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HAIL TO THE CHIEF: Update on Comet ISON

James Zahara Weather Blog

Stargazers!  I am keeping an eye on our latest comet that is already being monitored by a few high tech telescopes.  The Comet ISON remains a subject of fascination and anticipation, but will it still be an impressive comet for the casual viewer?

Lets do the breakdown.  When the comet whips around the sun near the end of November, the comet side will be hit with an intense blast of solar heat. That could potentially lead to a spectacular eruption of gas and dust and create a tail millions or tens of millions of miles long.  Whats also amazing is the solid body creating this rare spectacle is just a couple miles across!

Check this out!  This is a recent time-lapse video I found of Comet ISON that was produced by a professional photographer Justin Ng from Singapore.  Justin used a telescope and special camera to capture this view of the comet.  He acquired the time-lapse over 69 minutes on October 27, 2013.

ISON is sure to be a pretty sight through binoculars or a wide-field telescope, and it still has plenty of potential to be an exciting addition to the visible sky after heading into December  However,  some astronomers are saying that it may not become a naked-eye object as advertised, but its still in its preliminary stages.  Here’s where the comet will be positioned in the sky near year’s end.

WW

Will the view be worth it?  Lets put it this way, if you are one who happens to see this once-in-a-lifetime event you will be looking at a prehistoric ball made of ionic gas and dust since the time of Earth’s formation 4.5 billion years ago!  A relic from a time when Earth was just a lifeless ball of molten rock.  Yep.  Its worth it.