Research Discussion: Comet ISON

Comet ISON
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HVAC
2013-01-13 10:15:26 EST

Excitement continues to rise among both professional and amateur
astronomers about Comet ISON, which on Nov. 28 of this year might become
one of the brightest comets ever seen, outshining such recent dazzlers
as Comet Hale-Bopp (1997) and Comet McNaught (2007).

Fortunately, Comet ISON was discovered 14 months before this perihelion
passage — its closest point to the sun — while still distant and faint,
thus giving observers time to plan. Another major advantage is that this
fine object will be favorably placed for viewing, first in the morning
sky before perihelion passage on Nov. 28, and then both in the morning
and evening sky afterward.

Comet ISON was discovered photographically last Sep. 21 by Russians
Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok, who detected it using a 15.7-inch
(0.4 meters) reflecting telescope of the International Scientific
Optical Network (ISON) which is located near Kislovodsk at the northern
foot of the Caucasus range in Russia.

Subsequently, pre-discovery images dating back to December 2011 were
found by the Mount Lemmon Survey in Arizona and by the Panoramic Survey
Telescope and Rapid Response System (PANSTARRS) in Hawaii from January
2012. ISON’s discovery was announced by the Minor Planet Center in
Cambridge, Massachusetts on Sep. 24; it's officially catalogued as
C/2012 S1. [Spectacular Comet Photos (Gallery)]

Still far out

When first sighted, this very faint and distant comet was 625 million
miles (1 billion kilometers) from Earth and 584 million miles (939
million km) from the sun, within the zodiacal constellation of Cancer
(The Crab).

It was then shining at magnitude 18.8 on the scale used by astronomers
to measure the brightness of sky objects (the lower the number, the
brighter the object). That made the comet about 100,000 times fainter
than the dimmest star that can be seen with the unaided eye.

Currently, the comet is among the stars of Gemini (The Twins) and will
pass only about a half-degree south of the bright star Castor on Jan.
16. But it’s still very faint and distant at 474 million miles (762
million km) from the sun, tucked just inside the orbit of Jupiter.

Grazingly close, dazzlingly bright?

According to astronomer Gareth Williams at the Smithsonian Astrophysical
Observatory, improved orbital elements based on 1,000 observations from
Dec. 28, 2011 through Dec. 24, 2012 continue to show that Comet ISON
will pass through the perihelion point of its orbit on Nov. 28 at 3:10
p.m. Eastern time .

At that moment, the comet will be describing a hairpin curve while
whipping around the sun at a speed of 425,000 mph (684,000 kph). It will
be just 732,000 miles (1.18 million km) above the sun’s blazing
photosphere, literally grazing the solar surface.

Just how bright the comet will become at that moment cannot yet be
forecast reliably. In his 2013 Astronomical Calendar, Guy Ottewell
writes: "Using what formulas we can for magnitude, we have it reaching
-12.6, the brightness of the full moon!"

If this is correct, it might result in the view of a lifetime: A bright
comet with a stubby silvery tail visible next to the sun in broad
daylight, visible to the naked eye simply by screening the sun with an
outstretched hand.

Ottewell imagines the comet as possibly resembling ". . . a lighted
match at the sun’s edge." Only on nine other occasions dating back to
the late 17th century has a comet become bright enough to be seen in the
daytime.

Mark your calendars!

As it approaches the sun, Comet ISON will pass just 6.5 million miles
(10.5 million km) from Mars on Oct. 1, perhaps providing a worthy target
for imaging by the NASA's Mars rover Curiosity.

ISON will take exactly one month to cross from the orbit of Mars to the
orbit of Earth, reaching us on Nov. 1. The comet will be steadily
brightening during this time from magnitude +10 to +6. It will be in the
morning sky, and during the first half of the month will be keeping pace
just to the north of Mars as the pair slides eastward in the sky through
the stars of Leo (The Lion).

On Oct. 14 and 15, Mars and ISON will line up closely with Leo’s
brightest star, the blue first-magnitude Regulus. By the end of October,
the comet should be easily visible in binoculars and quite possibly even
with the unaided eye.

During November, as the comet races toward its rendezvous with the sun,
it should brighten dramatically as it drops lower in the dawn twilight.
A tail may begin to appear at this time, perhaps becoming noticeably
longer with each passing morning.

On the morning of Nov. 18, ISON — now possibly as bright as 3rd
magnitude — will stand less than 1 degree from the first-magnitude star
Spica in the constellation Virgo. (Your outstretched fist held at arm's
length measures about 10 degrees.)

Five days later, the comet will shine perhaps as brightly as zero
magnitude as it zips past the similarly bright planets Mercury and Saturn.

Finally, the comet will arrive at the sun on the Nov. 28. ISON will pass
through the inner corona of the sun, experiencing temperatures of up to
2 million degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 million degrees Celsius)

Having been in a cosmic deep freeze for countless thousands of years,
ISON will suddenly be subjected to unbelievable heat. Perhaps the
comet’s nucleus will shatter, as sometimes happens when you pour hot tea
into a cold cup.

But this is not a certainty; some sungrazers like the Great Comet of
1882 and Comet Ikeya Seki in 1965 indeed broke into several fragments
and headed back out into deep space literally in shambles. Others like
Comet Lovejoy in 2011 somehow emerged from out of the solar furnace
still pretty much in one piece. [Photos: Comet Lovejoy's Dive Through
the Sun]

A spectacle at dusk and dawn

If it does survive, Comet ISON will rapidly sweep around the sun and
will then head north, becoming a spectacle both at dusk and dawn. The
head of the comet will gradually fade in the days and weeks after its
exceedingly close brush with the sun, but its potential daylight
apparition might only serve as a prelude to an even more spectacular show.

As ISON slows its course and recedes back out into space, the comet will
now be buffeted at close range by the solar wind, driving particles from
the comet’s head (called the coma) out into a long stream preceding the
comet.

The result? A tail, stretching perhaps for tens of millions of miles,
might protrude from above the horizon like some ghostly searchlight
beam. And while it will be moving away from the sun, ISON will now be
approaching Earth, passing closest to us on the day after Christmas,
vaulting over our planet at a distance of 39.6 million miles (63.7
million km).

By then the comet will be a circumpolar object for those in north
temperate latitudes, neither rising nor setting, but instead remaining
perpetually above the horizon all through the night!

Sizzler or fizzler?

One reason for the great excitement surrounding Comet ISON is the fact
that its orbit is rather similar to the Great Comet of 1680, begging the
question of whether both objects are one and the same or at the very
least somehow related.

Discovered on Nov. 14, 1680 by German astronomer Gottfried Kirsch, this
was the first comet ever discovered by telescope. By Dec. 4, the comet
was visible at magnitude +2 with a tail 15° long. On Dec. 18 it arrived
at perihelion at a distance of 312,000 miles (502,000 km) above the
sun’s surface.

A report from Albany, N.Y., indicated that the comet could be glimpsed
in daylight passing above the sun. In late December of 1680, it
reappeared in the western evening sky, again at magnitude +2, and
displaying a long tail that resembled a narrow beam of light that
stretched for at least 70 degrees — more than one-third of the way
across the sky. The comet faded from naked-eye visibility by early
February 1681.

But now a word of caution: Some comets are notoriously fickle actors,
and occasionally the actual performance falls far short of what had been
scripted.

Those of a certain age might remember Comet Kohoutek in 1973. Like ISON,
it was discovered when still remarkably far from the sun, suggesting
that it was a giant among comets and would become extremely brilliant.
Brightness predictions ranged up to magnitude -10 — as bright as a first
or last quarter moon — and some astronomers announced (as also has been
the case with ISON) that Kohoutek could be "the comet of the century."

The news media took them at their word and ballyhooed the approach of a
comet so bright it might be visible in broad daylight.

Sound familiar?

But Kohoutek turned out to be much fainter than the initial forecasts
had indicated and, in fact, most people missed it entirely. The
recriminations were nasty to say the least, with astronomers and the
news media blaming each other and the public blaming both. Reporters
shied away from comets thereafter, almost totally ignoring the truly
spectacular Comet West in the spring of 1976.

So remember this anecdote from 40 years ago as a disclaimer.















--
"OK you cunts, let's see what you can do now" -Hit Girl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjO7kBqTFqo .. 变亮
http://www.richardgingras.com/tia/images/tia_logo_large.jpg

Hägar
2013-01-13 12:00:42 EST
Nice Copy 'n Paste, Goathumper.
At least you could have posted the appropriate credits.



HVAC
2013-01-13 12:24:05 EST
On 1/13/2013 12:00 PM, Hägar wrote:
> Nice Copy 'n Paste, Goathumper.
> At least you could have posted the appropriate credits.



Look it up yourself, queer.

--
"OK you cunts, let's see what you can do now" -Hit Girl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjO7kBqTFqo .. 变亮
http://www.richardgingras.com/tia/images/tia_logo_large.jpg

Hägar
2013-01-13 13:48:44 EST

"HVAC" <hvac@physicist.net> wrote in message
news:kcuqiq$4jp$2@dont-email.me...
> On 1/13/2013 12:00 PM, H\ufffdgar wrote:
>> Nice Copy 'n Paste, Goathumper.
>> At least you could have posted the appropriate credits.
>
>
>
> Look it up yourself, queer.


Now you're applying BeeertBrain's logic ??
So you already forgot from whom you ripped it off ...
You really should lay off Honey Boo Boo ...
Mayhaps reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard are more your speed ...



HVAC
2013-01-13 14:17:04 EST
On 1/13/2013 1:48 PM, Hägar wrote:
>
>> Look it up yourself, queer.
>
>
> Now you're applying BeeertBrain's logic ??


Glad to see that you didn't deny being queer. I always figured that you
were anyway.

Not that there's anything wrong with that...






--
"OK you cunts, let's see what you can do now" -Hit Girl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjO7kBqTFqo .. 变亮
http://www.richardgingras.com/tia/images/tia_logo_large.jpg

Hägar
2013-01-13 16:31:35 EST

"HVAC" <hvac@physicist.net> wrote in message
news:kcv16e$hbl$1@dont-email.me...
> On 1/13/2013 1:48 PM, H\ufffdgar wrote:
>>
>>> Look it up yourself, queer.
>>
>>
>> Now you're applying BeeertBrain's logic ??
>
>
> Glad to see that you didn't deny being queer. I always figured that you
> were anyway.
>
> Not that there's anything wrong with that...
>

You're a Legend in your own mind, you vacuum sucking homo.
I am as gay as you are smart ... of course that could backfire
if you ever post something intelligent, of your own creation ...
Hurry ... Honey Boo Boo is coming on, just for you.



2013-01-14 01:10:44 EST
On Jan 13, 9:00 am, "Hägar" <hs...@cyahoo.com> wrote:
> Nice Copy 'n Paste, Goathumper.

Yeah, he does that just to show that he's not Sam Wormley.

It's like when Clark Kent takes off his glasses and nobody
recognizes him.

("Goathumper"? Really?)

> At least you could have posted the appropriate credits.

Your Google Fu is weak, Grasshopper.

If you're going to Google the product of a "science writer" you have
to take writing style into account...

https://www.google.com/search?q=ison+grazingly+fizzler

...first hit.


Mark L. Fergerson

Sir Gilligan Horry
2013-01-14 03:53:37 EST
On Sun, 13 Jan 2013 10:15:26 -0500, HVAC <hvac@physicist.net> wrote:


>At that moment, the comet will be describing a hairpin curve while
>whipping around the sun at a speed of 425,000 mph (684,000 kph). It will
>be just 732,000 miles (1.18 million km) above the sun’s blazing
>photosphere, literally grazing the solar surface.
>
>Just how bright the comet will become at that moment cannot yet be
>forecast reliably. In his 2013 Astronomical Calendar, Guy Ottewell
>writes: "Using what formulas we can for magnitude, we have it reaching
>-12.6, the brightness of the full moon!"


12.6, the brightness of the full moon!

We all can work day and night :)


Researching 57,812 different species of extraterrestrials of course.













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Painius
2013-01-23 20:02:36 EST
On Sun, 13 Jan 2013 22:10:44 -0800 (PST), "nuny@bid.nes"
<*2@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Jan 13, 9:00 am, "Hägar" <hs...@cyahoo.com> wrote:
>> Nice Copy 'n Paste, Goathumper.
>
> Yeah, he does that just to show that he's not Sam Wormley.
>
> It's like when Clark Kent takes off his glasses and nobody
>recognizes him.
>
> ("Goathumper"? Really?)
>
>> At least you could have posted the appropriate credits.
>
> Your Google Fu is weak, Grasshopper.
>
> If you're going to Google the product of a "science writer" you have
>to take writing style into account...
>
>https://www.google.com/search?q=ison+grazingly+fizzler
>
> ...first hit.


That does not make scientific plagiarism any more right, nor does it
make copyright infringement any more legal.

Harlow has often tried to pass other's writings off as his, he has
altered the writings of others to suit his own ends, and when he does
not credit the writer and publisher, then he is guilty of criminal
copyright infringement. That crime, to include infringement without
monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and punishable by up to 5
years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

But I guess that's okay, since people like you support and defend such
criminals. Does that mean that you are complicit? and can you,
therefore, be held accountable for the same crime?

Lighten up, fer crissakes! LMBO !


--
Indelibly yours,
P* @ http://astronomy.painellsworth.net/
"We explore the Universe around us and call this adventure Science."

HVAC
2013-01-24 08:43:35 EST
On 1/23/2013 8:02 PM, Painius wrote:
>
>
> Harlow has often tried to pass other's writings off as hi


Please show even ONE example of this.

Yes, I am calling you a liar.






--
"OK you cunts, let's see what you can do now" -Hit Girl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjO7kBqTFqo .. 变亮
http://www.richardgingras.com/tia/images/tia_logo_large.jpg
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