Comet Of The Century!




Later this year, “Comet ISON” could blossom into a beautiful and large object streaking across the sky that is visible both to the naked human eye, and in broad daylight.

Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab has said, “Comet ISON is a sungrazer. The orbit of the comment will being it very close to the sun, which we know can be a spectacular thing.”

A new ScienceCast video explores what might happen as the Comet ISON approaches the sun in Nov.

The comet was discovered back in September 2012 by Russian astronomers Vitali Nevsky and Artyom Novichonok. It is named after their night sky survey program, the International Scientific Optical Network.

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Currently, the comet is still far away, near the orbit of Jupiter. Having said this, the comet is still very bright for an object of such distance away.

It should be noted that whether ISON actually turns into a jaw dropping astronomical event that can be viewing worldwide or a disappointing fizzle will be determined by if it can actually survive the close pass by of the sun. If the tidal forces and the solar radiation do not break apart the comet, it will fly by the sun on the 28th November, 2013 – and hopefully glow in the sky as bright as the moon. Fingers crossed!

An interactive 3D orbit diagram of Comet ISON, courtesy of the JPL Near-Earth Object Program. http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=ISON;orb=1;cov=0;log=0;cad=0#orb.

Credit: Science@NASA