Saturday, June 1, 2013

Comet ISON Update

Hey Space Placers!

Now that asteroid 1998 QE2 is receding into the depths of the solar system the next known BIG THING is Comet ISON. This dirty snowball is being dubbed by some as the "Comet of the Century" in that it could become very bright in our skies in late November through December.

The comet is a sun grazer that will pass within about 800,000 miles of the surface of the Sun. It is a big IF whether the comet survives the million degree temperature exposure/gravitational pounding to emerge. It is very hard to predict what will happen to the comet and what we will see in the sky.

The following pictures of Comet ISON were taken by Gemini Observatory in Hawaii over a period of several months, the latest being in May. I must say it is remarkable to see this much activity on a comet that is so far away from the Sun - 455-360 million miles - during the time of the photo sequence.

Only time will tell what happens to Comet ISON. I personally hope that the comet does become a sight to behold because it has been decades since the northern hemisphere had a showpiece comet - Comet Hale Bopp in the late '90's.

One thing I am sure of is that Comet ISON will be thoroughly studied and photographed from now until it is gone. I'll keep you informed as we go along.

Read More About It:

Sky Guy in VA

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