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Post by Sam Anzalone on May 15, 2013 0:41:41 GMT -6
April 23, 2013: Comet ISON is potentially the "comet of the century" because around the time the comet makes its closest approach to the Sun, on November 28, it may briefly become brighter than the full Moon. Right now the comet is far below naked-eye visibility, and so Hubble was used to snap the view of the approaching comet, which is presently hurtling toward the Sun at approximately 47,000 miles per hour. When the Hubble picture was taken on April 10, the comet was slightly closer than Jupiter's orbit at a distance of 386 million miles from the Sun. Even at that great distance the Sun is warming the comet enough to trigger out gassing from its frozen gases locked up in the solid nucleus.
Post by scottmason on May 31, 2013 23:57:15 GMT -6
Just watched a youtube video put together by some conspiracy nut with audio of an ex "Nasa employee" talking about learning of comet ISON 50 years ago, and now apparently the comet hurling towards us with it's own solar system and sun. What a bunch of horse manure.
Last Edit: Jun 1, 2013 0:01:01 GMT -6 by scottmason
I've got mixed feelings about this comet of the century stuff. I'm hoping indeed that is the case and I would love to see an event like that at least once in my lifetime, however, I still remember back in the 80's what comet Halley did to the telescope market. It took almost 15 years for the prices to come back down and I was never able to afford to upgrade my 60mm scope as a kid. After all the hype that was advertised by Celestron, Meade, Tasco and others, absolutely nothing was visible to us when it finally arrived. What a disappointment! All those poor folks that paid $300-$500 dollars in today's money for those department store refractors with pictures of Saturn and comet Halley all over the box got ripped off.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 15, 2013 18:04:49 GMT -6
Celestron has jumped on the bandwagon with their "Cometron" line of scopes.
I understand business, but most comets, (even at their best), disappoint the majority of the people. I remember Hale-Bop, Holmes and Hyakutake....pretty bright naked eye comets, but people expect a fireball with a tail of 90 degrees and "as bright as the Moon".
Those who promote such falsely described apparitions need to stop...does no one any favors.
So...let's hope that ISON makes a great showing, but will wait until October 2013 to either get excited or just enjoy it with the Chicago Astronomer crew.
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail