Saturday, 19 January 2013

Comet of the Century?

Jan. 18, 2013:  Out near the orbit of Jupiter, a faint speck of light is moving through the black of space.  At first glance it doesn't look like much, no brighter than a thousand distant stars speckling the velvet sky behind it; indeed, it takes a big telescope make out that it is a comet.
 
But what a comet it could turn out to be….

Later this year, “Comet ISON” could blossom into a striking naked eye object visible even in broad daylight.

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

"Comet ISON has the potential to live up to the hype, but it also has the potential to do nothing," agrees Battams. 

Comet ISON (splash)
A new ScienceCast video explores what could happen to Comet ISON as it approaches the sun in Nov. 2013. Possibilities range from "Comet of the Century" to "disintegrated dud." Play it

More - Link >>> http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/18jan_cometison/

Source: NASA Science News.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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