Tags: earth | comet | ISON | moon

Earthlings May See Comet Brighter Than Moon

Monday, 31 Dec 2012 12:14 PM

By Dale Eisinger

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
It looks like 2013 might be a great year for comet-spotting, including one so vibrant it could even outshine the full moon.
According to NASA scientists, a recently discovered comet called ISON is currently hurdling toward this uncommon celestial event and is on pace to become viewable by November 2013 — that is, if it first survives a close encounter with the sun.
Comet ISON will pass 1.2 million miles from the center of the sun on Nov. 28, 2013, astronomer Donald Yeomans, head of NASA's Near Earth Object Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told Reuters.
If it doesn't break apart amid the sun's heat, the ices in the comet that do vaporize will likely result in a remarkable comet tail, the most vibrant one in recent memory. Its path is one similar to a comet that passed near Earth in 1680 with a tail so bright it could be seen in the middle of the day.
Of course, there's a chance none of this could happen.
"This is quite possibly a 'new' comet coming in from the Oort cloud," said Karl Battams of the NASA-supported Sungrazer Comet Project, "meaning this could be its first-ever encounter with the Sun. If so, with all those icy volatiles intact and never having been truly stressed (thermally and gravitationally), the comet could well disrupt and dissipate weeks or months before reaching the sun."
Currently, Comet ISON is in Jupiter's orbit, but will pass by Mars by October. Following that, it will make its way to the center of the solar system. If it survives, it could possibly make for one of the most remarkable celestial events for generations to come.
"But," Battams said, "there are more famous examples of comets that got the astronomy community seriously worked up, only to fizzle."
In March, Comet Pan-STARRS could be visible as it passes Earth.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Predatory Glow Worm, Newly Discovered, Is Not the Cute and Cuddly Kind

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 21:01 PM

An odd predatory glow worm has been discovered in the Peruvian rain forest, trapping small insects in its wide jaws. . . .

100-Year-Old Woman Sees Ocean for the First Time in Granted Wish

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 20:22 PM

A 100-year-old woman has finally seen the ocean for the first time after spending most of her life picking cotton and ra . . .

Hugh Laurie: 'Veep' to Feature Former Dr. House in a 'Few Episodes'

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 20:02 PM

Actor Hugh Laurie will be back on television soon when he does a "few episodes" of "Veep," he said on Twitter Thursday. . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

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