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Comet Hale-Bopp 'Frozen To Death'

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the brrrrrr-bopp dept.

Space 76

astroengine writes "In 1997, comet Hale-Bopp became the most spectacular space event of the past few decades. But where's the huge lump of ice now? Astronomers have decided to check in on the interplanetary interloper to see how its journey is going after sweeping through the inner solar system 15 years ago. Now beyond the orbit of Neptune, Hale-Bopp has undergone a dramatic change. As it travels further from the sun, inevitably its surface receives less heat, and now the comet appears to have reached a watershed: it has ceased all cometary activity, in stark contrast to only 3 years ago. The next time it will erupt to life will be in around 2,500 years when it completes its next solar flyby."

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2,500 years (2, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007638)

Wow that's a long time to wait for the mothership to return... I might as well just end it all now. Drinking the flavor-aid and all...

Re:2,500 years (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007716)

Fav Hale-Bopp bumpersticker: "So many idiots, so few comets"

Re:2,500 years (2)

tonique (1176513) | more than 3 years ago | (#36008792)

Waiting for the next Kreutz sungrazer!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreutz_Sungrazers

Re:2,500 years (3, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007718)

Yeah. A friend of mine did the website for the realtor selling the property.

Apparently even being a hilltop mansion isn't enough to get people to buy a place where a bunch of cultists in matching shoes all killed themselves.

Re:2,500 years (2)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007722)

If they want a tax write-off, I'm willing to accept a gift.

Re:2,500 years (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36007834)

Do you like niggers?

Do you like gays?

Do you like gay niggers?

If you answered "no" to any of the above, you're a racist, a homophobe, or both. You fucking bigot.

Re:2,500 years (-1, Offtopic)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#36008196)

Do you like niggers?

Do you like gays?

Do you like gay niggers?

If you answered "no" to any of the above, you're a racist, a homophobe, or both. You fucking bigot.

I answer both yes and no to each question... sooo what exactly does that make me then?

Re:2,500 years (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36008222)

Bi Winning

Re:2,500 years (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010714)

how about some used sneakers?

Re:2,500 years (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36008450)

Generally, that is not the case. It is far more likely that the realtor set the asking price too high and that is what scared away potential buyers. Was this pre- or post- bubble? Was the realtor trying to capitalize on the celebrity of the location to extract a premium?

Re:2,500 years (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36030466)

>>Generally, that is not the case. It is far more likely that the realtor set the asking price too high

Generally what is not that case? Houses where people died often reduce the value of a house, and IIRC, realitors have to disclose anything like this when they sell it.

When my friend built the website, I think it was listing at $700k, or about half the value of the mansion. Lemme see if I can dig up a link...

Ok, so I guess it sold for $668k, and was worth 1.6M. http://www.rickross.com/reference/heavensgate/gate34.html [rickross.com]

>>Was this pre- or post- bubble?

This was 1997.

>>Was the realtor trying to capitalize on the celebrity of the location to extract a premium?

It doesn't work that way.

Re:2,500 years (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36031224)

I'm afraid you are mistaken. In 1999, when it was sold, it was worth $668k. The previous listing, and even the tax assessment are not relevant unless someone actually bought it at that price. The article you linked does not say what the cultists paid for the estate.

Land and homes, and other items do not have a "worth." They have the price someone is willing to pay, and someone else is willing to accept.. If a transaction occurs, that it what it was worth. To those parties. At the time.

The death of the cultists may have driven down the price, but there is always a price at which someone is willing to accept the baggage, and it is the job of a good realtor to set the asking price realistically given the circumstances. Not hold out hope for some arbitrary "worth" to be realized only to have the property never sell.

Re:2,500 years (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36035842)

I'm afraid you are mistaken. What I said was that the Heavens Gate suicide reduced the value of the house.

You said deaths don't reduce the value of the house.

I said it sold for half market value.

You responded with a meaningless tautology (the market value is whatever it sold for) ignoring the entire concept of appraisal, comps, and fair market value.

Re:2,500 years (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36043394)

I'm glad you've learned the meaning of the word, "Tautology."

However the issue was over this quote,

Apparently even being a hilltop mansion isn't enough to get people to buy a place where a bunch of cultists in matching shoes all killed themselves.

It is clear from the article that the house did sell. Just not for as much as the realtor originally expected and/or thought it was "worth." But the failure sell for a number of years was not because being a hilltop mansion isn't enough to get people to buy a place. It's just that it isn't enough to get people to buy at the price you were hoping for. There is always a price where land will sell. The failure is in your expectations as a seller.

Re:2,500 years (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045148)

>>It's just that it isn't enough to get people to buy at the price you were hoping for.

There's a concept called "time on the market", which is why my friend was brought in to do the web site on it, as it wasn't selling, even at below fair market value.

Since maybe you're not from San Diego, in the late 90s properties in San Diego were very hot, and selling like hotcakes.

Re:2,500 years (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36015092)

It wasn't on a "hilltop" really, at least not in the sense of having a great view or being a great place to land a space ship.

Re:2,500 years (1)

Aelcyx (123258) | more than 3 years ago | (#36014190)

Thank you for saying flavor-aid. This is what was drunk at Jonestown. Not Kool-aid. That was drunk at the Funkytown massacre. So many afro wigs...

Re:2,500 years (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36021246)

Not Kool-aid. That was drunk at the Funkytown massacre.

Ah, that puts an entirely new light on the [CK]ool-aid jokes. And here I was thinking it was just a popular type of coloured/ flavoured water.

Woah woah woah (1, Informative)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007642)

2500 Years? I thought it came around every 70-80 or so.

Are you really telling me that the glimpse I got at 10yrs old is it? I was really looking forward to round 2 in 50-60 years. :(

Re:Woah woah woah (4, Informative)

Lord Crc (151920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007656)

2500 Years? I thought it came around every 70-80 or so.

You're probably thinking of Halley's comet [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Woah woah woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36013942)

It was an AWESOME sight to see this beautiful comet up through the trees, standing on my upstate NY country mountain road where the stars shine so brightly because of low light distracting night vision.. It was a real privelage to see this Incredible Comet of a spectacle in my lifetime. So Cosmic! Something traveling from so far away in the galaxy to pass by and I saw it.. It was absolutely AMAZING.. If you think about it!

Re:Woah woah woah (2)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007662)

sunovabitch. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_Hale-Bopp [wikipedia.org]

Minneapolis public schools, this is an official fuck you. You liars.

I was told it was discovered in the 1920's and that it came around every 70-80 years. Bastards.

Re:Woah woah woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36008682)

sunovabitch. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_Hale-Bopp [wikipedia.org]

Minneapolis public schools, this is an official fuck you. You liars.

I was told it was discovered in the 1920's and that it came around every 70-80 years. Bastards.

Worst of all, you were taught to believe every lies and simplifications your teachers told you without questioning

Re:Woah woah woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36009970)

And to put more of a political spin on this...

And this is the same government we want running health care?!

Re:Woah woah woah (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010558)

Morons who don't recognize the difference between state and federal government, and FURTHERMORE who don't realize that virtually no one in the U.S. outside of fringe leftists is promoting a government takeover of healthcare, shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Re:Woah woah woah (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024716)

Fringe? That depends. By "government takeover", do you mean single-payer, like what we have with "medicare", or do you mean "the government owns the hospitals"?

Re:Woah woah woah (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36028528)

I was responding to a comment implying a "government takeover healthcare" would be like government-run education. So the latter.

Re:Woah woah woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36012064)

How do you know the moronic teacher ain't now working for a health insurance company?

They're probably the head of it given how stupid some of those companies are.

Re:Woah woah woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36015350)

And this is the same government we want running health care?!

Goal of private business is to grow and maximize profit. Private health care gets more profit and can grow, if people are more sick. Therefore it's the financial obligation (towards stockholders) of private health care companies to try and make people as sick, as dependent on constant expensive care, as they possibly can.

Even if almost all doctors have high moral standard at the start of their careers, a few decades of patients hoping to cash in with a malpractice lawsuit will take care of that, too.

Private health care is fundamentally broken idea.

And then of course there's the whole moral issue of letting people live or die based on how much money they've inherited or scammed.

Re:Woah woah woah (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#36024820)

And to put more of a political spin on this...

And this is the same government we want running health care?!

Yes. I personally was thinking that one Minnesota school teacher should be put in charge of all US-based health care...preferably one who is not an expert on comets.

Also, is privatized insurance so well (self) regulated that they can guarantee that no instructor will ever make an incorrect statement during class time?

Re:Woah woah woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36012492)

And yet you still believe what some jerkwad on the Internet says.

Re:Woah woah woah (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007664)

Pretty sure you are thinking of Halley's comet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_Hale-Bopp [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halley's_Comet [wikipedia.org]

Re:Woah woah woah (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007672)

Indeed. It seems that I was taught the details of one comet, while having it called by another comets name.

Re:Woah woah woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36008432)

I would chalk it up to you confusing factoids.

Re:Woah woah woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010424)

Couldn't have been that it was your own unfocused elementary school mind that confused them.

Re:Woah woah woah (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010926)

Couldn't have been that it was your own unfocused elementary school mind that confused them.

I was taught, point-blank, explicitly, no exceptions, that you can't ever subtract a big number from a smaller number. MrQuacker may very well be right; I know I was told some pretty goofy stuff over the years.

Re:Woah woah woah (1)

kmoser (1469707) | more than 3 years ago | (#36020408)

Your computer has 2GB RAM. You take away 8GB. How much memory is left in your computer?

Re:Woah woah woah (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36023190)

A netbook.

That's no moon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36007652)

That's no moon.

Unusual turn of phrase (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007658)

"Frozen to death" doesn't usually foretell a return to life at some later date - maybe "suspended animation" would be a more apt term.

Re:Unusual turn of phrase (5, Funny)

nonguru (1777998) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007692)

I would have thought "chilling out" would be more appropriate.

Re:Unusual turn of phrase (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010288)

i want what you smoke!

Re:Unusual turn of phrase (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#36014920)

Not really, when you chill out, you usually don't run so fast.

Speaking of fast, if we could place some observational equipment on such a comet, that might be an interesting way to get some nice extra-solar observations. The landing/impact on the comet, could provide the delta-p needed to get it into a fast orbit out, with less fuel, if the comet survived.

Re:Unusual turn of phrase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36007974)

I would have thought, "not being currently bombarded with sufficient intensity of solar flux to cause it to boil away a streamer of gas."

Re:Unusual turn of phrase (1)

Nephrite (82592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36008282)

Yellow science journalism.

Re:Unusual turn of phrase (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36008860)

Frozen to life would be more appropriate. It's no longer having its constituent material stripped away by the Sun - meaning that it is no longer being boiled away into nothingness, or to use their metaphor, no longer being roasted to death. It gets a 2500 year respite before the Sun starts killing it again...

Re:Unusual turn of phrase (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011808)

But the cultists probably froze to death...err, re-death.

Re:Unusual turn of phrase (1)

ic3p1ck (597610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36018030)

"That is not dead which can eternal lie..."

HP Lovecraft

Interesting temperature measurements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36007668)

Pffft. Outgassing starts at a measly 53kelvin? Yeah we could total nuke that fu.... i mean this can totally be used to help us guide objects like this into rougue outer planet colo.... i mean, yay for science!

other interesting comets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36007752)

Comet Chisan-Bop has some ice subtracted from it each time around.
Some say comet Be-Bop may someday be used as a space ship.

hi (-1, Troll)

Anne28 (2103186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007820)

Hi guys thanks for sharing all those good ideas and comment nice to meet you here thanks a lot:) niche research for beginners [heronacademy.com]

News? (5, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007830)

A comet doing exactly what everybody knows it would do is not exactly news.

Future Slashdot headlines?

Moon still orbiting.
Sun still hot.
Rings still around Saturn.
Timothy posting stupid stories.

Re:News? (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 3 years ago | (#36007866)

People still complaining about stories.

Judging by the Firehose... there really isn't much to choose from... I'd cringe trying to justify my reasoning picking any of the stories I see there right now.

Re:News? (1)

ACE209 (1067276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36008106)

you got a point there.

Re:News? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36008252)

It's not that bad. We now know from the story it'll probably take 2000 years to pass around again, when previous estimates had it come back in 2020.

Re:News? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36009638)

It's not in the what, it's in the when. Every person that lives on this Earth will die - everyone knows that. However, when any person of note dies it's still news, because it is a recent occurrence.

This is the same. People knew Hale-Bopp would cease cometary activity. Doesn't change the fact that since it happened NOW, it's news. Take it for what it is.

Re:News? (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010408)

Rings still around Saturn.

Actually about that...um yeah... [slashdot.org]

Re:News? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011030)

A comet doing exactly what everybody knows it would do is not exactly news.

How gloriously incurious you seem to be. I thought it was interesting: "Hey, remember that cool comet you watched from a rooftop with a bunch of your friends? It's gone back to sleep for about as long as modern civilization has been around." I feel kind of bad for you that you don't see the wonder in that.

Re:News? timesx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011390)

You guys are missing the big picture. When a comet comes by, we need to send up a spacecraft to "hitch a ride" on it. Put it in orbit around the comet and we can then travel to the far reaches of the solar system without any need for propulsion. We can just observe anything of interest (but primarily the comet) and send back info for as long as we want. Maybe sometimes we can escape the comet and observe Pluto or something else of interest. But we got a free ride.

Re:News? (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | more than 3 years ago | (#36020824)

How is pointing this out insightful? Its because of the 6 digits isn't it?

This is news to somebody. Nerds perhaps. Isn't that what slashdot is about? Noteworthy events that nerds might find interesting?

Mmm Bopp (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36008018)

1 April 1997: Hale-Bopp passes perihelion.

2(?) April 1997: Discoverer Bopp discovers his brother and sister-in-law have died in a road accident after photographing the comet.

15 April 1997: MMMBop released by girl band Hansen.

16 April-December 1997. My eyes remain especially open (OK, it disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere PoV much sooner); my ears especially closed.

This is how my mind works.

Amateur astronomers are cool. Thanks for discovering the comet, Thomas Bopp. Thopp.

Re:Mmm Bopp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36013664)

15 April 1997: MMMBop released by girl band Hansen.

"Hanson is an American pop band formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma by brothers Isaac (guitar, vocals), Taylor (keyboards, piano, vocals), and Zac Hanson (drums, vocals)." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanson_%28band%29)

They just looked and sounded like girls.

Re:Mmm Bopp (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36014532)

15 April 1997: MMMBop released by girl band Hansen.

"Hanson is an American pop band formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma by brothers [..]" They just looked and sounded like girls.

That's odd, I didn't think one would be able to hear the "whooshing" sound of Hale Bopp by this stage... can't think what else might have caused it. (^_^)

Frozen to Death... (2)

taiwanjohn (103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36008084)

Must'a forgot his sweat pants and Nikes.

Re:Frozen to Death... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082294)

""Must'a forgot his sweat pants and Nikes."" hahaha that's quit funny taiwanjohn:)

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My condolences (1)

GrBear (63712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36009232)

My condolences for those basement dwellers that missed their chance for a magic comet ride [themadmusicarchive.com] .

It will back to life... (-1, Offtopic)

gtvr (1702650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36009504)

... sooner than Osama bin Laden!!!

America, fuck yeah!!!

Awesome! (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36009610)

Can't wait to see it again next time around!

Yes, (1)

pigiron (104729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010852)

that's how comets work. Good job staying awake in your 5th grade science class.

Not the most spectacular recent comet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36013472)

No one who saw both Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake (1996) from dark sites would make this claim. Hyakutake sported a tail so long that you had to move your head around to take it all in. Oh, and it was moving so fast you could almost watch its motion against the background stars. Just because it wasn't associated with a mass suicide, it gets short shrift. (Shows how little those loonies knew: Because it passed so close to Earth, Hyakutake was far more plausible as a candidate for alien rendezvous :)

Just doing what Comets Do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36013612)

I didnt read the article, but the comet is just doing what it is supposed to do... Get all hot and active near the sun.. freeze to a frozen block in the outer solar system and beyond.

Why is this on slashdot?

Newsflash: This happens to all comets. (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 3 years ago | (#36022558)

Either they burn up "quickly" or they have orbits that allow them to refreeze which slows down their inevitable evaporation down to a few rocky bits and pieces.

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