Tags: comet | century | fizzled | out

'Comet of the Century' May Have Already Fizzled Out

Image: 'Comet of the Century' May Have Already Fizzled Out

Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013 01:55 PM

Share:
A    A   |
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink
Astronomers slated to meet this week to discuss observing plans for Comet ISON may not have much to talk about. The so-called "Comet of the Century" may already have fizzled out.

"The future of comet ISON does not look bright," astronomer Ignacio Ferrin, with the University of Antioquia in Colombia, said in a statement on Monday.

Ferrin's calculations show the comet, which is currently moving toward the sun at 16 miles per second, has not brightened since mid-January. That may be because the comet is already out of ice particles in its body, which melt as the comet moves closer to the sun, creating a long, bright tail.

Another theory is that the comet is covered in a layer of silicate dust that snuffs out water vapor and other gases that brighten the comet.

"Comet ISON has been on a standstill for more than 132 days ... a rather puzzling feat," Ferrin wrote in a paper submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and posted online at the archival site arXiv.org.

The comet, named ISON for the International Scientific Optical Network that made its discovery, was found in September 2012 by two amateur Russian astronomers.

It is due to pass about 724,000 miles from the sun on November 28. The relatively close pass was expected to create a massive tail that some scientists predict will be visible even in daylight.

If it survives, that is. At that distance, the comet would reach temperatures of about 4,900 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to melt lead. It may also be pulled apart by the sun's gravity.

Scientists believe the comet hails from the Oort Cloud, a cluster of icy rocks that circle the sun about 50,000 times farther away than Earth's orbit. Calculations show Comet ISON is making its first — and possibly last — voyage into the inner solar system.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

US Wins More Guilty Pleas in First Counterfeit Apps Case

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 18:45 PM

The final defendants in what the U.S. government called its first prosecution of a counterfeit apps case have pleaded gu . . .

Heartbleed Fix Could Drastically Slow Internet

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 10:15 AM

Repairing the Heartbleed virus could cripple the Internet as the 500,000 affected websites simultaneously scramble to ch . . .

Conjoined Boys Separated at Chest to Exit Hospital

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 16:27 PM

The conditions of conjoined twins separated last summer have steadily improved, and officials say they'll be released th . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved