Scientists are calling it the comet of the century. Newly discovered comet ISON first made its spectacular appearance beginning November 2013 as it began its close approach and whiplash around the sun.
It’s what happens afterwards that could be a problem…
Come ISON was only discovered one year ago, in September 2012, by two Russian astronomers of the International Scientific Optical Network (ISON).
Astronomers say it is a new (strong) comet coming from the Oort cloud which has never before slung around the sun, and therefore has never been weakened by the heat of sun like other periodic comets.
Not only that, but this comet is a sun-grazer, and is expected to violently erupt with geysers of gas, ice, and ‘dust’, as an extremely bright tail forms, especially after being whip-lashed around the sun during November 2013.
UPDATE: NOV-30, Incredibly, during a single day, November 28, ISON whip-lashed all the way around the sun and has apparently survived its close encounter. NASA had initially reported that the comet had disintegrated, based on what its cameras were seeing. Not long afterwards, while everyone had believed the ‘comet of the century’ had vaporized…it somehow revived and ‘regrew’ two tails and continued on its way, brightening as it went. Stay tuned…
Ison is now moving away from the sun, and there’s a good chance that we will be able to see it without a telescope from as early as December 3rd. The time immediately preceding sunrise, and just after sunset will be the optimum time for viewing ISON.
The heat from the sun has been shredding bits and pieces from the comet as it re-forms a huge and magnificent tail behind it. Some scientists and astronomers have said that it will become so bright and spectacular, it will become brighter than the moon.
ISON will make its closet physical approach to us on December 26, 2013.
On its projected trajectory, comet ISON will not hit earth, according to previous NASA calculations. A question that some are asking though, now that it has survived its harrowing turn around the sun, has ISON’s trajectory changed?
And here’s another thing…
During January, NASA calculated that comet ISON at that time was ejecting 122,000 tons of ‘matter’ every minute from its tail! Since then, the closer it came to the sun, the more ‘matter’ was ejected…
ISON is leaving a trailing ‘rain’ of comet dust, particles, and ‘matter’ behind it in space.
According to my estimations, after ISON has sailed past us, earth is on an orbital trajectory which will pass through the comet’s particle trail (the one that ISON left behind when it was approaching the sun on its inbound leg,) and this will happen on or around January 12 – 15, 2014. This is remarkable.
ISON left a trail of debris on or close to November 1, at the spot where earth will transit mid January, just 10 to 11 weeks later.
Will it rain down fire from the sky?
Will we witness massive meteor ‘showers’?
NASA says that the space dust will be too small to affect us badly…
Comets are notoriously fickle.
…thought you’d like to know.