that cofilin, a major actin disassembly factor of the branched actin network, promotes the formation and positioning of actin bundles in the developing bristles. Loss of function of cofilin or AIP1, a cofactor of cofilin, each resulted in increased F-actin levels and severe defects in actin bundle organization, with the defects from cofilin deficiency being more severe. Further analyses revealed that cofilin likely regulates actin bundle formation and positioning by the following means. First, cofilin promotes a large G-actin pool both locally and globally, likely ensuring rapid actin polymerization for bundle initiation and growth. Second, cofilin limits the size of a nonbundled actin-myosin network to regulate the positioning of actin bundles. Third, cofilin prevents incorrect assembly of branched and myosin-associated actin filament into bundles. Together these results demonstrate that the interaction between the dynamic dendritic actin network and the assembling actin bundles is critical for actin bundle formation and needs to be closely regulated.

  11. Spectrophotometry of Comet West 1976 VI

    SciTech Connect

    Rozenbush, V.K.

    1986-05-01

    Spectra obtained for the coma, nuclear fragments A and D, and tail of Comet West 1976 VI on April 1, 2 and 7, 1976 are noted to encompass coma spectra which differed from those of the nuclear fragments, which exhibited a strong continuum with superimposed emissions that included a stronger CO(+)-band system than that of the coma. A detailed comparison between fragment spectra has revealed great differences in both quasi-simultaneously obtained and five-day-separated cases. The relative intensities of different CO(+) bands are compared to the theoretical ones, and the abundances of CO(+) ions corresponding to different vibrational transitions are determined relative to that of CN. 24 references.

  12. Genotoxicity of nicotine in cell culture of Caenorhabditis elegans evaluated by the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Sobkowiak, Robert; Lesicki, Andrzej

    2009-01-01

    To assess the genotoxicity of nicotine, its DNA-damaging effect on Caenorhabditis elegans cells was tested with the alkaline single-cell microgel electrophoresis (comet) assay. The degree of DNA migration (a measure of possible DNA single-strand breaks, alkali-labile sites, and incomplete excision repair sites) was expressed as the head DNA%, tail length, and Olive tail moment. Large differences were found between experimental variants: 0, 1, 10, and 100 microM (-)-nicotine. At concentrations of 1 and 10 microM, no damages were detected by the comet assay, and the Olive tail moment and tail length were significantly lower than in the control (P < 0.001). The highest head DNA% and the lowest tail length and Olive tail moment were observed in the presence of 1 microM of nicotine. At 100 microM of nicotine, a significant increase (P < 0.001) was observed in Olive tail moment and tail length (up to 2.7- and 3-fold, respectively, compared to the control). The results are consistent with the lowest head DNA% among the three tested variants. This study demonstrated that nicotine treatment had dose-dependent effects on the level of DNA damage. Generally, a high dose of nicotine (100 microM) is genotoxic, while a reasonably low concentration has a protective effect. The possible participation of reactive oxygen species in the DNA-damaging potential of nicotine in C. elegans is discussed. PMID:19538022

  13. Assessment of genotoxicity risk in operation room personnel by the alkaline comet assay.

    PubMed

    El-Ebiary, A A; Abuelfadl, A A; Sarhan, N I; Othman, M M

    2013-06-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the possible genotoxic effects of waste anesthetic gases. Comet assay was performed on peripheral blood lymphocytes of 60 volunteers: 20 healthy unexposed office workers and 40 operation room (OR) personnel at Tanta University Hospital (Egypt). The exposed personnel were anesthetists (6 females and 7 males), surgeons (10 males), nurses (9 females), and technicians (8 males). The study revealed significantly increased comet parameters (mean comet tail length and mean percentage of DNA in the tail) in peripheral blood lymphocytes of OR personnel in comparison with control individuals. The maximum DNA damage was observed in anesthesia technicians, whereas the nurses showed the least DNA damage. Furthermore, significant difference was observed between smoker and nonsmokerOR personnel in relation to mean comet tail length. However, no significant difference was seen due to age, gender, or duration of exposure. Also, significant increase in mean percentage of tail DNA was observed in smoker individuals of both exposed and control groups. As a conclusion, this study points to the risk of DNA damage in personnel who are exposed to waste anesthetic gases.

  14. The effects of urbanization on Lepomis macrochirus using the comet assay.

    PubMed

    Otter, Ryan R; Meier, John; Kubach, Kevin M; Lazorchak, James M; Klaine, Stephen J

    2012-10-01

    Urbanization has been linked to increased concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in natural waterways. This study was designed to examine the impact of urbanization and a wastewater treatment plant by investigating the impact on field-collected bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). Results show a significant increase in DNA strand breaks in blood cells (comet assay) linked to urbanization and a reduction in DNA strand breaks downstream of the WWTP, likely the result of dilution. A laboratory study exposing L. macrochirus to the known mutagen, methyl methanesulfonate, was performed to validate the comet assay endpoints in this species. Results of the laboratory study showed that the comet assay endpoints of tail length and tail extent moment responded in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Habitat quality assessments, along with chemical concentrations of polycyclic hydrocarbons in sediments showed that habitat quality between all sites were similar and that hydrocarbons likely contributed to the DNA strand breaks observed.

  15. Model of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner

    SciTech Connect

    Boice, D.C.; Huebner, W.F.; Keady, J.J.; Schmidt, H.U.; Wegmann, R.

    1986-04-01

    A computer model of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner is presented which contains photo-processes, gas-phase chemical kinetics, energy balance. Multifluid hydrodynamics with a transition to free molecular flow, and solar wind interaction. Recently, the physics for electrons in the model has been improved by including electron impact ionization and dissociation and separately accounting for electron energetics. Electron heating and cooling mechanisms include photoprocesses, recombination processes, inelastic and elastic collisions with heavy molecules, and expansion cooling. The model incorporates an internally consistent interaction of the solar wind with the coma gas using the axisymmetric ideal fluid dynamic equations. The nuclear size and composition have been chosen to make the calculations relevant to the 11 September 1985 International Cometary Explorer (ICE) encounter with Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner. Model profiles of the temperature, velocity, and number density of the electrons are in good agreement with measurements along ICE's trajectory. These results indicate that the probe passed through a region of the coma at the onset of the plasma tail.

  16. Comets and the origin of life; Proceedings of the Fifth College Park Colloquium on Chemical Evolution, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, October 29-31, 1980

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponnamperuma, C.

    1981-01-01

    Papers are presented concerning the characteristics of comets and their possible role in the origin of life. Specific topics include the characteristics, origin and structure of the cometary nucleus, cometary chemical abundances, the nature of interplanetary dust and its entry into terrestrial planet atmospheres, and the mechanism of ray closure in comet tails. Attention is also given to chemically evolved interstellar dust as a source of prebiotic material, the relation of comets to paleoatmospheric photochemistry, comets as a vehicle for panspermia, limits to life posed by extreme environments, and the status of cometary space missions as of 1980.

  17. THE DUST TAIL OF ASTEROID (3200) PHAETHON

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David; Li Jing; Agarwal, Jessica

    2013-07-10

    We report the discovery of a comet-like tail on asteroid (3200) Phaethon when imaged at optical wavelengths near perihelion. In both 2009 and 2012, the tail appears {approx}>350'' (2.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} m) in length and extends approximately in the projected anti-solar direction. We interpret the tail as being caused by dust particles accelerated by solar radiation pressure. The sudden appearance and the morphology of the tail indicate that the dust particles are small, with an effective radius {approx}1 {mu}m and a combined mass {approx}3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5} kg. These particles are likely products of thermal fracture and/or desiccation cracking under the very high surface temperatures ({approx}1000 K) experienced by Phaethon at perihelion. The existence of the tail confirms earlier inferences about activity in this body based on the detection of anomalous brightening. Phaethon, the presumed source of the Geminid meteoroids, is still active.

  18. The Chinese comet observation in AD 773 January

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, J.; Csikszentmihalyi, M.; Neuhäuser, R.

    2014-11-01

    The strong 14C increase in the year AD 774/5 detected in one German and two Japanese trees was recently suggested to have been caused by an impact of a comet onto Earth and a deposition of large amounts of 14C into the atmosphere (Liu et al. 2014). The authors supported their claim using a report of a historic Chinese observation of a comet ostensibly colliding with Earth's atmosphere in AD 773 January. We show here that the Chinese text presented by those authors is not an original historic text, but that it is comprised of several different sources. Moreover, the translation presented in Liu et al. is misleading and inaccurate. We give the exact Chinese wordings and our English translations. According to the original sources, the Chinese observed a comet in mid January 773, but they report neither a collision nor a large coma, just a long tail. Also, there is no report in any of the source texts about "dust rain in the daytime" as claimed by Liu et al. (2014), but simply a normal dust storm. Ho (1962) reports sightings of this comet in China on AD 773 Jan 15 and/or 17 and in Japan on AD 773 Jan 20 (Ho 1962). At the relevant historic time, the Chinese held that comets were produced within the Earth's atmosphere, so that it would have been impossible for them to report a "collision" of a comet with Earth's atmosphere. The translation and conclusions made by Liu et al. (2014) are not supported by the historical record. Therefore, postulating a sudden increase in 14C in corals off the Chinese coast precisely in mid January 773 (Liu et al. 2014) is not justified given just the 230Th dating for AD 783 ± 14.

  19. 322P/SOHO 1: Sunskirting Comet or Asteroid?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knight, Matthew M.; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Kelley, Michael S. P.; Snodgrass, Colin

    2015-11-01

    Comet 322P/SOHO 1 (P/1999 R1) is a unique object: a short period comet (P = 3.99 yr) on a “sunskirting orbit” (q = 0.053 AU, or ~11 solar radii) with no dynamical linkage to any other known comets. 322P was discovered in SOHO images in 1999, and has been seen by SOHO on every subsequent orbit: 2003, 2007, and 2011 (it is expected to be observed by SOHO again during its next perihelion passage in 2015 September). During this time it has not displayed an obvious coma or tail in SOHO images, but has exhibited a non-asteroidal lightcurve that strongly suggests the presence of an unresolved coma. Equilibrium temperatures during these observations exceed 1000 K, so it is unclear if 322P is active due to sublimation of volatile ices like a typical comet or if it is an otherwise inactive object that is losing material through more exotic processes such as sublimation of refractory materials or thermal fracturing. Due to the very large uncertainty in orbits derived from SOHO observations and 322P’s assumed small size, 2015 was the first reasonable opportunity to recover it at large heliocentric distance and attempt to determine its heritage: traditional comet or asteroid. We recovered 322P on 2015 May 22 with the VLT and observed it again on five epochs in June and July with Spitzer, the VLT, and the Discovery Channel Telescope. These are the first successful observations of any SOHO-discovered short period comet at traditional cometary distances. 322P appeared pointlike in all images (heliocentric distances from 2.1 to 1.2 AU), implying an inactive object having a diameter of a few hundred meters. We will report on these observations, focusing on constraining properties of 322P such as activity level, color, and albedo that may help us deduce whether or not it is of a cometary or asteroidal origin.

  20. On the Evolution of Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Besse, S.; Mousis, O.; Ali-Dib, M.; Höfner, S.; Koschny, D.; Hager, P.

    2015-12-01

    Studying comets is believed to bring invaluable clues on the formation and evolution of our planetary system. In comparison to planets, they have undergone much less alteration, and should have therefore retained a relatively pristine record of the conditions prevailing during the early phases of the solar system. However, comets might not be entirely pristine. As of today, we have not been able to determine which of the observed physical, chemical and orbital characteristics of comets, after they have evolved for more than 4 Gyr in a time-varying radiative and collisional environment, will provide the best clues to their origin. Comet physical characteristics as inherited from their formation stage may be very diverse, both in terms of composition and internal structure. The subsequent evolution of comet nuclei involves some possible processing from radiogenic heating, space weathering and large- and small-scale collisions, which might have modified their primordial structures and compositions with various degrees. When comets enter the inner solar system and become active, they start to lose mass at a very high rate. The effects of activity on comet nuclei involve a layering of the composition, a substantial non-even erosion and modification of their size and shape, and may eventually result in the death of comets. In this review, we present the dominating processes that might affect comet physical and chemical properties at different stages of their evolution. Although the evolutionary track may be specific to each comet, we can focus on long-lasting modifications which might be common to all nuclei after their formation stage, during their storage in reservoirs in the outer solar system, and once comets enter the inner solar system and become active objects.

  1. A Starry Diamond in a Veil of Light: Artistic and Literary Suggestions of a Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasperini, A.; Galli, D.

    2016-01-01

    Donati's Comet, discovered in Florence on June 2, 1858, was one of the most spectacular astronomical events of the nineteenth century. It could be seen with the naked eye during September and October 1858, when it reached its highest splendour. The sight of the comet, with its bright nucleus and its long, curved tail, inspired paintings, watercolors, engravings, and sketches by artists such as William Dyce, Samuel Palmer, and William Turner of Oxford. Donati's Comet is mentioned in the works of several contemporary writers and poets (Hawthorne, Dickens, Hardy, and Verne), and in the diaries of explorers and travelers all around the world. Long-lasting traces of the impression left by Donati's Comet are found in many forms of popular art and literature (ladies' magazines, children's books, collection cards, and advertisements) until the beginning of the twentieth century. This paper focuses on a few examples of this fascination, emphasizing the connections among the astronomical event and the artistic sensibility of the period.

  2. Assessment of genotoxic effects of flumorph by the comet assay in mice organs.

    PubMed

    Zhang, T; Zhao, Q; Zhang, Y; Ning, J

    2014-03-01

    The present study investigated the genotoxic effects of flumorph in various organs (brain, liver, spleen, kidney and sperm) of mice. The DNA damage, measured as comet tail length (µm), was determined using the alkaline comet assay. The comet assay is a sensitive assay for the detection of genotoxicity caused by flumorph using mice as a model. Statistically significant increases in comet assay for both dose-dependent and duration-dependent DNA damage were observed in all the organs assessed. The organs exhibited the maximum DNA damage in 96 h at 54 mg/kg body weight. Brain showed maximum DNA damage followed by spleen > kidney > liver > sperm. Our data demonstrated that flumorph had induced systemic genotoxicity in mammals as it caused DNA damage in all tested vital organs, especially in brain and spleen.

  3. Detection of radiation treatment of beans using DNA comet assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Ashfaq A.; Khan, Hasan M.; Delincée, Henry

    2002-03-01

    A simple technique of microgel electrophoresis of single cells (DNA Comet Assay) enabled a quick detection of radiation treatment of several kinds of leguminous beans (azuki, black, black eye, mung, pinto, red kidney and white beans). Each variety was exposed to radiation doses of 0.5, 1 and 5kGy covering the permissible limits for insect disinfestation. The cells or nuclei from beans were extracted in cold PBS, embedded in agarose on microscope slides, lysed between 15 and 60min in 2.5% SDS and electrophoresis was carried out at a voltage of 2V/cm for 2-2.5min. After silver staining, the slides were evaluated through an ordinary transmission microscope. In irradiated samples, fragmented DNA stretched towards the anode and the damaged cells appeared as a comet. The density of DNA in the tails increased with increasing radiation dose. However, in non-irradiated samples, the large molecules of DNA remained relatively intact and there was only minor or no migration of DNA; the cells were round or had very short tails only. Hence, the DNA comet assay provides an inexpensive, rapid and relatively simple screening method for the detection of irradiated beans.

  4. Observations of a comet on collision course with the sun.

    PubMed

    Michels, D J; Sheeley, N R; Howard, R A; Koomen, M J

    1982-02-26

    A brilliant new comet (1979 XI: Howard-Koomen-Michels) was discovered in data from the Naval Research Laboratory's orbiting SOLWIND coronagraph. An extensive sequence of pictures, telemetered from the P78-1 satellite, shows the coma, accompanied by a bright and well-developed tail, passing through the coronagraph's field of view at afew million kilometers from the sun. Preliminary orbital calculations based on the observed motion of the comet's head and morphology of the tail indicate that this previously unreported object is a sungrazing comet and may be one of the group of Kreutz sungrazers. It appears from the data that the perihelion distance was less than 1 solar radius, so that the cometary nucleus encountered dense regions of the sun's atmosphere, was completely vaporized, and did not reappear after the time of closest approach to the sun. After this time, however, cometary debris, scattered into the ambient solar wind, caused a brightening of the corona over one solar hemisphere and to heliocentric distances of 5 to 10 solar radii.

  5. Tail gut cyst.

    PubMed

    Rao, G Mallikarjuna; Haricharan, P; Ramanujacharyulu, S; Reddy, K Lakshmi

    2002-01-01

    The tail gut is a blind extension of the hindgut into the tail fold just distal to the cloacal membrane. Remnants of this structure may form tail gut cyst. We report a 14-year-old girl with tail gut cyst that presented as acute abdomen. The patient recovered after cyst excision.

  6. Metallic atoms and ions in comets: Comet Halley 1986 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ibadov, S.

    1992-01-01

    The origin of metallic atoms and ions in the cometary comae is investigated theoretically. Two effects are revealed in the comas of bright comets: (1) the Na anomalous type effect is possible within the gas-dust jets of comet P/Halley 1986 3 due to cooling cometary dust by cryogenic gas flow from the nucleus; and (2) the production of ions of refractory elements (Fe(+), Si(+), etc.) at large heliocentric distances is possible in the comas of the Halley type dusty comets due to high-velocity impacts between cometary and zodiacal dust particles. Spectral observations of comets with high sensitivity and spatial resolution are important for studying both comets and interplanetary dust.

  7. Boolean gates on actin filaments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siccardi, Stefano; Tuszynski, Jack A.; Adamatzky, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a globular protein which forms long polar filaments in the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. Actin networks play a key role in cell mechanics and cell motility. They have also been implicated in information transmission and processing, memory and learning in neuronal cells. The actin filaments have been shown to support propagation of voltage pulses. Here we apply a coupled nonlinear transmission line model of actin filaments to study interactions between voltage pulses. To represent digital information we assign a logical TRUTH value to the presence of a voltage pulse in a given location of the actin filament, and FALSE to the pulse's absence, so that information flows along the filament with pulse transmission. When two pulses, representing Boolean values of input variables, interact, then they can facilitate or inhibit further propagation of each other. We explore this phenomenon to construct Boolean logical gates and a one-bit half-adder with interacting voltage pulses. We discuss implications of these findings on cellular process and technological applications.

  8. Study of sungrazing comets with space-based coronagraphs: New possibilities offered by METIS on board Solar Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bemporad, A.; Giordano, S.; Raymond, J. C.; Knight, M. M.

    2015-11-01

    Thanks to the launch of SOHO in the end of 1995 and to the continuous monitoring of the white light (WL) corona offered by the LASCO coronagraphs, it was discovered that sungrazing comets are much more common than previously thought. More than 2800 comets have been discovered so far over nearly 20 years, hence slightly less than a comet every 2 days is observed by coronagraphs. The WL emission seen by SOHO/LASCO and more recently also by the STEREO/SECCHI instruments provides information not only on the comet orbits (hence on their origin), but also on the dust-tail formation, dust-tail disconnection, occurrence of nucleus fragmentation and nucleus disintegration processes. Very interestingly, a few sungrazing comets have also been observed spectroscopically in the UV by the SOHO UV Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS), and the strong emission observed in the HI Lyman- α 1216 Å line provides direct information also on the water outgassing rate, tail chemical composition, nucleus size, and occurrence of nucleus fragmentation. Moreover, the UV cometary emission provides a new method to estimate physical parameters of the coronal plasma met by the comet (like electron density, proton temperature and solar wind velocity), so that these comets can be considered as "local probes" for the solar corona. Unique observations of comets will be provided in the near future by the METIS coronagraph on board the Solar Orbiter mission: METIS will simultaneously observe the corona in WL and in UV (HI Lyman- α), hence it will be a unique instrument capable of studying at the same time the transiting comets and the solar corona. Previous results and new possibilities offered by METIS on these topics are summarized and discussed here.

  9. Tail biting in pigs.

    PubMed

    Schrøder-Petersen, D L; Simonsen, H B

    2001-11-01

    One of the costly and welfare-reducing problems in modern pig production is tail biting. Tail biting is an abnormal behaviour, characterized by one pig's dental manipulation of another pig's tail. Tail biting can be classified into two groups: the pre-injury stage, before any wound on the tail is present, and the injury stage, where the tail is wounded and bleeding. Tail biting in the injury stage will reduce welfare of the bitten pig and the possible spread of infection is a health as well as welfare problem. The pigs that become tail biters may also suffer, because they are frustrated due to living in a stressful environment. This frustration may result in an excessive motivation for biting the tails of pen mates. This review aims to summarize recent research and theories in relation to tail biting. PMID:11681870

  10. Technical advance: identification of plant actin-binding proteins by F-actin affinity chromatography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, S.; Brady, S. R.; Kovar, D. R.; Staiger, C. J.; Clark, G. B.; Roux, S. J.; Muday, G. K.

    2000-01-01

    Proteins that interact with the actin cytoskeleton often modulate the dynamics or organization of the cytoskeleton or use the cytoskeleton to control their localization. In plants, very few actin-binding proteins have been identified and most are thought to modulate cytoskeleton function. To identify actin-binding proteins that are unique to plants, the development of new biochemical procedures will be critical. Affinity columns using actin monomers (globular actin, G-actin) or actin filaments (filamentous actin, F-actin) have been used to identify actin-binding proteins from a wide variety of organisms. Monomeric actin from zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) hypocotyl tissue was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity and shown to be native and competent for polymerization to actin filaments. G-actin, F-actin and bovine serum albumin affinity columns were prepared and used to separate samples enriched in either soluble or membrane-associated actin-binding proteins. Extracts of soluble actin-binding proteins yield distinct patterns when eluted from the G-actin and F-actin columns, respectively, leading to the identification of a putative F-actin-binding protein of approximately 40 kDa. When plasma membrane-associated proteins were applied to these columns, two abundant polypeptides eluted selectively from the F-actin column and cross-reacted with antiserum against pea annexins. Additionally, a protein that binds auxin transport inhibitors, the naphthylphthalamic acid binding protein, which has been previously suggested to associate with the actin cytoskeleton, was eluted in a single peak from the F-actin column. These experiments provide a new approach that may help to identify novel actin-binding proteins from plants.

  11. 103P/Hartley 2: ground-based monitoring of the EPOXI flyby comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tubiana, C.; Snodgrass, C.; Vincent, J.-B.; Barrera, L.; Nowajewski, P.; Retamales, G.; Lister, T.; Boehnhardt, H.

    2011-10-01

    Comet 103P/Hartley 2 was the fly-by target of the NASA EPOXI mission. Observations of this comet during its previous perihelion passage [1] and in 2008 when it was in its aphelion arc [2, 3] revealed a small and very active nucleus. We observed 103P from March 2010 to January 2011 using the 4m SOAR telescope located at Cerro Pachon, Chile. We took images in UBVRI filters using the SOAR Optical Imager (SOI). In addition, we made use of the large collection of (mostly BVR) images taken of the comet by school pupils using the two robotic 2m Faulkes Telescopes, which cover the same period. At the time of the observations, the comet was moving from 2.8 AU pre-perihelion to 1.6 AU post-perihelion heliocentric distance, when the comet was expected to display the most activity. The main purpose of our observations was the characterization of the activity of comet 103P and its evolution along the perihelion arc. We searched for the presence of dust coma structures and their evolution with changing heliocentric distance and determined gas and dust production rates, the dust color and the variation in these quantities as the comet passed perihelion. While no coma structures were detected between March and July 2010, a clear anisotropy in the coma in the anti-tail direction was detected in images obtained in November 2011 (Fig. 1). At the same place, the Laplace filter detects what might be a jet.

  12. Comet nucleus sample return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    A comet nucleus sample return mission in terms of its relevant science objectives, candidate mission concepts, key design/technology requirements, and programmatic issues is discussed. The primary objective was to collect a sample of undisturbed comet material from beneath the surface of an active comet and to preserve its chemical and, if possible, its physical integrity and return it to Earth in a minimally altered state. The secondary objectives are to: (1) characterize the comet to a level consistent with a rendezvous mission; (2) monitor the comet dynamics through perihelion and aphelion with a long lived lander; and (3) determine the subsurface properties of the nucleus in an area local to the sampled core. A set of candidate comets is discussed. The hazards which the spacecraft would encounter in the vicinity of the comet are also discussed. The encounter strategy, the sampling hardware, the thermal control of the pristine comet material during the return to Earth, and the flight performance of various spacecraft systems and the cost estimates of such a mission are presented.

  13. Detecting active comets with SDSS

    SciTech Connect

    Solontoi, Michael; Ivezic, Zeljko; West, Andrew A.; Claire, Mark; Juric, Mario; Becker, Andrew; Jones, Lynne; Hall, Patrick B.; Kent, Steve; Lupton, Robert H.; Quinn, Tom; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept. /Princeton U. Observ.

    2010-12-01

    Using a sample of serendipitously discovered active comets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we develop well-controlled selection criteria for greatly increasing the efficiency of comet identification in the SDSS catalogs. After follow-up visual inspection of images to reject remaining false positives, the total sample of SDSS comets presented here contains 19 objects, roughly one comet per 10 million other SDSS objects. The good understanding of selection effects allows a study of the population statistics, and we estimate the apparent magnitude distribution to r {approx} 18, the ecliptic latitude distribution, and the comet distribution in SDSS color space. The most surprising results are the extremely narrow range of colors for comets in our sample (e.g. root-mean-square scatter of only {approx}0.06 mag for the g-r color), and the similarity of comet colors to those of jovian Trojans. We discuss the relevance of our results for upcoming deep multi-epoch optical surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey, Pan-STARRS, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and estimate that LSST may produce a sample of about 10,000 comets over its 10-year lifetime.

  14. Comet Halley and nongravitational forces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, D. K.

    1977-01-01

    The motion of comet Halley is investigated over the 1607-1911 interval. The required nongravitational-force model was found to be most consistent with a rocket-type thrust from the vaporization of water ice in the comet's nucleus. The nongravitational effects are time-independent over the investigated interval.

  15. Where Do Comets Come From?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Flandern, Tom

    1982-01-01

    Proposes a new origin for comets in the solar system, namely, that comets originated in the breakup of a body orbiting the sun in or near the present location of the asteroid belt in the relatively recent past. Predictions related to the theory are discussed. (Author/JN)

  16. An Interview with Catherine Comet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scanlan, Mary

    1992-01-01

    Offers an interview with Catherine Comet, music director of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Symphony. Reviews her childhood and early study in France and her experiences at the Julliard School of Music and on the contest circuit. Explains how she became a professional conductor. Discusses Comet's view of the importance that classical music can have…

  17. Halley's Comet Makes a Comeback.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glenn, William H.

    1984-01-01

    Presents information on Halley's Comet including its discovery, impact on history, planned investigations related to its 1986 return, where and when to make observations, and predicted calendar of events. Gives general information on comets such as physical structure, theoretical origin, and paths and provides an annotated reference list. (JM)

  18. DNA Damage Analysis in Children with Non-syndromic Developmental Delay by Comet Assay

    PubMed Central

    Chand, Parkash; Ballambattu, Vishnu Bhat; Hanumanthappa, Nandeesha; Veeramani, Raveendranath

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Majority of the developmental delays in children are non-syndromic and they are believed to have an underlying DNA damage, though not well substantiated. Hence the present study was carried out to find out if there is any increased DNA damage in children with non-syndromic developmental delay by using the comet assay. Aim The present case-control study was undertaken to assess the level of DNA damage in children with non syndromic developmental delay and compare the same with that of age and sex matched controls using submarine gel electrophoresis (Comet Assay). Materials and Methods The blood from clinically diagnosed children with non syndromic developmental delay and controls were subjected for alkaline version of comet assay – Single cell gel electrophoresis using lymphocytes isolated from the peripheral blood. The comets were observed under a bright field microscope; photocaptured and scored using the Image J image quantification software. Comet parameters were compared between the cases and controls and statistical analysis and interpretation of results was done using the statistical software SPSS version 20. Results The mean comet tail length in cases and control was 20.77+7.659μm and 08.97+4.398μm respectively which was statistically significant (p<0.001). Other comet parameters like total comet length and % DNA in tail also showed a statistically significant difference (p < 0.001) between cases and controls. Conclusion The current investigation unraveled increased levels of DNA damage in children with non syndromic developmental delay when compared to the controls. PMID:27437200

  19. Bacterial Actins? An Evolutionary Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolittle, Russell F.; York, Amanda L.

    2003-01-01

    According to the conventional wisdom, the existence of a cytoskeleton in eukaryotes and its absence in prokaryotes constitute a fundamental divide between the two domains of life. An integral part of the dogma is that a cytoskeleton enabled an early eukaryote to feed upon prokaryotes, a consequence of which was the occasional endosymbiosis and the eventual evolution of organelles. Two recent papers present compelling evidence that actin, one of the principal components of a cytoskeleton, has a homolog in Bacteria that behaves in many ways like eukaryotic actin. Sequence comparisons reveml that eukaryotic actin and the bacterial homolog (mreB protein), unlike many other proteins common to eukaryotes and Bacteria, have very different and more highly extended evolutionary histories.

  20. Craters on comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Oklay, Nilda; Marchi, Simone; Höfner, Sebastian; Sierks, Holger

    2015-03-01

    This paper reviews the observations of crater-like features on cometary nuclei. We compare potential crater sizes and morphologies, and we discuss the probability of impacts between small asteroids in the Main Belt and a comet crossing this region of the Solar System. Finally, we investigate the fate of the impactor and its chances of survival on the nucleus. We find that comets do undergo impacts although the rapid evolution of the surface erases most of the features and make craters difficult to detect. In the case of a collision between a rocky body and a highly porous cometary nucleus, two specific crater morphologies can be formed: a central pit surrounded by a shallow depression, or a pit, deeper than typical craters observed on rocky surfaces. After the impact, it is likely that a significant fraction of the projectile will remain in the crater. During its two years long escort of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ESA's mission Rosetta should be able to detect specific silicates signatures at the bottom of craters or crater-like features, as evidence of this contamination. For large craters, structural changes in the impacted region, in particular compaction of material, will affect the local activity. The increase of tensile strength can extinct the activity by preventing the gas from lifting up dust grains. On the other hand, material compaction can help the heat flux to travel deeper in the nucleus, potentially reaching unexposed pockets of volatiles, and therefore increasing the activity. Ground truth data from Rosetta will help us infer the relative importance of those two effects.

  1. Anatomy of a Busted Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Poster Version (Figure 1)

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured the picture on the left of comet Holmes in March 2008, five months after the comet suddenly erupted and brightened a millionfold overnight. The contrast of the picture has been enhanced on the right to show the anatomy of the comet.

    Every six years, comet 17P/Holmes speeds away from Jupiter and heads inward toward the sun, traveling the same route typically without incident. However, twice in the last 116 years, in November 1892 and October 2007, comet Holmes mysteriously exploded as it approached the asteroid belt. Astronomers still do not know the cause of these eruptions.

    Spitzer's infrared picture at left hand side of figure 1, reveals fine dust particles that make up the outer shell, or coma, of the comet. The nucleus of the comet is within the bright whitish spot in the center, while the yellow area shows solid particles that were blown from the comet in the explosion. The comet is headed away from the sun, which lies beyond the right-hand side of figure 1.

    The contrast-enhanced picture on the right shows the comet's outer shell, and strange filaments, or streamers, of dust. The streamers and shell are a yet another mystery surrounding comet Holmes. Scientists had initially suspected that the streamers were small dust particles ejected from fragments of the nucleus, or from hyerpactive jets on the nucleus, during the October 2007 explosion. If so, both the streamers and the shell should have shifted their orientation as the comet followed its orbit around the sun. Radiation pressure from the sun should have swept the material back and away from it. But pictures of comet Holmes taken by Spitzer over time show the streamers and shell in the same configuration, and not pointing away from the sun. The observations have left astronomers stumped.

    The horizontal line seen in the contrast-enhanced picture is a trail of debris

  2. Astrobiology of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Pikuta, Elena V.

    2004-01-01

    We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy h m sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of ices under tens of meters of stable crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We consider the icediatoms, snow algae and cyanobacteria, bacteria and yeast of cryoconite communities which are encountered in liquid wafer pools (meltwater) surrounding dark rocks in glaciers and the polar ice sheets as excellent analogs for the microbial ecosystems that might possibly exist on some comets.

  3. Comets in Bushman Paintings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraser, B.

    2007-07-01

    About ten years ago I was asked to give a talk on African astronomical folklore and spent many hours reading up on the subject. My queries eventually led me to Bert Woodhouse, a member of the archaeological society and well-known recorder of Bushman paintings. He has published seven books on Bushman paintings and has a collection of over 30 000 slides covering all aspects of the subject. One section of his collection is labeled "comets" and he kindly made copies of these slides for me to use in that talk. This paper highlights those slides and discusses the objects depicted in the paintings.

  4. Multiwavelength Observations of Recent Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B.; Gicquel, Adeline; Cordiner, Martin; Kuan, Yi-Jehng; Chuang, Yo-Ling; Villanueva, Geronimo; DiSanti, Michael A.; Bonev, Boncho P.; Remijan, Anthony J.; Coulson, Iain

    2013-01-01

    Comets provide important clues to the physical and chemical processes that occurred during the formation and early evolution of the Solar System, and could also have been important for initiating prebiotic chemistry on the early Earth. Comets are comprised of molecular ices, that may be pristine inter-stellar remnants of Solar System formation, along with high-temperature crystalline silicate dust that is indicative of a more thermally varied history in the protosolar nebula. Comparing abundances of cometary parent volatiles, and isotopic fractionation ratios, to those found in the interstellar medium, in disks around young stars, and between cometary families, is vital to understanding planetary system formation and the processing history experienced by organic matter in the so-called interstellar-comet connection. We will present a comparison of molecular abundances in these comets to those observed in others, supporting a long-term effort of building a comet taxonomy based on composition.

  5. Sungrazing Comets: Snowballs in Hell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battams, K.

    2012-12-01

    Experiencing the most extreme environment our solar system has to offer, so-called "Sungrazing" comets approach, penetrate, and on rare occasion survive passage through, the several million degree solar corona on a surprisingly routine basis. Discoveries of such comets occur on average every 3-days in data recorded by the ESA/NASA SOHO and NASA STEREO satellites, with 17-years of near-continuous observations by SOHO having led to the discovery of over 2,300 new comets to date. In this talk I will provide a brief introduction and status update for the "Sungrazing Comets" project that enables the discovery and recording of these objects. I will then present an overview of the instruments that discover these "Sungrazing comets", explaining how their unique design gives us a window into an otherwise unobservable world, and finally will discuss the tremendous scientific value that they bring to both the solar and cometary communities.

  6. Comet-FISH with rDNA probes for the analysis of mutagen-induced DNA damage in plant cells.

    PubMed

    Kwasniewska, Jolanta; Grabowska, Marta; Kwasniewski, Miroslaw; Kolano, Bozena

    2012-06-01

    We used comet-fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in the model plant species Crepis capillaris following exposure of seedlings to maleic hydrazide (MH). FISH with 5S and 25S rDNA probes was applied to comets obtained under alkaline conditions to establish whether these DNA regions were preferentially involved in comet tail formation. MH treatment induced significant fragmentation of nuclear DNA and of rDNA loci. A 24-h post-treatment recovery period allowed a partial reversibility of MH-induced damage on nuclear and rDNA regions. Analyses of FISH signals demonstrated that rDNA sequences were always involved in tail formation and that 5S rDNA was more frequently present in the tail than 25S rDNA, regardless of treatment. The involvement of 25S rDNA in nucleolus formation and differences in chromatin structure between the two loci may explain the different susceptibility of the 25S and 5S rDNA regions to migrate into the tail. This work is the first report on the application of FISH to comet preparations from plants to analyze the distribution and repair of DNA damage within specific genomic regions after mutagenic treatment. Moreover, our work suggests that comet-FISH in plants may be a useful tool for environmental monitoring assessment. PMID:22556029

  7. Collapsin response mediator protein 4 regulates growth cone dynamics through the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Khazaei, Mohamad R; Girouard, Marie-Pier; Alchini, Ricardo; Ong Tone, Stephan; Shimada, Tadayuki; Bechstedt, Susanne; Cowan, Mitra; Guillet, Dominique; Wiseman, Paul W; Brouhard, Gary; Cloutier, Jean Francois; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-10-24

    Coordinated control of the growth cone cytoskeleton underlies axon extension and guidance. Members of the collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP) family of cytosolic phosphoproteins regulate the microtubule and actin cytoskeleton, but their roles in regulating growth cone dynamics remain largely unexplored. Here, we examine how CRMP4 regulates the growth cone cytoskeleton. Hippocampal neurons from CRMP4-/- mice exhibited a selective decrease in axon extension and reduced growth cone area, whereas overexpression of CRMP4 enhanced the formation and length of growth cone filopodia. Biochemically, CRMP4 can impact both microtubule assembly and F-actin bundling in vitro. Through a structure function analysis of CRMP4, we found that the effects of CRMP4 on axon growth and growth cone morphology were dependent on microtubule assembly, whereas filopodial extension relied on actin bundling. Intriguingly, anterograde movement of EB3 comets, which track microtubule protrusion, slowed significantly in neurons derived from CRMP4-/- mice, and rescue of microtubule dynamics required CRMP4 activity toward both the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. Together, this study identified a dual role for CRMP4 in regulating the actin and microtubule growth cone cytoskeleton. PMID:25225289

  8. Development of a comet-FISH assay for the detection of DNA damage in hemocytes of Crassostrea gigas.

    PubMed

    Pérez-García, C; Rouxel, J; Akcha, F

    2015-04-01

    In this work, the DNA-damaging effect of hydrogen peroxide on the structural integrity of nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) was studied for the first time by comet-FISH in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. Global DNA damage was assessed in hemocytes using an alkaline version of the comet assay. Next, NOR sensitivity was analyzed by mapping major rDNA repeat unit by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on the same comet slides. Exposure of hemocytes to 100 μM of hydrogen peroxide induced a significant increase in both DNA damage and number of FISH-signals of major ribosomal genes versus the control. Moreover, a significant positive correlation was shown between DNA damage as measured by the comet assay (percentage of DNA in comet tail) and the number of signals present in comet tails. This study demonstrates the potential value of the comet-FISH assay for the study of DNA damage induced by genotoxicant exposure of target genes. It offers a perspective for better understanding the impact of genotoxicity on animal physiology and fitness.

  9. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kelpsch, Daniel J; Groen, Christopher M; Fagan, Tiffany N; Sudhir, Sweta; Tootle, Tina L

    2016-10-01

    Drosophila oogenesis provides a developmental system with which to study nuclear actin. During Stages 5-9, nuclear actin levels are high in the oocyte and exhibit variation within the nurse cells. Cofilin and Profilin, which regulate the nuclear import and export of actin, also localize to the nuclei. Expression of GFP-tagged Actin results in nuclear actin rod formation. These findings indicate that nuclear actin must be tightly regulated during oogenesis. One factor mediating this regulation is Fascin. Overexpression of Fascin enhances nuclear GFP-Actin rod formation, and Fascin colocalizes with the rods. Loss of Fascin reduces, whereas overexpression of Fascin increases, the frequency of nurse cells with high levels of nuclear actin, but neither alters the overall nuclear level of actin within the ovary. These data suggest that Fascin regulates the ability of specific cells to accumulate nuclear actin. Evidence indicates that Fascin positively regulates nuclear actin through Cofilin. Loss of Fascin results in decreased nuclear Cofilin. In addition, Fascin and Cofilin genetically interact, as double heterozygotes exhibit a reduction in the number of nurse cells with high nuclear actin levels. These findings are likely applicable beyond Drosophila follicle development, as the localization and functions of Fascin and the mechanisms regulating nuclear actin are widely conserved.

  10. Fascin regulates nuclear actin during Drosophila oogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kelpsch, Daniel J; Groen, Christopher M; Fagan, Tiffany N; Sudhir, Sweta; Tootle, Tina L

    2016-10-01

    Drosophila oogenesis provides a developmental system with which to study nuclear actin. During Stages 5-9, nuclear actin levels are high in the oocyte and exhibit variation within the nurse cells. Cofilin and Profilin, which regulate the nuclear import and export of actin, also localize to the nuclei. Expression of GFP-tagged Actin results in nuclear actin rod formation. These findings indicate that nuclear actin must be tightly regulated during oogenesis. One factor mediating this regulation is Fascin. Overexpression of Fascin enhances nuclear GFP-Actin rod formation, and Fascin colocalizes with the rods. Loss of Fascin reduces, whereas overexpression of Fascin increases, the frequency of nurse cells with high levels of nuclear actin, but neither alters the overall nuclear level of actin within the ovary. These data suggest that Fascin regulates the ability of specific cells to accumulate nuclear actin. Evidence indicates that Fascin positively regulates nuclear actin through Cofilin. Loss of Fascin results in decreased nuclear Cofilin. In addition, Fascin and Cofilin genetically interact, as double heterozygotes exhibit a reduction in the number of nurse cells with high nuclear actin levels. These findings are likely applicable beyond Drosophila follicle development, as the localization and functions of Fascin and the mechanisms regulating nuclear actin are widely conserved. PMID:27535426

  11. An atomic model of the tropomyosin cable on F-actin.

    PubMed

    Orzechowski, Marek; Li, Xiaochuan Edward; Fischer, Stefan; Lehman, William

    2014-08-01

    Tropomyosin regulates a wide variety of actin filament functions and is best known for the role that it plays together with troponin in controlling muscle activity. For effective performance on actin filaments, adjacent 42-nm-long tropomyosin molecules are joined together by a 9- to 10-residue head-to-tail overlapping domain to form a continuous cable that wraps around the F-actin helix. Yet, despite the apparent simplicity of tropomyosin's coiled-coil structure and its well-known periodic association with successive actin subunits along F-actin, the structure of the tropomyosin cable on actin is uncertain. This is because the conformation of the overlap region that joins neighboring molecules is poorly understood, thus leaving a significant gap in our understanding of thin-filament structure and regulation. However, recent molecular-dynamics simulations of overlap segments defined their overall shape and provided unique and sufficient cues to model the whole actin-tropomyosin filament assembly in atomic detail. In this study, we show that these MD structures merge seamlessly onto the ends of tropomyosin coiled-coils. Adjacent tropomyosin molecules can then be joined together to provide a comprehensive model of the tropomyosin cable running continuously on F-actin. The resulting complete model presented here describes for the first time (to our knowledge) an atomic-level structure of αα-striated muscle tropomyosin bound to an actin filament that includes the critical overlap domain. Thus, the model provides a structural correlate to evaluate thin-filament mechanics, self-assembly mechanisms, and the effect of disease-causing mutations.

  12. A MODEL OF MIRA'S COMETARY HEAD/TAIL ENTERING THE LOCAL BUBBLE

    SciTech Connect

    Esquivel, A.; Raga, A. C.; RodrIguez-Gonzalez, A.; Lopez-Camara, D.; Velazquez, P. F.; Canto, J.; De Colle, F. E-mail: raga@nucleares.unam.m E-mail: pablo@nucleares.unam.m

    2010-12-20

    We model the cometary structure around Mira as the interaction of an asymptotic giant branch stellar wind from Mira A with a streaming environment. Our simulations introduce the following new element: we assume that after 200 kyr of evolution in a dense environment, Mira entered the Local Bubble (low-density coronal gas). As Mira enters the bubble, the head of the comet expands quite rapidly, while the tail remains well collimated for a >100 kyr timescale. The result is a broad-head/narrow-tail structure that resembles the observed morphology of Mira's comet. The simulations were carried out with our new adaptive grid code WALICXE, which is described in detail.

  13. Earth-based photography of Comet Kohoutek in sky on December 6, 1973

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    An earth-based photograph of the Comet Kohoutek in the sky on December 6, 1973, when the celestial phenomenon was more than 70 million miles from the Sun and some 119 million miles from Earth. This picture was taken from a dark mountain top area of Haleakala (Island of Maui) Hawaii, using a 35mm Nikon camera with a 55mm lens, a 300-second exposure at f/1.2 and with Tri-X film. The photographer was Frank Giovane. The indicated visible tail of the comet appears to be about 10 million miles long. Other reports have inferred that the length of the tail is up to 13 million miles. The Skylab 4 crewmen have reported that Kohoutek's tail-length was from 2 to 3 degrees or from 4 to 6 million miles as viewed with the naked eye from the Skylab space station in earth orbit.

  14. DNA strand breaks (comet assay) in blood lymphocytes from wild bottlenose dolphins.

    PubMed

    Lee, Richard F; Bulski, Karrie; Adams, Jeffrey D; Peden-Adams, Margie; Bossart, Gregory D; King, Lydia; Fair, Patricia A

    2013-12-15

    The comet assay was carried out on blood lymphocytes from a large number of wild dolphins (71 from Indian River Lagoon, FL, USA; 51 from Charleston Harbor, SC, USA) and provides a baseline study of DNA strand breaks in wild dolphin populations. There were no significant differences in the comet assay (% DNA in tail) results between the different age and sex categories. Significant difference in DNA strand breaks were found between Charleston Harbor dolphins (median--17.4% DNA in tail) and Indian River Lagoon dolphins (median--14.0% DNA in tail). A strong correlation found between T-cell proliferation and DNA strand breaks in dolphin lymphocytes suggests that dolphins with a high numbers of DNA strand breaks have a decreased ability to respond to infection. Higher concentrations of genotoxic agents in Charleston Harbor compared with Indian River lagoon may have been one of the causes of higher DNA strand breaks in these dolphins.

  15. Evaluation of DNA damage using 3 comet assay parameters in workers occupationally exposed to lead.

    PubMed

    Kayaaltı, Zelıha; Yavuz, İlknur; Söylemez, Esma; Bacaksız, Ayşegül; Tutkun, Engın; Sayal, Ahmet; Söylemezoğlu, Tülın

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the association between DNA damage and blood lead levels in individuals occupationally exposed to lead. To evaluate this association, 61 workers exposed to lead were monitored in terms of DNA damage in blood lymphocytes. The levels of DNA damage were measured according to 3 comet assay parameters, including tail intensity (TI), tail moment (TM), and DNA tail (DNAt). A statistically significant positive correlation was found between the lead levels and TI, TM, and DNAt (p < .01). Smoking had independent effects on DNA damage. A statistically significant difference was observed between smokers and nonsmokers in regards to DNA damage parameters (p < .05). In addition, the lead and DNA damage levels in smokers were found to be significantly higher than the levels observed in nonsmoking workers (p < . 05). Our results show that exposure to lead induces genotoxic effects in peripheral lymphocytes, as measured by comet assays.

  16. Test particle model of pickup ions at comet Halley

    SciTech Connect

    Luhmann, J.G.; Fedder, J.A.; Winske, D.

    1988-07-01

    A test particle treatment is used to investigate some of the details of the pickup cometary ions observed at comet Halley. The effects of the large-scale magnetic and motional electric fields, as described by an MHD model of the comet, produce the characteristic V shape seen in Giotto observations in simulated energy-time spectrograms. It is demonstrated that scattering produced by the addition of magnetic field fluctuations can obscure the tendency of the large-scale field to deflect energetic ions picked up in the outer coma from the tail axis. The fact that the V is so clearly observed in the Giotto spectrogram thus suggests that although scattering must be invoked to explain the isotropic pitch angle distributions and highest energy ions, it does not have a major effect on the overall pickup ion spectrum. copyright American Geophysical Union 1988

  17. Comet Science Working Group report on the Halley Intercept Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The Halley Intercept Mission is described and the scientific benefits expected from the program are defined. One characteristic of the mission is the optical navigation and resulting accurate delivery of the spacecraft to a desired point near the nucleus. This accuracy of delivery has two important implications: (1) high probability that the mass spectrometers and other in situ measurement devices will reach the cometary ionosphere and the zone of parent molecules next to the nucleus; (2) high probability that sunlit, high resolution images of Halley's nucleus will be obtained under proper lighting conditions. In addition an observatory phase is included during which high quality images of the tail and coma structure will be obtained at progressively higher spatial resolutions as the spacecraft approaches the comet. Complete measurements of the comet/solar wind interaction can be made around the time of encounter. Specific recommendations are made concerning project implementation and spacecraft requirements.

  18. Fabry-Perot observations of Comet Halley H2O(+)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherb, F.; Magee-Sauer, K.; Roesler, F. L.; Harlander, J.

    1990-07-01

    Fabry-Perot scanning spectrometer observations of Comet Halley's H2O(+) emissions have yielded 6158.64 and 6158.85 A spin doublet data at distances in the range of 0 to 2 million km from the comet heat in the antisunward direction. Cometary plasma outflow velocities were ascertained on the basis of the emissions' Doppler shifts, yielding results that were mostly but not exclusively consistent with the plasma's constant antisunward acceleration; the acceleration varied from night to night of observations over a 30-300 cm/sec range. The unusual plasma kinematics of December 14-15, 1985, and January 10, 1986, may be associated with the tail-disconnection activity observed by others.

  19. First results from the Comet ISON Observing Campaign (CIOC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lisse, C.

    2014-07-01

    Comet ISON came fresh from the Oort Cloud as predicted, coming within 0.07 au of Mars, 0.24 au of Mercury, and 10^{6} km of the solar photospheric surface. It did not become the ''Comet of the Century'' in terms of its brightness in the Earth's night-time sky as predicted, but instead became one of the rare dynamically new Oort Cloud comets to graze the Sun's corona (these occur every few decades; the last one observed was C/Ikeya-Seki 1965). For an initially bright comet detected as far out as the orbit of Saturn in Sept 2011, the comet worried us all quite a bit with its flat-lining activity from 4 to 0.8 au (March to Oct 2013). It thus put on a somewhat disappointing showing at Mars in early October, but then defied predictions of its demise and a government shutdown, ramping up instead to become a beautiful early morning green ''lollipop'' as it passed Mercury in mid-November (Figure). ISON ultimately peaked at maximum Q_{gas} = 2 × 10^{30} mol/s of water [1] within the last few days before perihelion, then seemed to have almost no gas output the day of perihelion, 28 Nov 2013 [2] before spectacularly disrupting under the watchful eyes of the SOHO and STEREO spacecraft (Figure), after which its debris fan was tracked for days until it finally disappeared [3,4]. Over 19 NASA and ESA spacecraft ultimately pointed at the comet, with at least 14 reporting detections of it ranging from the X-rays through the infrared. More than 30 ground-based observatories observed ISON from at UV to radio wavelengths. Important findings concerning the comet's size, rotation state, dust to gas ratio, composition, and coma and tail structure were made during ISON'S apparition. Numerous observing groups produced evidence for a small and CO poor (but rich in solid carbon and CO_2) nucleus that was rapidly evolving. Throughout this time, parallels to the behavior of other dynamically new comets, like C/1973 E (Kohoutek), were readily apparent. In this talk I present an overview of the

  20. Spectrophotometry of Comet West

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahearn, M. F.; Hanisch, R. J.; Thurber, C. H.

    1980-01-01

    Postperihelion observations of Comet West (1975n = 1976 VI) have been made with a Fourier transform spectrometer at heliocentric distances from 0.57 to 1.68 AU. Measurements were made of the emission bands of C2, CN, C3, CH, and NH2, as well as the emission lines of Na D and forbidden (O I), and the flux in the continuum in nine different bandpasses. Several ratios of the band strengths of CN have been used to determine the two free parameters in the fluorescence equilibrium model of CN of Danks and Arpigny (1973). From the values of the parameters it is inferred that the vibrational transition probability for the ground electronic state is between 0.025 and 0.075 per sec and that the ratio of oscillator strengths between the (0-0) bands of the violet and red systems is between 25 and 30. When corrected for field-of-view effects, NH2 shows no systematic variation in abundance relative to C2 while CH shows a small increase. The cometary continuum is found to be slightly redder than the solar continuum, consistent with results for other bright, dusty comets. The equivalent width of the Delta u = 0 sequence of C2 shows a marked decrease at r(H) = 1.2 AU.

  1. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Granvik, M.; Virkki, A.; Fedorets, G.; Wilkman, O.; Kohout, T.

    2014-08-01

    Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects. The conference series entitled ''Asteroids, Comets, Meteors'' constitutes the leading international series in the field of small Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in 1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014 will be the 12th conference in the series.

  2. Rosetta - a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-01-01

    be kept in hibernation during most of its 8-year trek towards Wirtanen. What makes Rosetta's cruise so long? To reach Comet Wirtanen, the spacecraft needs to go out in deep space as far from the Sun as Jupiter is. No launcher could possibly get Rosetta there directly. ESA's spacecraft will gather speed from gravitational ‘kicks’ provided by three planetary fly-bys: one of Mars in 2005 and two of Earth in 2005 and 2007. During the trip, Rosetta will also visit two asteroids, Otawara (in 2006) and Siwa (in 2008). During these encounters, scientists will switch on Rosetta's instruments for calibration and scientific studies. Long trips in deep space include many hazards, such as extreme changes in temperature. Rosetta will leave the benign environment of near-Earth space to the dark, frigid regions beyond the asteroid belt. To manage these thermal loads, experts have done very tough pre-launch tests to study Rosetta's endurance. For example, they have heated its external surfaces to more than 150°C, then quickly cooled it to -180°C in the next test. The spacecraft will be fully reactivated prior to the comet rendezvous manoeuvre in 2011. Then, Rosetta will orbit the comet - an object only 1.2 km wide - while it cruises through the inner Solar System at 135 000 kilometres per hour. At that time of the rendezvous - around 675 million km from the Sun - Wirtanen will hardly show any surface activity. It means that the carachteristic coma (the comet’s ‘atmosphere’) and the tail will not be formed yet, because of the large distance from the Sun. The comet's tail is in fact made of dust grains and frozen gases from the comet's surface that vapourise because of the Sun's heat. During 6-month, Rosetta will extensively map the comet surface, prior to selecting a landing site. In July 2012, the lander will self-eject from the spacecraft from a height of just one kilometre. Touchdown will take place at walking speed - less than 1 metre per second. Immediately after

  3. The reconstitution of actin polymerization on liposomes.

    PubMed

    Stamnes, Mark; Xu, Weidong

    2010-01-01

    Membrane-associated actin polymerization is of considerable interest due to its role in cell migration and the motility of intracellular organelles. Intensive research efforts are underway to investigate the physiological role of membrane-associated actin as well as the regulation and mechanics of actin assembly. Branched actin polymerization on membranes is catalyzed by the Arp2/3 complex. Signaling events leading to the activation of the guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-binding protein Cdc42 stimulate Arp2/3-dependent actin polymerization. We have studied the role of Cdc42 at the Golgi apparatus in part by reconstituting actin polymerization on isolated Golgi membranes and on liposomes. In this manner, we showed that cytosolic proteins are sufficient for actin assembly on a phospholipid bilayer. Here we describe methods for the cell-free reconstitution of membrane-associated actin polymerization using liposomes and brain cytosol.

  4. Dynamic actin structures stabilized by profilin.

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, T; Theriot, J A; Dise, K R; Tomaselli, G F; Goldschmidt-Clermont, P J

    1994-01-01

    We describe the production and analysis of clonal cell lines in which we have overexpressed human profilin, a small ubiquitous actin monomer binding protein, to assess the role of profilin on actin function in vivo. The concentration of filamentous actin is increased in cells with higher profilin levels, and actin filament half-life measured in these cells is directly proportional to the steady-state profilin concentration. The distribution of actin filaments is altered by profilin overexpression. While parallel actin bundles crossing the cells are virtually absent in cells overexpressing profilin, the submembranous actin network of these cells is denser than in control cells. These results suggest that in vivo profilin regulates the stability, and thereby distribution, of specific dynamic actin structures. Images PMID:8108438

  5. Association of actin with alpha crystallins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gopalakrishnan, S.; Boyle, D.; Takemoto, L.; Spooner, B. S. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    The alpha crystallins are cytosolic proteins that co-localize and co-purify with actin-containing microfilaments. Affinity column chromatography employing both covalently-coupled actin or alpha crystallin was used to demonstrate specific and saturable binding of actin with alpha crystallin. This conclusion was confirmed by direct visualization of alpha aggregates bound to actin polymerized in vitro. The significance of this interaction in relation to the functional properties of these two polypeptides will be discussed.

  6. A Creaking and Cracking Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faurschou Hviid, Stubbe; Hüttig, Christian; Groussin, Olivier; Mottola, Stefano; Keller, Horst Uwe; OSIRIS Team

    2016-10-01

    Since the middle of 2014 the OSIRIS cameras on the ESA Rosetta mission have been monitoring the evolution of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it passed through perihelion. During the perihelion passage several change events have been observed on the nucleus surface. For example existing large scale cracks have expanded and new large scale cracks have been created. Also several large scale "wave pattern" like change events have been observed in the Imhotep and Hapi regions. These are events not directly correlated with any normal visible cometary activity. One interpretation is that these are events likely caused by "seismic" activity. The seismic activity is created by the self-gravity stress of the non-spherical comet nucleus and stress created by the non-gravitational forces acting on the comet. The non-gravitational forces are changing the rotation period of the comet (~20min/perihelion passage) which induces a changing mechanical stress pattern through the perihelion passage. Also the diurnal cycle with its changing activity pattern is causing a periodic wobble in the stress pattern that can act as a trigger for a comet quake. The stress pattern has been modeled using a finite element model that includes self-gravity, the comet spin and the non-gravitational forces based on a cometary activity model. This paper will discuss what can be learned about the comet nucleus structure and about the cometary material properties from these events and from the FEM model.

  7. Actin in hair cells and hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Meghan C; Belyantseva, Inna A; Friderici, Karen H; Friedman, Thomas B

    2012-06-01

    Hereditary deafness is genetically heterogeneous such that mutations of many different genes can cause hearing loss. This review focuses on the evidence and implications that several of these deafness genes encode actin-interacting proteins or actin itself. There is a growing appreciation of the contribution of the actin interactome in stereocilia development, maintenance, mechanotransduction and malfunction of the auditory system.

  8. Optical Studies of Active Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1998-01-01

    This grant was to support optical studies of comets close enough to the sun to be outgassing. The main focus of the observations was drawn to the two extraordinarily bright comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, but other active comets were also studied in detail during the period of funding. Major findings (all fully published) under this grant include: (1) Combined optical and submillimeter observations of the comet/Centaur P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 were used to study the nature of mass loss from this object. The submillimeter observations show directly that the optically prominent dust coma is ejected by the sublimation of carbon monoxide. Simultaneous optical-submillimeter observations allowed us to test earlier determinations of the dust mass loss rate. (2) We modelled the rotation of cometary nuclei using time-resolved images of dust jets as the primary constraint. (3) We obtained broad-band optical images of several comets for which we subsequently attempted submillimeter observations, in order to test and update the cometary ephemerides. (4) Broad-band continuum images of a set of weakly active comets and, apparently, inactive asteroids were obtained in BVRI using the University of Hawaii 2.2-m telescope. These images were taken in support of a program to test the paradigm that many near-Earth asteroids might be dead or dormant comets. We measured coma vs. nucleus colors in active comets (finding that coma particle scattering is different from, and cannot be simply related to, nucleus color). We obtained spectroscopic observations of weakly active comets and other small bodies using the HIRES spectrograph on the Keck 10-m telescope. These observation place sensitive limits to outgassing from these bodies, aided by the high (40,000) spectral resolution of HIRES.

  9. Rosetta following a living comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accomazzo, Andrea; Ferri, Paolo; Lodiot, Sylvain; Pellon-Bailon, Jose-Luis; Hubault, Armelle; Porta, Roberto; Urbanek, Jakub; Kay, Ritchie; Eiblmaier, Matthias; Francisco, Tiago

    2016-09-01

    The International Rosetta Mission was launched on 2nd March 2004 on its 10 year journey to rendezvous with comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta performed comet orbit insertion on the 6th of August 2014, after which it characterised the nucleus and orbited it at altitudes as low as a few kilometres. In November 2014 Rosetta delivered the lander Philae to perform the first soft landing ever on the surface of a comet. The critical landing operations have been conducted with remarkable accuracy and will constitute one of the most important achievements in the history of spaceflight. After this critical operation, Rosetta began the escort phase of the comet in its journey in the Solar System heading to the perihelion, reached in August 2015. Throughout this period, the comet environment kept changing with increasing gas and dust emissions. A first phase of bound orbits was followed by a sequence of complex flyby segments which allowed the scientific instruments to perform in depth investigation of the comet environment and nucleus. The unpredictable nature of the comet activity forced the mission control team to implement unplanned changes to the flight plan prepared for this mission phase and to plan the whole mission in a more dynamic way than originally conceived. This paper describes the details of the landing operations and of the main comet escort phase. It also includes the mission status as achieved after perihelion and the findings about the evolution of the comet and its environment from a mission operations point of view. The lessons learned from this unique and complex operations phase and the plans for the next mission phases, which include a mission extension into 2016, are also described.

  10. Catching Comet's Particles in the Earth's Atmosphere by Using Balloons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potashko, Oleksandr; Viso, Michel

    The project is intended to catch cometary particles in the atmosphere by using balloons. The investigation is based upon knowledge that the Earth crosses the comet’s tails during the year. One can catch these particles at different altitudes in the atmosphere. So, we will be able to gradually advance in the ability to launch balloons from low to high altitudes and try to catch particles from different comet tails. The maximum altitude that we have to reach is 40 km. Both methods - distance observation and cometary samples from mission Stardust testify to the presence of organic components in comet’s particles. It would be useful to know more details about this organic matter for astrobiology; besides, the factor poses danger to the Earth. Moreover, it is important to prove that it is possible to get fundamental scientific results at low cost. In the last 5 years launching balloons has become popular and this movement looks like hackers’ one - as most of them occur without launch permission to airspace. The popularity of ballooning is connected with low cost of balloon, GPS unit, video recording unit. If you use iPhone, you have a light solution with GPS, video, picture and control function in one unit. The price of balloon itself begins from $50; it depends on maximum altitude, payload weight and material. Many university teams realized balloon launching and reached even stratosphere at an altitude of 33 km. But most of them take only video and picture. Meanwhile, it is possible to carry out scientific experiments by ballooning, for example to collect comet particles. There is rich experience at the moment of the use of mineral, chemical and isotopic analysis techniques and data of the comet’s dust after successful landing of StarDust capsule with samples in 2006. Besides, we may use absolutely perfect material to catch particles in the atmosphere, which was used by cosmic missions such as Stardust and Japanese Hayabusa. As to balloon launches, we could use

  11. Yersinia effector YopO uses actin as bait to phosphorylate proteins that regulate actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wei Lin; Grimes, Jonathan M; Robinson, Robert C

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenic Yersinia species evade host immune systems through the injection of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) into phagocytic cells. One Yop, YopO, also known as YpkA, induces actin-filament disruption, impairing phagocytosis. Here we describe the X-ray structure of Yersinia enterocolitica YopO in complex with actin, which reveals that YopO binds to an actin monomer in a manner that blocks polymerization yet allows the bound actin to interact with host actin-regulating proteins. SILAC-MS and biochemical analyses confirm that actin-polymerization regulators such as VASP, EVL, WASP, gelsolin and the formin diaphanous 1 are directly sequestered and phosphorylated by YopO through formation of ternary complexes with actin. This leads to a model in which YopO at the membrane sequesters actin from polymerization while using the bound actin as bait to recruit, phosphorylate and misregulate host actin-regulating proteins to disrupt phagocytosis. PMID:25664724

  12. Yersinia effector YopO uses actin as bait to phosphorylate proteins that regulate actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Lee, Wei Lin; Grimes, Jonathan M; Robinson, Robert C

    2015-03-01

    Pathogenic Yersinia species evade host immune systems through the injection of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) into phagocytic cells. One Yop, YopO, also known as YpkA, induces actin-filament disruption, impairing phagocytosis. Here we describe the X-ray structure of Yersinia enterocolitica YopO in complex with actin, which reveals that YopO binds to an actin monomer in a manner that blocks polymerization yet allows the bound actin to interact with host actin-regulating proteins. SILAC-MS and biochemical analyses confirm that actin-polymerization regulators such as VASP, EVL, WASP, gelsolin and the formin diaphanous 1 are directly sequestered and phosphorylated by YopO through formation of ternary complexes with actin. This leads to a model in which YopO at the membrane sequesters actin from polymerization while using the bound actin as bait to recruit, phosphorylate and misregulate host actin-regulating proteins to disrupt phagocytosis.

  13. Comets - Chemistry and chemical evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, B.

    1982-01-01

    Research on the chemical composition and conditions in comets and their possible role in the origin of life on earth is surveyed. The inorganic and organic compounds and ions indicated in the ultraviolet and visible spectra of comets are noted, and evidence for the existence of at least a small proportion of complex organic molecules in comets is presented. It is then pointed out that while cometary material could have reached the earth and provided volatile elements from which biochemical compounds could have formed, it is unlikely that a cometary nucleus could have withstood the temperatures and pressures necessary to sustain an environment in which life could have originated.

  14. EPOXI at Comet Hartley 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Delamere, W. Alan; Feaga, Lori M.; Hampton, Donald; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; McFadden, Jessica M.; Meech, Karen J.; Melosh, H. Jay; Schultz, Peter H.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Yeomans, Donald K.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Bowling, Timothy J.; Carcish, Brian T.; Collins, Steven M.; Farnham, Tony F.; Groussin, Oliver; Hermalyn, Brendan; Kelley, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how comets work, i,e., what drives their activity, is crucial to using comets to study the early solar system. EPOXI flew past comet 103P/Hartley 2, one with an unusually small but very active nucleus. taking both images and spectra. Unlike large, relatively inactive nuclei, this nncleus is outgassing primarily due to CO2, which drags chnnks of ice out of the nnclens. It also shows significant differences in the relative abundance of volatiles from various parts of the nucleus.

  15. Energy source for comet outbursts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patashnick, H.; Schuerman, D. W.; Rupprecht, G.

    1974-01-01

    Development of a mechanism explaining the internal source of energy of comet outbursts. A mechanism is proposed which automatically provides a source of particulate matter which creates a huge surface area which contains a substantial percentage of amorphous ice, so that the phase transition of the amorphous ice to a cubic structure provides a release of energy which may be responsible for the outbursts observed in many comets. In addition, the volume into which the transition can propagate is estimated for a spherical comet with a radius of 5 km.

  16. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-04-01

    Concerning comets: C/1940 R2 (Cunningham), C/1941 B2 (de Kock-Paraskevopoulos), C/1941 K1 (van Gent), C/1942 X1 (Whipple-Fedtke-Tevzadze), C/1946 C1 (Timmers), C/1946 K1 (Pajdušáková-Rotbart-Weber), C/1946 P1 (Jones), C/1946 U1 (Bester), C/1947 S1 (Bester), C/1947 X1 (Southern comet), C/1947 Y1 (Mrkos), C/1948 E1 (Pajdušáková-Mrkos), C/1948 L1 (Honda-Bernasconi), C/1948 V1 (Eclipse comet), C/1949 N1 (Bappu-Bok-Newkirk), C/1950 K1 (Minkowski), C/1951 C1 (Pajdušáková), C/1952 H1 (Mrkos), C/1952 M1 (Peltier), C/1952 Q1 (Harrington), C/1953 G1 (Mrkos-Honda), C/1953 T1 (Abell), C/1954 O1 (Vozárová), C/1955 L1 (Mrkos), C/1955 N1 (Bakharev-Macfarlane-Krienke), C/1955 O1 (Honda), C/1956 E1 (Mrkos), C/1956 R1 (Arend-Roland), C/1957 P1 (Mrkos), C/1957 U1 (Latyshev-Wild-Burnham), C/1959 Q1 (Alcock), C/1959 Q2 (Alcock), C/1959 Y1 (Burnham), C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp), C/1996 J1 (Evans-Drinkwater), C/1996 P2 (Russell-Watson), C/1997 BA6 (Spacewatch), C/1997 D1 (Mueller), C/1997 J1 (Mueller), C/1997 J2 (Meunier-Dupouy), C/1997 N1 (Tabur), C/1997 T1 (Utsunomiya), 10P/Tempel 2, 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, 43P/Wolf-Harrington, 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, 62P/Tsuchinshan 1, 69P/Taylor, 78P/Gehrels 2, 81P/Wild 2, 88P/Howell, 95P/Chiron, 103P/Hartley 2, 104P/Kowal 2, 111P/Helin-Roman-Crockett, 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4, 121P/Shoemaker-Holt 2, 129P/Shoemaker-Levy 3, 134P/Kowal-Vavrova, P/1997 C1 (Gehrels), P/1997 G1 (Montani).

  17. The relationship between environmental exposures to phthalates and DNA damage in human sperm using the neutral comet assay.

    PubMed Central

    Duty, Susan M; Singh, Narendra P; Silva, Manori J; Barr, Dana B; Brock, John W; Ryan, Louise; Herrick, Robert F; Christiani, David C; Hauser, Russ

    2003-01-01

    Phthalates are industrial chemicals widely used in many commercial applications. The general population is exposed to phthalates through consumer products as well as through diet and medical treatments. To determine whether environmental levels of phthalates are associated with altered DNA integrity in human sperm, we selected a population without identified sources of exposure to phthalates. One hundred sixty-eight subjects recruited from the Massachusetts General Hospital Andrology Laboratory provided a semen and a urine sample. Eight phthalate metabolites were measured in urine by using high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry; data were corrected for urine dilution by adjusting for specific gravity. The neutral single-cell microgel electrophoresis assay (comet assay) was used to measure DNA integrity in sperm. VisComet image analysis software was used to measure comet extent, a measure of total comet length (micrometers); percent DNA in tail (tail%), a measure of the proportion of total DNA present in the comet tail; and tail distributed moment (TDM), an integrated measure of length and intensity (micrometers). For an interquartile range increase in specific gravity-adjusted monoethyl phthalate (MEP) level, the comet extent increased significantly by 3.6 micro m [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.74-6.47]; the TDM also increased 1.2 micro m (95% CI, -0.05 to 2.38) but was of borderline significance. Monobutyl, monobenzyl, monomethyl, and mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalates were not significantly associated with comet assay parameters. In conclusion, this study represents the first human data to demonstrate that urinary MEP, at environmental levels, is associated with increased DNA damage in sperm. PMID:12842768

  18. DNA damage in Pakistani pesticide-manufacturing workers assayed using the Comet assay.

    PubMed

    Bhalli, Javed A; Khan, Q M; Nasim, A

    2006-10-01

    The production and use of chemical pesticides has increased in recent years. Although the increased use of pesticides may benefit agriculture, they are also the potential source of environmental pollution, and exposure to pesticides can have negative consequences for human health. In the present study, we have assessed DNA damage in blood leukocytes from 29 Pakistani pesticide-factory workers and 35 controls of similar age and smoking history. The workers were exposed to various mixtures of organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids. DNA damage was measured with the single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay or Comet assay, using the mean comet tail length (microm) as the DNA damage metric. Exposed workers had significantly longer comet tail lengths than the controls (mean +/- SD 19.98 +/- 2.87 vs. 7.38 +/- 1.48, P < 0.001). Of the possible confounding factors, smokers had significantly longer mean comet tail lengths than nonsmokers and exsmokers for both the workers (21.48 +/- 2.58 vs.18.37 +/- 2.28, P < 0.001) and the controls (8.86 +/- 0.56 vs. 6.79 +/- 1.31, P < 0.001), while age had a minimal effect on DNA damage (P > 0.05 and P < 0.05 for workers and controls, respectively). The results of this study indicate that occupational exposure to pesticides causes DNA damage. PMID:16917935

  19. DNA damage in Pakistani pesticide-manufacturing workers assayed using the Comet assay.

    PubMed

    Bhalli, Javed A; Khan, Q M; Nasim, A

    2006-10-01

    The production and use of chemical pesticides has increased in recent years. Although the increased use of pesticides may benefit agriculture, they are also the potential source of environmental pollution, and exposure to pesticides can have negative consequences for human health. In the present study, we have assessed DNA damage in blood leukocytes from 29 Pakistani pesticide-factory workers and 35 controls of similar age and smoking history. The workers were exposed to various mixtures of organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids. DNA damage was measured with the single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay or Comet assay, using the mean comet tail length (microm) as the DNA damage metric. Exposed workers had significantly longer comet tail lengths than the controls (mean +/- SD 19.98 +/- 2.87 vs. 7.38 +/- 1.48, P < 0.001). Of the possible confounding factors, smokers had significantly longer mean comet tail lengths than nonsmokers and exsmokers for both the workers (21.48 +/- 2.58 vs.18.37 +/- 2.28, P < 0.001) and the controls (8.86 +/- 0.56 vs. 6.79 +/- 1.31, P < 0.001), while age had a minimal effect on DNA damage (P > 0.05 and P < 0.05 for workers and controls, respectively). The results of this study indicate that occupational exposure to pesticides causes DNA damage.

  20. Comet Hyakutake C/1996 B2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    spiral jets toward the upper right, and the thin straight particle trail pointing toward the lower left. The trail was a permanent feature of the comet around the time of its close approach to the Earth in late March and early April. Also barely visible just beyond the lower left end of the trail are two of the many condensations which were seen to travel slowly down the tail are believed to be clumps of material released from the nucleus.

    The inner white region of the blue image appears to show that the hydrogen atoms like the dust might be preferentially ejected toward the sunward or day side of the nucleus. However, this is not true. The asymmetric ultraviolet radiation pattern is produced by a roughly spherical distribution of hydrogen atoms because they are so efficient at scattering the incoming solar ultraviolet light. The atoms on the sunward side actually shadow the atoms on the tailward or night side of the coma. The same detailed model analysis of the coma which explains the expansion of the hydrogen atoms in the coma also explains the appearance of the image.

    The team was lead by Michael Combi, The University of Michigan, and included Michael Brown, California Institute of Technology, Paul Feldman, Johns Hopkins University, H. Uwe Keller of the Max Planck Institute, Lindau, Robert Meier of the Naval Research Laboratory, and William Smyth of Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.

    The Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and managed by the Goddard Spaced Flight Center for NASA's Office of Space Science.

    This image and other images and data received from the Hubble Space Telescope are posted on the World Wide Web on the Space Telescope Science Institute home page at URL http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/

  1. HUBBLE SEES MINI-COMET FRAGMENTS FROM COMET LINEAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [lower right] In one stunning Hubble picture the fate of the mysteriously vanished solid nucleus of Comet LINEAR has been settled. The Hubble picture shows that the comet nucleus has been reduced to a shower of glowing 'mini-comets' resembling the fiery fragments from an exploding aerial firework. This is the first time astronomers have ever gotten a close-up look at what may be the smallest building blocks of cometary nuclei, the icy solid pieces called 'cometesimals', which are thought to be less than 100 feet across. The farthest fragment to the left, which is now very faint, may be the remains of the parent nucleus that fragmented into the cluster of smaller pieces to the right. The comet broke apart around July 26, when it made its closest approach to the Sun. The picture was taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on August 5, 2000, when the comet was at a distance of 64 million miles (102 million kilometers) from Earth. Credit: NASA, Harold Weaver (the Johns Hopkins University), and the HST Comet LINEAR Investigation Team [upper left] A ground-based telescopic view (2.2-meter telescope) of Comet LINEAR taken on August 5, at nearly the same time as the Hubble observations. The comet appears as a diffuse elongated cloud of debris without any visible nucleus. Based on these images, some astronomers had concluded that the ices in the nucleus had completely vaporized, leaving behind a loose swarm of dust. Hubble's resolution was needed to pinpoint the remaining nuclei (inset box shows HST field of view as shown in lower right). Credit: University of Hawaii

  2. Ground-based thermal IR images of Comet Tempel 2

    SciTech Connect

    Campins, H.; Decher, R.; Telesco, C.M.; Lien, D.J. NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL Kansas State Univ., Manhattan )

    1990-07-01

    The 10.8-micron images of Comet Tempel 2 obtained on the four days from September 21 to 24, 1988, indicate that the dust coma contributed about half of the nuclear pixel brightness. The nuclear condensation brightness exhibited a temporal variability slightly larger than observational uncertainty. The structure of the observed extended dust emission is interpretable as (1) a large grain tail primarily generated by cm-scaled particles, (2) the result of an outburst near 2.5-3.0 AU perihelion, and (3) a sunward emission of dust in a fanlike pattern. 14 refs.

  3. New molecular ions in spectra of comet P/Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Wehinger, P. A.; Spinrad, Hyron; Belton, M. J. S.

    1986-01-01

    Spectroscopic observations (4000 to 7000 A) were obtained of comet P/Halley near the time of the spacecraft encounters in March 1986. Molecular ion emission features were observed in the long-slit CCD spectra. Additional spectroscopic observations obtained in April 1986 confirm the presence of many new ion features in the plasma tail. It is proposed that CO2(+) be identified with the new features in the 4000 to 4350 A region. The other unidentified ion features may be attributable to a single ion species.

  4. DNA damage and repair measured in different genomic regions using the comet assay with fluorescent in situ hybridization.

    PubMed

    Horváthová, Eva; Dusinská, Mária; Shaposhnikov, Sergey; Collins, Andrew R

    2004-07-01

    The comet assay is a sensitive method for measuring DNA strand breaks in eukaryotic cells. After embedding in agarose, cells are lysed and electrophoresed at high pH. DNA loops containing breaks (in which supercoiling is relaxed) escape from the nucleoid comet head to form a tail. Oligonucleotide probes were designed for 5' and 3' regions of the genes for dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), both from the Chinese hamster, and the human tumour suppressor p53 gene. Alternate ends were labelled with either biotin or fluorescein. These probes were hybridized to the DNA of comets from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells or human lymphocytes treated with H2O2 or photosensitizer plus light to induce oxidative damage. Amplification with Texas red- and fluorescein-tagged antibodies led, in the case of p53 in human cells, to red and green signals located in the comet tail (as well as in the head), indicating the presence of breaks in the vicinity of the gene. However, only one end of the MGMT gene appeared in the tail and almost no signals from the DHFR gene, either red or green, were in the tail of comets from CHO cells. Restriction on movement from the head to tail may result from the presence of a 'matrix-associated region' in the gene. The kinetics of repair of oxidative damage were followed; strand breaks in the p53 gene were repaired more rapidly than total DNA. Thus, fluorescent in situ hybridization in combination with the comet assay provides a powerful method for studying repair of specific genes in relation to chromatin structure. PMID:15215325

  5. Comets, impacts, and atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, Tobias; Bar-Nun, Akiva

    1994-01-01

    Studies of element abundances and values of D/H in the atmospheres of the giant planets and Titan have emphasized the important role of icy planetesimals in the formation of these bodies. In these atmospheres, C/H and D/H increase as the relative masses of the 'cores' of the planets increase. N/H appears to deviate from this trend in an interesting way. In the inner solar system, the traditional approach of using carbonaceous chondrites as the source of planetary volatiles is in serious trouble because of the depletion of xenon and the unusual pattern of xenon isotopes found in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars, and because of the solar-type abundance ratios of argon, krypton and xenon and the large amounts of neon and argon on Venus. Recent studies of elemental abundances in comets, especially P/Halley, coupled with laboratory studies of the trapping of gas in ice formed at low temperatures by A. Bar-Nun et al. provide a consistent interpretation of all of these results. This interpretation emphasizes the fundamental importance of icy planetesimals (comets) and the randomness of early impacts in the formation of planetary systems. Cometary delivery by itself will not explain the noble gas abundances on the inner planets. There is good evidence for at least one additional source, which presumably consists of the rocky material making up the bulk of the planets. The existence of this rocky reservoir is manifested in the nucleogenic isotopes and in the neon which is found in all these atmospheres and is also present in the Earth's mantle. This neon may well be a relic of the planets' earliest, accretional atmospheres.

  6. Mechanism of Actin-Based Motility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantaloni, Dominique; Le Clainche, Christophe; Carlier, Marie-France

    2001-05-01

    Spatially controlled polymerization of actin is at the origin of cell motility and is responsible for the formation of cellular protrusions like lamellipodia. The pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Shigella flexneri, which undergo actin-based propulsion, are acknowledged models of the leading edge of lamellipodia. Actin-based motility of the bacteria or of functionalized microspheres can be reconstituted in vitro from only five pure proteins. Movement results from the regulated site-directed treadmilling of actin filaments, consistent with observations of actin dynamics in living motile cells and with the biochemical properties of the components of the synthetic motility medium.

  7. The volatile composition of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weaver, H. A.

    1988-01-01

    Comets may be our best probes of the physical and chemical conditions in the outer regions of the solar nebula during that crucial period when the planets formed. The volatile composition of cometary nuclei can be used to decide whether comets are the product of a condensation sequence similar to that invoked to explain the compositions of the planets and asteroids, or if comets are simply agglomerations of interstellar grains which have been insignificantly modified by the events that shaped the other bodies in the solar system. Although cometary nuclei are not generally accessible to observation, observations of cometary comae can illuminate at least some of the mysteries of the nuclei provided one has a detailed knowledge of the excitation conditions in the coma and also has access to basic atomic and molecular data on the many species present in comets. Examined here is the status of our knowledge of the volatile composition of cometary nuclei and how these data are obtained.

  8. COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS)

    Cancer.gov

    The COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS) is an extramural-intramural partnership that promotes collaboration among prospective cohort studies that follow participants for a range of outcomes and perform metabolomic profiling of individuals.

  9. SOHO Sees Comet ISON Appear

    NASA Video Gallery

    Comet ISON moves ever closer to the sun in this movie from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, captured in the early hours of Nov. 27, 2013. A coronal mass ejection explodes off the su...

  10. Comet ISON May Have Survived

    NASA Video Gallery

    Continuing a history of surprising behavior, material from Comet ISON appeared on the other side of the sun on the evening on Nov. 28, 2013, despite not having been seen in observations during its ...

  11. Sounds of a Comet Encounter

    NASA Video Gallery

    During its Feb. 14, 2011, flyby of comet Tempel 1, an instrument on the protective shield on NASA's Stardust spacecraft was pelted by dust particles and small rocks. For more information visit: htt...

  12. Nitrogen abundance in Comet Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, Susan; Tegler, Stephen C.; Engel, Lisa

    1991-01-01

    Data on the nitrogen-containing compounds that observed spectroscopically in the coma of Comet Halley are summarized, and the elemental abundance of nitrogen in the Comet Halley nucleus is derived. It is found that 90 percent of elemental nitrogen is in the dust fraction of the coma, while in the gas fraction, most of the nitrogen is contained in NH3 and CN. The elemental nitrogen abundance in the ice component of the nucleus was found to be deficient by a factor of about 75, relative to the solar photosphere, indicating that the chemical partitioning of N2 into NH3 and other nitrogen compounds during the evolution of the solar nebula cannot account completely for the low abundance ratio N2/NH3 = 0.1, observed in the comet. It is suggested that the low N2/NH3 ratio in Comet Halley may be explained simply by physical fractionation and/or thermal diffusion.

  13. How to make a comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, J.; Saunders, R. S.; Fanale, F.

    1986-01-01

    The primary mandate of NASA is the study of the nature and origin of the solar system. The study of comets provides information about conditions and processes at the beginning of the solar system. Short period comets and their relatives, the near Earth asteroids may prove to be second only to the Sun in importance to the long term survival of civilization for two reasons: as a possible candidate for the cause of mass extinctions of life on Earth and as the material means for the expansion of civilization into the solar system and beyond. In the mean time comets are studied by remote means. Laboratory investigations using synthetic cometary materials may add to the knowledge of these interesting objects. Dust and mantle formation are currently being studied by the use of comet sublimation experiments. Results of these experiments are discussed.

  14. Wet comet model: Rosetta redux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheldon, Robert B.

    2015-09-01

    The wet-comet model (WCM) of the structure and composition of comets was developed in 2005 to replace the "dirty-snowball" model (DSM) of Fred Whipple, because the first comet flybys of P/Halley "armada" revealed a very different landscape. Subsequent flybys of P/Borrelly, P/Wild-2, P/Hartley, P/Tempel-1 have confirmed and refined the model, so that we confidently predicted that the Rosetta mission would encounter a prolate, tumbling, concrete-encrusted, black comet: P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Unfortunately, the Philae lander team was preparing for a DSM and the anchors bounced off the concrete surface, but the orbiter has returned spec- tacular pictures of every crevice, which confirm and extend the WCM yet a sixth time. We report of what we predicted, what was observed, and several unexpected results from the ROSETTA mission.

  15. Photometrical analysis of the Neck-Line structure of Comet Bennet 1970II

    SciTech Connect

    Fulle, M.; Sedmak, G.

    1988-06-01

    The Kimura and Liu (1977) analysis of the motion in space of cometary dust tail grains, which furnished information on the size-dependence of the dust ejection velocity from the inner coma and the size distribution on a millimetric scale, is presently applied to the Neck-Line Structure (NLS) displayed by Comet Bennett 1970II at the begining of May, 1970. Attention is given to two photographs of the comet which have been analyzed by digital image processing in order to extract reliable photometric data; the strong excess of millimetric grains noted is in agreement with the Fulle (1987) results for preperihelion times. 24 references.

  16. Studies of short-period comets on the eve of Rosetta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pozuelos, F. J.; Moreno, F.; Aceituno, F.; Casanova, V.; Sota, A.; López-Moreno, J. J.; Cometas-Obs Team

    2015-05-01

    We present an extended study of the dust environment of a sample of short-period comets and their dynamical history. With this aim, we characterized the dust tails when the comets are active, and we make a statistical study to determine their dynamical evolution. The targets selected were 22P/Kopff, 30P/Reinmuth 1, 78P/Gehrels 2, 81P/Wild 2, 103P/Hartley 2, 115P/Maury, 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4, 123P/West-Hartley, 157P/Tritton, 185P/Petriew, P/2011 W2 (Rinner).

  17. Searching for evidence for different activity drivers in long- and short-period comets from the WISE/NEOWISE data set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramer, E.; Fernandez, Y.; Bauer, J.; Stevenson, R.; Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Walker, R.; Lisse, C.; WISE Team

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission surveyed the sky in four infrared wavelength bands (3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 μ m) between January 2010 and February 2011 [1,2]. During the mission, WISE serendipitously observed over 150 comets, including 21 newly discovered objects. About half of the comets observed by WISE displayed a significant dust tail in the 12 and 22 μ m (thermal emission) bands. The Figure below shows a sampling of six comets in the 22 μ m band, showing the range of activity levels and dust morphology present in the data. Since the observed objects are a mix of both long-period (LP) and short-period (SP) comets, differences in activity can be used to better understand the thermal processing that each of these populations has undergone. Approach: For the comets that displayed a significant dust tail, we have estimated the sizes and ages of the particles using dynamical models based on the Finson-Probstein method [3,4]. The main parameter in these models is the ratio of solar radiation pressure to solar gravity, called β. We have then compared these models to the data using a novel tail-fitting method that allows the best-fit model to be chosen analytically rather than subjectively. For comets that were observed multiple times by WISE, the particle properties were estimated separately, and then compared. Results: The ages of the dust tails seen vary in age from a few months to several years, with the average for both SP and LP comets being between 1--2 years. While many of the dust tails are comprised of grains emitted near perihelion, several comets exhibit tails that depart from this trend significantly. For both the SP and LP comets, the median β value was about 0.01, suggesting that the tail particles are on the order of tens of microns in size. Our preliminary analysis suggests that while the sizes and ages of the particles that comprise the dust tails of LP and SP comets are similar, the heliocentric distance at which

  18. The actin of muscle and fibroblasts.

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, P J

    1976-01-01

    The isolation and quantification of an 18-residue peptide from the N-terminal region of chicken actin was used to quantify the amount of actin in acetone-dried powders of chicken breast muscle and chicken-embryo fibroblasts. Either isotope dilution or double labelling can be used for peptide quantification. About 17% of the protein of chicken breast muscle was estimated to be actin. However, only 0.25% of the protein of chicken-embryo fibroblasts was determined to be actin by quantification of this peptide. The actin content of fibroblasts may be low or the amino acid sequences of muscle and fibroblast actin may differ in the N-terminal region. The methodology used can be extended to examine whether other regions of muscle actin sequence are present in fibroblasts or other cell types. PMID:938480

  19. Quantifying actin wave modulation on periodic topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guven, Can; Driscoll, Meghan; Sun, Xiaoyu; Parker, Joshua; Fourkas, John; Carlsson, Anders; Losert, Wolfgang

    2014-03-01

    Actin is the essential builder of the cell cytoskeleton, whose dynamics are responsible for generating the necessary forces for the formation of protrusions. By exposing amoeboid cells to periodic topographical cues, we show that actin can be directionally guided via inducing preferential polymerization waves. To quantify the dynamics of these actin waves and their interaction with the substrate, we modify a technique from computer vision called ``optical flow.'' We obtain vectors that represent the apparent actin flow and cluster these vectors to obtain patches of newly polymerized actin, which represent actin waves. Using this technique, we compare experimental results, including speed distribution of waves and distance from the wave centroid to the closest ridge, with actin polymerization simulations. We hypothesize the modulation of the activity of nucleation promotion factors on ridges (elevated regions of the surface) as a potential mechanism for the wave-substrate coupling. Funded by NIH grant R01GM085574.

  20. Caroline Lucretia Herschel -- Comet Huntress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, D. W.

    1999-04-01

    Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) was an active astronomer at a time when discovering comets, and calculating their orbits, was one of the main astronomical activities. She discovered eight comets and held the ladies' world record in this field until April 1987 when she was toppled from the podium by Carolyn S. Shoemaker. This paper places the Herschel cometary discoveries into the context of the contemporary cometary astronomy.

  1. Helium and Neon in Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1996-01-01

    Two comets were observed with EUVE in late 1994. Both comet Mueller and comet Borrelly are short-period comets having well established orbital elements and accurate ephemerides. Spectra of 40 ksec were taken of each. No evidence for emission lines from either Helium or Neon was detected. We calculated limits on the production rates of these atoms (relative to solar) assuming a standard isotropic outflow model, with a gas streaming speed of 1 km/s. The 3-sigma (99.7% confidence) limits (1/100,000 for He, 0.8 for Ne) are based on a conservative estimate of the noise in the EUVE spectra. They are also weakly dependent on the precise pointing and tracking of the EUVE field of view relative to the comet during the integrations. These limits are consistent with ice formation temperatures T greater than or equal to 30 K, as judged from the gas trapping experiments of Bar-Nun. For comparison, the solar abundances of these elements are He/O = 110, Ne/O = 1/16. Neither limit was as constraining as we had initially hoped, mainly because comets Mueller and Borrelly were intrinsically less active than anticipated.

  2. Controlling variation in the comet assay

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Andrew R.; El Yamani, Naouale; Lorenzo, Yolanda; Shaposhnikov, Sergey; Brunborg, Gunnar; Azqueta, Amaya

    2014-01-01

    Variability of the comet assay is a serious issue, whether it occurs from experiment to experiment in the same laboratory, or between different laboratories analysing identical samples. Do we have to live with high variability, just because the comet assay is a biological assay rather than analytical chemistry? Numerous attempts have been made to limit variability by standardizing the assay protocol, and the critical steps in the assay have been identified; agarose concentration, duration of alkaline incubation, and electrophoresis conditions (time, temperature, and voltage gradient) are particularly important. Even when these are controlled, variation seems to be inevitable. It is helpful to include in experiments reference standards, i.e., cells with a known amount of specific damage to the DNA. They can be aliquots frozen from a single large batch of cells, either untreated (negative controls) or treated with, for example, H2O2 or X-rays to induce strand breaks (positive control for the basic assay), or photosensitiser plus light to oxidize guanine (positive control for Fpg- or OGG1-sensitive sites). Reference standards are especially valuable when performing a series of experiments over a long period—for example, analysing samples of white blood cells from a large human biomonitoring trial—to check that the assay is performing consistently, and to identify anomalous results necessitating a repeat experiment. The reference values of tail intensity can also be used to iron out small variations occurring from day to day. We present examples of the use of reference standards in human trials, both within one laboratory and between different laboratories, and describe procedures that can be used to control variation. PMID:25368630

  3. Evidence for a species of nuclear actin distinct from cytoplasmic and muscles actins.

    PubMed

    Bremer, J W; Busch, H; Yeoman, L C

    1981-03-31

    Nuclear actin (protein BJ) has been isolated from the chromatin of Novikoff hepatoma ascites cells and purified to homogeneity by selective extraction, Sepharose CL-6B chromatography, and preparative polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. A comparison of nuclear and cytoplasmic actins from Novikoff hepatoma cells and rabbit muscle actin was made by amino acid analysis, isoelectric focusing/sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and two-dimensional peptide mapping procedures. By these criteria, all of the proteins compared are actins, but each is chemically distinct. It was concluded, therefore, that nuclear actin is similar to, but not identical with, cytoplasmic actin isolated from Novikoff hepatoma cells. A striking similarity in peptide charge and migration as shown by peptide map analysis was observed for nuclear and rabbit skeletal muscle actins. This may indicate that nuclear actin has the capacity for contractile function. In addition, the actins synthesized in Novikoff hepatoma cells may results from more than two structural genes.

  4. POTASSIUM DETECTION AND LITHIUM DEPLETION IN COMETS C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) AND C/1965 S1 (IKEYA-SEKI)

    SciTech Connect

    Fulle, M.; Molaro, P.; Buzzi, L.; Valisa, P.

    2013-07-10

    On 2013 March 21, high-resolution slit spectrographs of the comet C/2011 L4 (Panstarrs), at a heliocentric distance r = 0.46 AU, were obtained at the Osservatorio Astronomico Campo dei Fiori, Italy. Emission lines of sodium were the strongest in the spectrum as is common in comets, but potassium lines were also detected. These have rarely been observed in comets since the apparition of the brightest comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki). Lithium was not detected and stringent upper limits of its abundance compared to other alkali were derived. We obtain the abundance ratios Na/K = 54 {+-} 14 and Na/Li {>=}810{sup 3}. In addition to Mercury's exosphere (Leblanc and Doressoundiram), we show that photoionization at the beginning of the alkali tails may increase the solar ratio Na/K = 15.5 (Asplund et al.) by a factor three, close to that required to match the observed value. In the same tail position, the Na/Li ratio increases only by a factor two, very far from the factor {>=}8 required to match an original meteoritic ratio. We apply the same model to similar alkali data (Preston) of the comet C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki) and obtain consistent results. An original solar Na/K ratio fits the observed value at the beginning of the alkali tails within the slit size, whereas Li is depleted by a factor {>=}8.

  5. The mass disruption of Oort cloud comets.

    PubMed

    Levison, Harold F; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Dones, Luke; Jedicke, Robert; Wiegert, Paul A; Bottke, William F

    2002-06-21

    We have calculated the number of dormant, nearly isotropic Oort cloud comets in the solar system by (i) combining orbital distribution models with statistical models of dormant comet discoveries by well-defined surveys and (ii) comparing the model results to observations of a population of dormant comets. Dynamical models that assume that comets are not destroyed predict that we should have discovered approximately 100 times more dormant nearly isotropic comets than are actually seen. Thus, as comets evolve inward from the Oort cloud, the majority of them must physically disrupt.

  6. The mass disruption of Oort cloud comets.

    PubMed

    Levison, Harold F; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Dones, Luke; Jedicke, Robert; Wiegert, Paul A; Bottke, William F

    2002-06-21

    We have calculated the number of dormant, nearly isotropic Oort cloud comets in the solar system by (i) combining orbital distribution models with statistical models of dormant comet discoveries by well-defined surveys and (ii) comparing the model results to observations of a population of dormant comets. Dynamical models that assume that comets are not destroyed predict that we should have discovered approximately 100 times more dormant nearly isotropic comets than are actually seen. Thus, as comets evolve inward from the Oort cloud, the majority of them must physically disrupt. PMID:12077415

  7. About origin of comet 55P

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guliyev, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    55P is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 33 years. It fits the classical definition of a Halley-type comet. The comet is the parent body of the Leonid meteor shower. Orbital simulation of the comet's 55P/Tempel-Tuttle orbit for 5000 years before its discovery by a variety of integrators is provided in this work. In particular the idea of capturing the comet 55P by Uranus from the field of long-period comets during the integration period is checked. The hypothesis about its capture from the Kuiper belt for the study period is checked also. Both ideas have not been confirmed.

  8. Affinity chromatography of immobilized actin and myosin.

    PubMed Central

    Bottomley, R C; Trayer, I P

    1975-01-01

    Actin and myosin were immobilized by coupling them to agarose matrices. Both immobilized G-actin and immobilized myosin retain most of the properties of the proteins in free solution and are reliable over long periods of time. Sepharose-F-actin, under the conditions used in this study, has proved unstable and variable in its properties. Sepharose-G-actin columns were used to bind heavy meromyosin and myosin subfragment 1 specifically and reversibly. The interaction involved is sensitive to variation in ionic strength, such that myosin itself is not retained by the columns at the high salt concentration required for its complete solubilization. Myosin, rendered soluble at low ionic strength by polyalanylation, will interact successfully with the immobilized actin. The latter can distinguish between active and inactive fractions of the proteolytic and polyalanyl myosin derivatives, and was used in the preparation of these molecules. The complexes formed between the myosin derivatives and Sepharose-G-actin can be dissociated by low concentrations of ATP, ADP and pyrophosphate in both the presence and the absence of Mg2+. The G-actin columns were used to evaluate the results of chemical modifications of myosin subfragments on their interactions with actin. F-Actin in free solution is bound specifically and reversibly to columns of insolubilized myosin. Thus, with elution by either ATP or pyrophosphate, actin has been purified in one step from extracts of acetone-dried muscle powder. PMID:241335

  9. Comet 67P's Pitted Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-11-01

    High-resolution imagery of comet 67P ChuryumovGerasimenko has revealed that its surface is covered in active pits some measuring hundreds of meters both wide and deep! But what processes caused these pits to form?Pitted LandscapeESAs Rosetta mission arrived at comet 67P in August 2014. As the comet continued its journey around the Sun, Rosetta extensively documented 67Ps surface through high-resolution images taken with the on-board instrument NavCam. These images have revealed that active, circular depressions are a common feature on the comets surface.In an attempt to determine how these pits formed, an international team of scientists led by Olivier Mousis (Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille) has run a series of simulations of a region of the comet the Seth region that contains a 200-meter-deep pit. These simulations include the effects of various phase transitions, heat transfer through the matrix of ices and dust, and gas diffusion throughout the porous material.Escaping VolatilesAdditional examples of pitted areas on 67Ps northern-hemisphere surface include the Ash region and the Maat region (both imaged September 2014 by NavCam) [Mousis et al. 2015]Previous studies have already eliminated two potential formation mechanisms for the pits: impacts (the sizes of the pits werent right) and erosion due to sunlight (the pits dont have the right shape). Mousis and collaborators assume that the pits are instead caused by the depletion of volatile materials chemical compounds with low boiling points either via explosive outbursts at the comets surface, or via sinkholes opening from below the surface. But what process causes the volatiles to deplete when the comet heats?The authors simulations demonstrate that volatiles trapped beneath the comets surface either in icy structures called clathrates or within amorphous ice can be suddenly released as the comet warms up. The team shows that the release of volatiles from these two structures can create 200-meter

  10. Enhancement of radiosensitivity in H1299 cancer cells by actin-associated protein cofilin

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Y.-J. . E-mail: lee_yi_jang@hotmail.com; Sheu, T.-J.; Keng, Peter C.

    2005-09-23

    Cofilin is an actin-associated protein that belongs to the actin depolymerization factor/cofilin family and is important for regulation of actin dynamics. Cofilin can import actin monomers into the nucleus under certain stress conditions, however the biological effects of nuclear transport are unclear. In this study, we found that over-expression of cofilin led to increased radiation sensitivity in human non-small lung cancer H1299 cells. Cell survival as determined by colony forming assay showed that cells over-expressing cofilin were more sensitive to ionizing radiation (IR) than normal cells. To determine whether the DNA repair capacity was altered in cofilin over-expressing cells, comet assays were performed on irradiated cells. Repair of DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation was detected in cofilin over-expressing cells after 24 h of recovery. Consistent with this observation, the key components for repair of DNA double-strand breaks, including Rad51, Rad52, and Ku70/Ku80, were down-regulated in cofilin over-expressing cells after IR exposure. These findings suggest that cofilin can influence radiosensitivity by altering DNA repair capacity.

  11. Comet explorer spacecraft design project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The small, chemically primitive objects of the solar system, comets and asteroids, are one of the most important frontiers remaining for future planetary exploration. So stated the Solar System Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council in its 1986 report 'Planetary Exploration Through the Year 2000.' The Halley's comet flyby missions completed last spring raised more questions than were answered about the nature of comets. The next mission to a comet must be able to explore some of these questions. In the late 1990's, a spacecraft might be built to explore the hazardous area surrounding a comet nucleus. Rigorous pointing requirements for remote sensing instruments will place a considerable burden on their attendant control systems. To meet these requirements we have pursued the initial design and analysis of a multi-bodied comet explorer spacecraft. Sized so as to be built on-orbit after the space station is operational, the spacecraft is comprised of Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) subsystems, packaged into two major components: a three-axis controlled instrument platform and a spinning, detached comet dust shield. Such a configuration decouples the dynamics of dust impaction from the stringent pointing out requirements of the imaging experiments. At the same time, it offers an abundance of simple analysis problems that may be carried out by undergraduates. These problems include the following: Selection of subsystem components, sizing trade studies, investigation of three-axis and simple spin dynamics, design of simple control systems, orbit determination, and intercept trajectory generation. Additionally, such topics as proposal writing project management, human interfacing, and costing have been covered. A new approach to design teaching has been taken, whereby students will 'learn by teaching.' They are asked to decompose trade options into a set of 'if-then' rules, which then 'instruct' the Mechanically Intelligent Designer (MIND) expert design system

  12. DNA breaks as measured by the alkaline comet assay in exfoliated cells as compared to voided urine cytology in the diagnosis of bladder cancer: a study of 105 subjects.

    PubMed

    Fracasso, Maria Enrica; Franceschetti, Paola; Doria, Denise; Talamini, Giorgio; Bonetti, Franco

    2004-11-14

    In this study we evaluated the clinical usefulness of identifying urothelial cells with increased DNA damage with the alkaline comet assay and compare it with voided urine cytology for the assessment of markers indicative of bladder cancer. The analysis was carried out on 105 subjects having clinical suspicion of bladder cancer, and who had undergone cytology for the first time. Urine cytology and alkaline comet assay were performed on the same fresh urine samples obtained from each patient. The subjects were divided according to negative or positive cytology. The Mann-Whitney U-test showed that the comet parameters (tail moment, tail length, and % of DNA in the tail) and the numbers of comets (cells with an arbitrary cut-off value of head intensity <90% of DNA content) in subjects positive in both tests were significantly higher than in the negative group. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value of the comet assay were compared with those of cytology, which is regarded as the gold standard. Sensitivity was 71.4%, specificity was 91.8%, positive and negative predictive values were 38.5 and 97.8, respectively. Two subjects negative in the comet assay were positive in cytology. Eight patients were positive in the comet assay and negative for cytology. Interestingly, one of these eight patients was later found positive for cytology. Logistic regression analysis indicates that the tail moment is significantly associated with an increased risk for positive cytology. PMID:15474411

  13. CME impact on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edberg, Niklas J. T.; Alho, M.; André, M.; Andrews, D. J.; Behar, E.; Burch, J. L.; Carr, C. M.; Cupido, E.; Engelhardt, I. A. D.; Eriksson, A. I.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Goetz, C.; Goldstein, R.; Henri, P.; Johansson, F. L.; Koenders, C.; Mandt, K.; Nilsson, H.; Odelstad, E.; Richter, I.; Simon Wedlund, C.; Stenberg Wieser, G.; Szego, K.; Vigren, E.; Volwerk, M.

    2016-08-01

    We present Rosetta observations from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME impacted on 5-6 Oct 2015, when Rosetta was about 800 km from the comet nucleus, and 1.4 AU from the Sun. Upon impact, the plasma environment is compressed to the level that solar wind ions, not seen a few days earlier when at 1500 km, now reach Rosetta. In response to the compression, the flux of suprathermal electrons increases by a factor of 5-10 and the background magnetic field strength increases by a factor of ˜2.5. The plasma density increases by a factor of 10 and reaches 600 cm-3, due to increased particle impact ionisation, charge exchange and the adiabatic compression of the plasma environment. We also observe unprecedentedly large magnetic field spikes at 800 km, reaching above 200 nT, which are interpreted as magnetic flux ropes. We suggest that these could possibly be formed by magnetic reconnection processes in the coma as the magnetic field across the CME changes polarity, or as a consequence of strong shears causing Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities in the plasma flow. Due to the limited orbit of Rosetta, we are not able to observe if a tail disconnection occurs during the CME impact, which could be expected based on previous remote observations of other CME-comet interactions.

  14. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-07-01

    Concerning comets: 1955 III Mrkos, 1955 IV Bakharev-Macfarlane-Krienke, 1955 V Honda, 1956 III Mrkos, 1956 IV P/Olbers, 1957 V Mrkos, 1961 II Candy, 1961 V Wilson-Hubbard, 1962 III Seki-Lines, 1962 V P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, 1963 I Ikeya, 1963 III Alcock, 1964 VI Tomita-Gerber-Honda, 1964 IX Everhart, 1965 VIII Ikeya-Seki, 1966 II Barbon, 1966 V Kilston, 1967 III Wild, 1967 IV Seki, 1967 V P/Tuttle, 1967 X P/Tempel 2, 1970 I Daido-Fujikawa, 1975 IX Kobayashi-Berger-Milon, 1979 X Bradfield, 1986 III P/Halley, 1989 X P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989 XIX Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1990 III Cernis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990 V Austin, 1990 XIV P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, 1990 XVII Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, 1990 XX Levy, 1990 XXI P/Encke, 1990 XXVIII P/Wild 2, 1991 XI P/Levy, 1991 XV P/Hartley 2, 1991a1 Shoemaker-Levy, 1992h Spacewatch, 1992l P/Giclas, 1992n P/Schuster, 1992ο P/Daniel, 1992s P/Ciffréo, 1992t P/Swift-Tuttle, 1992u P/Väisälä 1, 1992x P/Schaumasse, 1992y Shoemaker, 1992a1 Ohshita, 1993a Mueller, 1993e P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, P/Smirnova-Chernykh, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  15. The Comets Inspector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demeure, Alexandre; Calvary, Gaëlle; Coutaz, Joëlle; Vanderdonckt, Jean

    Three types of representation are typically produced during the User Interface (UI) development life cycle: a conceptual representation holding the models used for elaborating a UI, an internal representation concerning the code of the UI, and an external representation expressing the look and feel of the UI. While the end user typically manipulates the external representation only, the designer and the developer respectively focus on the conceptual and internal representations. The Comets Inspector gathers all three representations into a single environment, thus providing the user (actually, the designer and the developer; in the future, the end-user) with multiple views of a same UI simultaneously. Each representation is made observable and modifiable through one or many “mini-UIs”. Consistency is ensured through mappings between these representations. From a methodological point of view, the benefit is the integration of three stakeholders' perspectives in a consensual and consistent way, enabling the exploration and manipulation of design alternatives at run time. In particular, when the context of use will be changing, the end-user will be able to inspect the UI capabilities and control its adaptation, thus sustaining explicit plasticity

  16. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1990-10-01

    Concerning comets: 1968 VI Honda, 1968 IX Honda, 1969 I Thomas, 1970 I Daido-Fujikawa, 1970 II Bennett, 1970 VI White-Ortiz-Bolelli, 1970 X Suzuki-Sato-Seki, 1970 XV Abe, 1972 V P/Tempel 1, 1972 XI P/Kearns-Kwee, 1973 VII Kohoutek, 1973 XII Kohoutek, 1975 IX Kobayashi-Berger-Milon, 1975 X Suzuki-Saigusa-Mori, 1986 I P/Boethin, 1986 VIII P/Machholz, 1986 XVII Levy, 1987 II Sorrells, 1987 III Nishikawa-Takamizawa-Tago, 1987 VII Wilson, 1987 X P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 1987 XXI Levy, 1987 XXIII Rudenko, 1987 XXVII P/Kohoutek, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1988 I Ichimura, 1988 IV Furuyama, 1988 V Liller, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1988k P/Kopff, 1989d P/Russell 3, 1989ο P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989r Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989v Helin-Roman-Alu, 1989a1 Aarseth-Brewington, 1989b1 P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, 1989c1 Austin, 1989d1 P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, 1989e1 Skorichenko-George, 1990a P/Wild 4, 1990b Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990c Levy, 1990d P/Peters-Hartley, 1990f P/Honda-Mrkos-Pájdušaková, 1990i Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, P/Encke, P/Gunn, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  17. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1990-07-01

    Concerning comets: 1968 IV Tago-Honda-Yamamoto, 1968 V Whitaker-Thomas, 1985 VIII Machholz, 1986 IX Churyumov-Solodovnikov, 1986 XVIII Terasako, 1987 II Sorrells, 1987 III Nishikawa-Takamizawa-Tago, 1987 VII Wilson, 1987 XXI Levy, 1987 XXIII Rudenko, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXX Levy, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1988 IV Furuyama, 1988 V Liller, 1988 XIV P/Tempel 2, 1988 XV Machholz, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1988h Shoemaker-Holt-Rodriquez, 1989d P/Russell 3, 1989g P/Pons-Winnecke, 1989n P/Gehrels 2, 1989ο P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989p P/Lovas 1, 1989r Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989v Helin-Roman-Alu, 1989a1 Aarseth-Brewington, 1989b1 P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, 1989c1 Austin, 1989d1 P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, 1989e1 Skorichenko-George, 1989f1 McKenzie-Russell, 1990a P/Wild 4, 1990b Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990c Levy, P/Gunn, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  18. Multiple actin binding domains of Ena/VASP proteins determine actin network stiffening.

    PubMed

    Gentry, Brian S; van der Meulen, Stef; Noguera, Philippe; Alonso-Latorre, Baldomero; Plastino, Julie; Koenderink, Gijsje H

    2012-11-01

    Vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (Ena/VASP) is an actin binding protein, important for actin dynamics in motile cells and developing organisms. Though VASP's main activity is the promotion of barbed end growth, it has an F-actin binding site and can form tetramers, and so could additionally play a role in actin crosslinking and bundling in the cell. To test this activity, we performed rheology of reconstituted actin networks in the presence of wild-type VASP or mutants lacking the ability to tetramerize or to bind G-actin and/or F-actin. We show that increasing amounts of wild-type VASP increase network stiffness up to a certain point, beyond which stiffness actually decreases with increasing VASP concentration. The maximum stiffness is 10-fold higher than for pure actin networks. Confocal microscopy shows that VASP forms clustered actin filament bundles, explaining the reduction in network elasticity at high VASP concentration. Removal of the tetramerization site results in significantly reduced bundling and bundle clustering, indicating that VASP's flexible tetrameric structure causes clustering. Removing either the F-actin or the G-actin binding site diminishes VASP's effect on elasticity, but does not eliminate it. Mutating the F-actin and G-actin binding site together, or mutating the F-actin binding site and saturating the G-actin binding site with monomeric actin, eliminates VASP's ability to increase network stiffness. We propose that, in the cell, VASP crosslinking confers only moderate increases in linear network elasticity, and unlike other crosslinkers, VASP's network stiffening activity may be tuned by the local concentration of monomeric actin.

  19. Rosetta - a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-01-01

    be kept in hibernation during most of its 8-year trek towards Wirtanen. What makes Rosetta's cruise so long? To reach Comet Wirtanen, the spacecraft needs to go out in deep space as far from the Sun as Jupiter is. No launcher could possibly get Rosetta there directly. ESA's spacecraft will gather speed from gravitational ‘kicks’ provided by three planetary fly-bys: one of Mars in 2005 and two of Earth in 2005 and 2007. During the trip, Rosetta will also visit two asteroids, Otawara (in 2006) and Siwa (in 2008). During these encounters, scientists will switch on Rosetta's instruments for calibration and scientific studies. Long trips in deep space include many hazards, such as extreme changes in temperature. Rosetta will leave the benign environment of near-Earth space to the dark, frigid regions beyond the asteroid belt. To manage these thermal loads, experts have done very tough pre-launch tests to study Rosetta's endurance. For example, they have heated its external surfaces to more than 150°C, then quickly cooled it to -180°C in the next test. The spacecraft will be fully reactivated prior to the comet rendezvous manoeuvre in 2011. Then, Rosetta will orbit the comet - an object only 1.2 km wide - while it cruises through the inner Solar System at 135 000 kilometres per hour. At that time of the rendezvous - around 675 million km from the Sun - Wirtanen will hardly show any surface activity. It means that the carachteristic coma (the comet’s ‘atmosphere’) and the tail will not be formed yet, because of the large distance from the Sun. The comet's tail is in fact made of dust grains and frozen gases from the comet's surface that vapourise because of the Sun's heat. During 6-month, Rosetta will extensively map the comet surface, prior to selecting a landing site. In July 2012, the lander will self-eject from the spacecraft from a height of just one kilometre. Touchdown will take place at walking speed - less than 1 metre per second. Immediately after

  20. The actin cytoskeleton in endothelial cell phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Prasain, Nutan; Stevens, Troy

    2009-01-01

    Endothelium forms a semi-permeable barrier that separates blood from the underlying tissue. Barrier function is largely determined by cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions that define the limits of cell borders. Yet, such cell-cell and cell-matrix tethering is critically reliant upon the nature of adherence within the cell itself. Indeed, the actin cytoskeleton fulfills this essential function, to provide a strong, dynamic intracellular scaffold that organizes integral membrane proteins with the cell’s interior, and responds to environmental cues to orchestrate appropriate cell shape. The actin cytoskeleton is comprised of three distinct, but interrelated structures, including actin cross-linking of spectrin within the membrane skeleton, the cortical actin rim, and actomyosin-based stress fibers. This review addresses each of these actin-based structures, and discusses cellular signals that control the disposition of actin in different endothelial cell phenotypes. PMID:19028505