The brightest comet to arrive late in 2013 is coming with a tail so bright it may outshine the moon at night which makes for a bright tale — or poem — to sing about the first comet event of 2013. It’s a newly discovered comet that NASA reports may be brighter than Earth’s moon.
It won’t bother the Earth, but the comet and its long tail may weave a tale of its own as it outshines the moon while passing close to the sun. The question is will the sun melt it’s ice or will it speed by on its usual orbit? The comet if it doesn’t melt will hang around the sun between November 2013 and January 2014. And you probably can see it from Earth without a telescope on November 28, 2013.
Comet will brush past the sun as its icy tail gets vaporized by the heat
Just discovered by scientists, the new comet will brush right past the sun late next year (in 2013) and can be seen by the naked eye due to its brightness. The new comet already has been named Ison. It’s going to possibly be the brightest comet to be seen for many generations. The question is whether the comet will be swallowed up by the sun’s heat when it arrives close to the Earth’s sun (star) on November 28, 2013, which is close the next Thanksgiving.
The comet also is known as Comet 2012 S-1 ISON because it was discovered in September 2012 by Vitali Nevski of Belarus and Artyom Novichonok of Russia. The comet does not pose any risk to Earth. You may be able to watch its brightness as it goes on its way in its usual orbit. You can observe it when it comes closest to the sun on November 28, 2013 at a distance of 1.8 million km from the center point of the sun, reports NASA. It’s distance in astronomical terms is called its perihelion, meaning it’s closest approach to the sun.
The astronomers in Eastern Europe who discovered the new comet are amateurs, according to news reports. They named ISON after the International Scientific Optical Network that made the discovery. You can watch the comet from Earth between November 2013 and January 2014, according to the publication, the the Space Reporter.
How big is the comet?
Scientists say the comet is about two miles in length making. You should be happy it’s not an asteroid headed for Earth. But it is one of the largest comets ever seen and reported within our the solar system. NASA reports that ISON will most likely speed within 1.2 million miles from the center of the sun in late November 2013, according to Reuters news service. Ironically, it was a Yahoo mailing list that first carried the news of the two Russian amateur astronomers discovering the new comet. For further information, check out more facts on the comet at Discovery News.
The comet is full of ice, but when it speeds close to the sun, the ice covering the comet will vaporize from the sun’s heat. Check out more information on how the ice will vaporize on the comet at the Reuters site. But as the ice melts and turns to gas, you’ll have an amazing tale to tell or show if you photograph it, since the comet’s tail is a tale in itself that probably will be visible at night to the naked eye.
How long will the comet’s tail be? It may streak along the sky for miles. Interestingly, the Curiosity Rover on Mars will take a few pictures of the comet and it’s tail streaking across space from another angle as it sails by the sun, hopefully before it fizzles out from the sun’s heat, if it comes that close.
Where did the comet originate?
The new comet actually is very old. It came from the Oort Cloud, scientists surmise since ice-crusted rocks may often get pushed out of their orbit either by gravity or by hitting another object such as an asteroid. For further information, check out the December 30, 2012 Global Post article by Alexander Besant, “Comet with tail heading toward the sun may outshine the moon.” and the article, “Comet Nearing Earth May Be Brightest in Generations.”
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