Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Comet ISON in 2013

Comet ISON is due to pass within 800,000 miles of the Sun on November 28th. If it survives this close encounter, then it should become a bright object in the early morning and evening sky when viewed from the northern hemisphere.

Early indications from students processing data from NASA’s Swift satellite, estimate Comet ISON’s size to be around 3 miles in diameter.They have reached this conclusion by observing the amount of ice and dust emitted from ISON’s surface as it falls through space toward the Sun.

Comet ISON was discovered on September 21st 2012 by Vitali Nevski and Artyom Novichonok, two Russian Astronomers of the ‘International Scientific Optical Network’. At the time of discovery, ISON was over 584 million miles (6.29 AU) from the Sun.
The image on the right provides a closeup view of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) taken on 10th April by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. At that time, Comet ISON was 386 million miles from the Sun (394 million miles from Earth). The image was taken in visible light. The blue false color was added to bring out details in the comet structure.

Maverick physicist James McCanney spoke about the coming of Comet ISON in 2013, which is predicted to be 15 times brighter than the full moon by November, and could be immense in size. Though there is no danger it will hit Earth, he noted, it may have some effect on weather. He also addressed water issues, suggested that water melting from ice caps and glaciers could be harvested and used in areas of need. 

He has worked about half of his lengthy career in private industry. Much of this was accomplished in multi-lingual settings, having worked in the USA, Latin America and with high-level Russian scientists. He has presented his research at international conferences and is a regular presenter at American Geophysical Union meetings. He has also lectured at Los Alamos National Laboratories, the Air-Space/America International Air show and International Electric Propulsion conferences.

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