(TMU) – Last week, The Mind Unleashed reported that Comet SWAN, a stunning bright-green comet with an 10-million-mile long tail, would be visible all week while it makes its 11,597-year trip through the center of our solar system.
All this week, the massive Comet SWAN – which is likely to be the showcase comet of the year – will be visible throughout the northern hemisphere, lying low in the northeast.
With any luck, the comet – a “snowball” comprised of huge amounts of frozen gas, water, rock and dust – will offer some dazzling views which will only be faintly visible to the naked eye, meaning that it’s recommended that sky-watchers bring a pair of binoculars or even a telescope.
Always brilliant images from Fritz Helmut Hemmerich, and no different this time. Comet Swan from the Canary Islands on the 10th. pic.twitter.com/UJZFrKG4Xy
— Con Stoitsis (@vivstoitsis) May 10, 2020
SWAN – an acronym for the Solar Wind Anisotropies camera on NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) – was discovered in April by Michael Mattiazo, an amateur astronomer from Australia who noticed the intense green color emanating from the comet.
The space rock’s bright green tinge comes from the water vapor released into surrounding its icy core as it’s heated by the Sun, forming a hydrogen cloud that surrounds it and gives off its bright light.
Comet C/2020 F8 Swan at 4 degs elevation this morning Image Fritz Helmut Hemmerich. pic.twitter.com/P9jwqnv42t
— Con Stoitsis (@vivstoitsis) May 16, 2020
Comet SWAN arrived shortly after the much-anticipated Comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS fizzled out. Astronomers had hoped that ATLAS, which significantly brightened at a rapid pace toward the end of last year, would be the most significant naked-eye comet in a decade. However, the comet unceremoniously crumbled apart, depriving us of any spectacle whatsoever.
When it comes to Comet SWAN, the jury is out as to whether stargazers will have a great treat this week or if it’s going to eventually be the same sorry dud ATLAS turned out to be.
— Corey S. Powell (@coreyspowell) May 9, 2020
In a news release last week, the European Space Agency wrote:
“The comet’s vigor could be significant for observers on Earth. The more material ejected from the comet, the more sunlight it reflects and the more visible it becomes. Currently moving from the southern to the northern skies, it is just faintly visible to the naked eye, but current estimates suggest that, by the end of May, it could be significantly brighter – if it survives that long.”
However, astrophysicist Jackie Faherty at the American Museum of Natural History told Forbes:
“I’m feeling a little less excited about Comet SWAN.
“It swept in just after Comet Atlas fizzled, something comets are notorious for. They tease you into thinking they’re going to put on a beautiful, bright spectacular show, then they fizzle out before they become visible to the naked eye.”
Indeed, while images of the comet shared online suggest a brilliant display, most of those images required cameras using long exposures and even telescopes, resulting in imagery our eyes alone could never see.
Comet SWAN has gotten a bit higher for my location in southwest Alabama. So here it is through trees!
SWAN revealed some of the tail. Image Richard Pickard. pic.twitter.com/hUHcDWoPqF
— Con Stoitsis (@vivstoitsis) May 13, 2020
But this week still remains the best chance for us to catch a glimpse of SWAN, even if it’s not going to be a simple matter of peeking upwards through the blinds.
Instead, you’re going to have to get up very early – or stay up very late – and bring a pair of binoculars. You’ll also need to be very patient, and have a good knowledge of the stars.
Today, before sunrise, Comet SWAN may have reached its brightest and most visible point, lying low in the northeast about 10º above the horizon right at the start of nautical dawn.
On Wednesday, May 20, Comet SWAN will be extremely close to the star Algol in Perseus, in the predawn twilight sky.
Next Tuesday, May 26, is when Comet SWAN will come closest to the Sun and will disappear in its glare. At that point, the comet will switch from being visible in the morning to before dawn to being visible after sunset during the evening.
And with any luck, after sunset on Wednesday, June 3, SWAN will be passing close to Capella in Auriga.
Remember: a comet is a purely natural phenomenon and not a foreboding doomsday omen or sign of good luck – it’s simply a ball of gas, dust, and ice.
Either way, happy hunting!
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.