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Comet Ison will be 'brighter than the Moon'

Posted on Saturday, 29 December, 2012 | Comment icon 63 comments | News tip by: Darkwind

Image credit: NASA/JPL

A comet due to pass close to the Earth in 2013 is expected to provide a rare and spectacular display.

The comet was only recently discovered by two Russian astronomers and has been named 'Ison' after the International Scientific Optical Network. What makes this particular comet so special is that it is due to pass very close to the Earth next year and is expected to be so bright in the sky that it will be visible with the naked eye and even brighter than the Moon. It will come in to range from the beginning of November 2013 until the first few weeks of 2014.

Ison is believed to have originated in the Oort Cloud, an extensive region of icy rocks located in the outer solar system. On it's way to us the comet may also be visible from the Curiosity rover on Mars before making a pass of the Earth as close as 700,000 miles on November 28th.

"Skywatchers may be in for a rare treat in 2013 -- a newly discovered comet is expected to pass very close to the sun, putting on what could be the celestial show of a century."

  View: Full article |  Source: Discovery News

  Discuss: View comments (63)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #54 Posted by Chrlzs on 23 January, 2013, 11:44
Just one thing... Umm, I don't wish to denigrate the fact that we could be caught unawares under some circumstances, but... orbital mechanics would suggest that there is only a tiny, tiny chance of something travelling exactly opposite to us in order to be 'behind' the Sun at the entire time it is brightening sufficiently to be seen.. And are you aware of the STEREO spacecraft, and where they are?
Comment icon #55 Posted by Frank Merton on 23 January, 2013, 11:48
Yea I'm aware; one can only cover so many details in a short presentation.
Comment icon #56 Posted by CrimsonKing on 23 January, 2013, 23:26
Hope this lives up to the hype,i have a place i go to far away from any distractions on top of a hill when i want to sky watch no lights for miles.Can even look down over the trees and see the moon bouncing off of the water its perfect!
Comment icon #57 Posted by Chrlzs on 24 January, 2013, 1:04
I trust you are good photographer and have a half decent camera? If not - there's some time to learn and save up!
Comment icon #58 Posted by Frank Merton on 24 January, 2013, 12:43
My memory is hazy but I recall quite a few years ago renting a van and going out to the countryside to see if we could see Hally's Comet (we were told to get away from city lights for best viewing). The van was full of kids and young adults and a few more mature types. We attracted the attention of the local authorities, who wanted to know what we were doing (although I'm sure we looked harmless enough). When we told the man, he grinned and pointed it out for us. I was a little underwhelmed. It may be that we were not in a good area for seeing it, and the sky in this part of the w... [More]
Comment icon #59 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 25 January, 2013, 1:58
The 1986 apparition of Halley was not a particularly good one. The apparition of 2061 will be worse still. Mind you, if I'm still alive when in 95, I'm hoping to observe that one from space. I couldn't agree more. An understanding of biology makes a butterfly no less beautiful.
Comment icon #60 Posted by Frank Merton on 25 January, 2013, 9:55
Being that I will be 132, I will be very happy to see it, no matter how bad it is.
Comment icon #61 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 25 January, 2013, 10:46
That would make you 83 now. If your birthday is correct in your profile you will be 118 in 2061. Still an impressive age but not quite warranting an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Comment icon #62 Posted by Frank Merton on 25 January, 2013, 10:51
My fingers make a poor calculator. I am 69 now.
Comment icon #63 Posted by tony4 on 3 February, 2013, 11:21
Keep track of the 'Great Comet' ISON, the Comet of Century... ISON Comet of 2013 Astrology Viewer free to download

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