Comet ISON (also known as C/2012) was discovered by Vitali Nevski (in Belarus) and Artyom Novichonok (in Russia) on the 21st of September 2012. Follow-up observations were made the next day from Remanzacco Observatory in Italy using the iTelescope network to confirm their discovery. The official name of the comet is simply “C/2012 S1” The addition of “ISON” after its name identifies the organization where its discovery was made (the International Scientific Optical Network in Russia). Some scientists are calling this find “The Comet of the Century”.
Comet ISON has been the focus of much anticipation among scientists and stargazers around the globe since then. It’s expected to put on a spectular display as it passes Earth in late November 2013. Some people are predicting that Comet ISON could shine brighter than the full moon and 10 times brighter than Venus. In Mid-January scientists noted that it’s tail is more than 64,000 km long.
Astronomers have also realized the comet will pass 1.77 million km from center of the sun. Some scientists are predicting that it will be visible during the day at some point and that it would also be visible from everywhere on the planet.
You should remember that comets are very unreliable and unpredictable. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens when Comet ISON finally arrives in our neighborhood. It might still be very far way from earth to make more accurate predictions, but I’m pretty sure that many inhabitants of Planet Earth will be watching the night skies in late November of this year. Let’s hope that Comet ISON puts up a brilliant display. It’s about time that something arrives that EVERYONE in the world can view and enjoy at the same time.
Watch this space for regular updates in the General News category on the Junk Mail Blog.