Every individual with an interest in astronomy must be already in the know concerning the much anticipated Comet ISON. Comet ISON was discovered in September 2012 by two Russian astronomers using an International Scientific Optical Network telescope.
In essence, comet ISON will come close to mars, at a distance of about 10.8 million kilometers after which it will move towards the sun and pass within a distance of 1.2 million kilometers and then approach earth thereafter. The comet will have a consistently accelerating speed which will get to 425,000 mph by the time it gets to the sun.
Comet ISON is expected to get brighter as it approaches the sun and extremely bright when it’s closest; at the time which its nucleus will melt and resultantly create a long tail composed of both gas and dust. The comet will be extremely bright, given that it will pass very close to the sun; only that no one is certain about how bright it will be. Nonetheless, it may just be one of the brightest comets ever seen in centuries.
The fact that the ISON comet was discovered while it was a at a very far distance means that it will be unlike other previous comets and when it gets to proximity of the sun, it will be very much visible to the naked human eye. The brightness and the distance are what essentially make this comet something to anticipate for, and NASA and scientists from all around the world are tracking its every movement.
Though no one knows exactly what will happen as the Comet passes near the sun, everyone has high expectations and maybe there will be a spectacular sight to behold come November 28th, or perhaps Comet ISON will just fizzle out and break the hearts of many sky watchers. The individuals in the northern hemisphere will be able to observe the comet in its fullness.
If the ISON comet passes within the Roche limit, it may disappoint millions since it is likely to disintegrate or break into pieces considering the fact that it is primarily held by its own gravitational force. It is possible that this comet will be destroyed due to the sun’s immense radiation; this in addition to its internal pressure and thermal stress may significantly add to its breaking apart. Nevertheless it may also survive due its size –the bigger size means that its interior may well be insulated from the gravity and energy of the sun.
In Pure Spirit
Have you heard anything about Comet ISON?
What have you heard? Comet ISON may hit the Earth? That the shock of Comet ISON smashing into the sun will create solar winds that will be felt on Earth? That Comet ISON may knock out satellites, GPS and communication?
There seems to be plenty of concern and worrying debate about what the Comet means but we really don’t know. Some, of course, see Comet ISON as an omen and talk about pagan rites, demons and magical things. It can be hard to tell whether those are real concerns or just gossip.
Please note: Image shows C/2006 P1 McNaught, taken on Jan 2007.