Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Comet!

Heads up for a Christmas star!  Well, sort of.  New Scientist reports that a comet has recently been discovered which could eventually shine as brightly as the moon:
  • Skirting our star means that, to viewers on Earth, the comet will appear close to the horizon and to the sun's glare, making it difficult to see at first. ISON will fade but become easier to spot as it heads back towards the outer solar system. By 9 December it should be about as bright as Polaris, the North Star, according to Remanzacco Observatory astronomers. ISON should continue to be visible to the unaided eye until mid-January 2014.

    But veteran astronomers warn that fresh comets with orbits that almost skim the sun are notoriously unpredictable. Results can range from the spectacular comet McNaught of January 2007 to the infamously fizzled comet Kohoutek of 1973. 
Celestial phenomena like this is incredibly humbling.  I can't wait to let Captain Kid and Flash in on this news.  We can only hope that ISON delivers on its early promise.

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