Visiting in the Canyon I
The canyon walls rise up into the black sky as if to frame the
streak of light plunging down into the valley. It is awesome to
think of the speed of this apparently motionless body as fine
material is wisped away from its head. Comets are frozen, but the
winds from the sun toward which it travels are hot enough to
evaporate its material. When we look out at the comet from where we
are, we see all of this evaporating material as it extends many
hundreds of thousands of miles into space. The sun is very powerful.
There are storms on the sun's surface. These storms contribute to
the force of what we now know to be a "solar wind." This wind is
made up of small particles called photons traveling at near the
speed of light. It is this wind that helps form the tail pointing
way up out of the canyon.