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Strange Feature Detected Inside Comet ISON, is it Going to Break Apart

  • Uploaded by Isotrop on Jul 17, 2013
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Both astronomers and the general public has gone abuzz over Comet ISON thanks to a prediction released last October by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) that stated that the comet could reach magnitude -11.6, or about as bright as the Full Moon. Additionally, besides being shadow-casting bright at night, the comet would be bright enough to easily be spotted during broad daylight. Needless to say, this would be the astronomical event of next year should the JPL's prediction come true.Now, there's more to the story: a strange feature in the comet's coma that leads some to believe that the comet may melt before it can put on its big show, predicted for November. .Recently, a team of scientists from the Remanzacco Observatory have discovered a strange feature in Comet ISON's coma (the gas cloud surrounding the nucleus). The strange sight: what appears to be a jet of gas shooting out of the comet, which could indicate faster than predicted melting or, in a more extreme example, the first sign of fragmentation. The jet is on the Sun-facing side of the comet (the side that will be warmer), which goes a long way in supporting the hypothesis that this feature has to do with melting of the cometary core.As for the comet itself, according to space.com, one should start paying attention to the sky in October as Comet ISON nears Earth. By month;s end, it may be a naked eye object. However, the real show will start in November, when the comet makes its closest pass to the Sun, which will take place on November 28 when the comet will pass a mere (in astronomical terms) 732,000 miles from the Sun. Is is this close pass to the Sun, and the resultant melting of the comet that, according to optimistic estimates, push Comet ISON to magnitude -11, or about as bright as the Full Moon.Okay, comet hunters, here are some key dates to consider:October 14/15: Comet ISON will pass very near Regulus in LeoNovember 18: Comet ISON will be within a degree of SpicaNovember 23: Comet ISON will pass very near a planetary pair of Mercury and SaturnNovember 28: Comet ISON's closest approach to the Sun, hopefully it will survive and if it does, a spectacular tail (McNaught on steroids) is a very real possibilityEarly December: Comet ISON will be visible on both evening and morning skies for mid-Northern observers arnd circumpolar for the far NorthDecember 26: Comet ISOM makes its closest approach to Earth at 39.6 million milesEven right at discovery, there was wide consensus that the comet would be visible to the naked eye. However, the consensus was not universal, which left the comet with room to be a spectacular cosmic sword like the Great Comet McNaught of 2006-7 or be a barely-visible, tiny, hazy patch of sky. Now, with more time elapsed since discovery, many are predicting that Comet ISON could be the cosmic sight of the decade.Unfortunately, there's one hitch: are famously hard to predict.Right now, space.com has an article (link at bottom) on Comet ISON and its potential to be another McNaught. Like what was already said here, this article reinforces the fact that comets, especially newly-discovered ones, are difficult to predict with any certainty, especially when they are so far away from Earth to the point they're not due for close approach until a year in the future.For an intriguing afterthought, according to comet hunter John Bortle through Spaceweather.com (go to the September 25, 2012 archived page), Comet ISON's path closely parallels that of the great comet of 1680, which was bright enough to be seen during the day (just like McNaught).The best news: for once, this will be a Northern Hemisphere comet! In the end, thought, the only way we'll be able to know what Comet ISON will do is to wait and watch.As the last part of the puzzle, should aurora be a possibility, be sure to keep an eye on the Cleveland weather forecast and, for hour-by-hour cloud predictions, the Cleveland Clear Sky Clock. The bad news: at least in the Cleveland area, things are always iffy when it comes to clear skies this time of year. Live somewhere else? Find a clock and see if it will be clear near you. BY: DENNIS BODZASHexaminer.com Read more here;http://www.examiner.com rticle/strange-feature-detected-inside-comet-ison-is-it-going-to-break-apart?cid=taboola_inbound_topic

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