Skip to comments.Newly spotted comet may outshine the full moon
Posted on 09/26/2012 6:29:10 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok, of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON) in Russia, discovered comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) on 21 September via images taken with a 40-centimetre reflecting telescope. Other sky-watchers soon spotted it, and the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced the find yesterday.
From the combined observations, astronomers were able to trace the comet's recent path and find images of it dating back to late December 2011. From there they calculated a near-parabolic orbit that has comet ISON headed almost straight towards the sun.
Astronomers at the Remanzacco Observatory in Italy think that ISON will skim less than 1.4 million kilometres from the sun's surface on 28 or 29 November...
As with Lulin, the intense heat of ISON's solar fly-by should vaporise the comet's hard shell of pristine ices, releasing trapped dust that would help it grow an exceptionally bright tail. Astronomy Now magazine reports that comet ISON could even be brighter than the full moon around its closest approach to the sun.
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.
(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...
I’m hoping for a good comet.
I'm just hoping there isn't the same plague of Apocalyptikook idiots like there was for Comet Elenin.
The Mayan calender end of the world comet! ;-)
Take a look at my FReeper birthday.
I’m one of the FReepers of the Apocalypse.
Exactly. Regarding the kookery, here are the two comments, one with a link.
SewerRat on September 26, 2012 5:51 AM
Let me guess, the conspiracy theorist boys have got it intersecting Earth’s orbit on December 20th.
sojkovec on September 26, 2012 11:41 AM
In fact, trajectory of this comet will not intersect Earth orbit’s trajectory at all, according to this pic:
I am old enough to remember Kohoutek in 1973, and Halley in 1985, plus a few other sky-smudges that were oversold prior to their actual visibility. (Kohoutek was not even visible from North America if I remember correctly). These guys always say it will be visible by day, outshine the moon, etc. Then it turns out to be crap. Just like Obama.
That would be amazing!
I saw Halley Bop in zero light pollution in the desert at Ft Irwin.
I filmed it with night vision which increased the length of the tail 5 fold.
Then the unexpected happened.
I caught a shooting star bisecting the tail!
To bad it’s on VHS C
It’ll be interesting to see what happens when it gets that close to the sun
Maybe it’s actually......Planet X.
For 2.3 seconds, Stevie.
"Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun..."
I may hit the lotto.
Gee doesn’t that thing have to be lined up? That calls for neck breaking skills.
When the Jews return to Zion
And a comet rips the sky
Holy Roman Empire caliphate rises,
Then you and I must die.
From the eternal sea (politics) he rises,
Creating armies on either shore,
Turning man against his brother
'Til man exists no more.
It is possible that this might refer to the Catholic church rising up against obama's ultimatum, but to me it seems larger than that. When this was written, no one foresaw a mohammedan caliphate as a danger since mohammed had not been born yet. NOW we see that it has become the biggest danger to civilization that has ever existed and it covers the world.
THIS IS THE THREAD POLICE! DROP THE MOUSE AND STEP SLOWLY AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!
Hale Bop LoL!
It would be funny if the previous user left the roof shut, and put a photograph over the scope opening .... 8<)
Calls for math skills.
Something like that crunches most of the numbers for you.
Hopefully Comet Barack will miss on it's near earth collision course; and head back out to outer space to never be heard from again.
Somehow I don’t think you could focus up that close.
Gee, must we get crunched? What numbers are we talking about there in that scope?
The only comet that somewhat measured up during my lifetime was Hale-Bopp in 1997 - the one that caused that Heaven's Gate cult to commit mass-suicide. At least that one you could spot with the naked eye and while not exactly spectacular, it was something you could look up in the sky and actually see without having to rig up a telescope.
Comets pretty much suck wind. I did like Bill Haley and his Comets however.
Well with all moving objects calculations must be made.
We are moving, it is moving.
We need to know its path and our path.
Catching a baseball is a lot easier LoL
In ancient times comets were looked upon in fear. When looking at one in a scope it is no wonder why. The naked eye seeing one caused mass hysteria in ancient times. Was supposed to be a predictor of terrible events to come. Thus is a message being sent by Heaven? Unknown, but thinking we will soon find out.
yep. Constructing the path to be taken, by a comet, is nearly a shot in the dark. Comets appear from nowhere, and the calculations are normally thirty percent to forty percent correct on the path. Whoever said our planet (Earth) sits in the middle of a shooting gallery knew exactly what was true.
Lots of exposure to error at astronomical distances.
Sorry, this is completely wrong.
the orbit has already been calculated with quite high precision in just a few days.
The uncertainty lies with how bright it gets - THAT is a shot in the dark. Or whether the comet breaks up as it approaches the sun.
May you be correct. Sometimes though one does not plan for the wrench to go into the works. That wrench can be wicked for tearing up things, even the best of calculations. May you be correct though.
Kohoutek was definitely visible to the naked eye in the US. I remember it quite well and somewhere I have photographs of it.
You're not going to wake up one morning and find out that it's going to hit Earth.
I have a feeling you avoid astronomy sites and rely on nutter information.
Newtonian gravitation has been around for hundreds of years and we understand it quite well.
I saw Halley’s Comet at a local observatory. Quite a letdown. You could duplicate the experience by sitting in a large dark room looking through a Coke bottle at a nitelite at the opposite end of the room.
Comet West was excellent in early 1976.
You're right. I was in college then, and our geology class went out to Death Valley and watched Kohoutek cross the sky, in daylight.
As far as Newton is concerned, my preference is Einstein.
Am not looking for a fight FRiend, just playing late on the puter. If you are looking for a fight, please go at it. I'll just watch. LOL
That was Chernobyl- check a russian-english dictionary...
Agreement, regarding Halley's Comet. That one was taught for years, in school, that it (the comet) would be spectacular. What a disappointment. Was told over and over it will be visible with the naked eye. Then it was not. Disappointment out the wazzooo!
Don’t tease me. I still have not recovered from the disappointment of Kohoutek.
Lucky to see Halley's on a cold night in East Texas and Hale-Bopp from about 35,000 feet over the Aleutians.
Hale-Bopp; followed undetected in the tail was a spaceship coming for the Heaven’s Gate faithful..
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