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Viewings: 6016Astronomical community is buzzing: a new comet is discovered, and it has the chance to be very effective flyby of the Sun.
Artificially colored image of comet ISON (image RAS Observatory / Guido E., G. Sostero, N. Howes).
It can become so bright that even eclipsed by the moon.
The only thing that is known for sure, is that just beyond the orbit of Jupiter discovered "big" cometary body, the trajectory of which at the end of November 2013 may lead him very close to the Sun. The minimum distance is estimated to 0,012. E. (1.8 million miles).
The discovery is based on observations made in Russia with the 16-inch (0,4-foot) telescope Santel International scientific-optical network (International Scientific Optical Network, ISON). According to Alan Boyle's blog Cosmic Log, after the opening of astronomers picked up old files and found them unnoticed image of the comet and calculated its orbit.
The object was designated C/2012 S1, but unofficially it is called comet ISON (Comet ISON).
"At best, the comet is large, bright, says Karl Battams supported NASA Sungrazer Comet Project. - When she gets close to the Sun, its brightness can reach negative values. It would be visible to the naked eye in the Northern hemisphere for at least a couple of months".
At the same time, Mr. Battams recognizes that this is just a guess: "on the other hand, comets tend to fizzle out! As a recent example comes to mind comet Elenin, but there are better known examples of comets, which led astronomers to seriously work, but eventually run out of steam".
Guest blog Planetary society astronomer bill gray says about the same, indicating that the comet's orbit ISON very limited, but about its brightness when approaching the Sun can only guess: "Evaluate the brightness of the comet before the time - all the same what to guess who will win the World series next year, " the scientist writes. - It can be a surprisingly bright, and maybe to "deflate". In my opinion, this is David levy (one of the pioneers of the comet of chumacero - levy-9) said that the comet - like cats: they have tails and they do everything they want".
Why such uncertainty when it comes to the brightness of the comet?
Comets come to us from the outer limits of the Solar system and consist of frozen volatiles: water, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia, as well as dust, rocks and any other "garbage", which happened to swim around the Sun along with the protoplanetary disk. In this case ISON, apparently, comes from a hypothetical Oort cloud, which is about one light year from the Sun and is believed to contain billions of cometary nuclei formed in the early stages of the evolution of the Solar system.
"It is possible that this new comet, i.e. an object from the Oort cloud, for the first time in his life, went to a meeting with the Sun, " says Mr. Battens. - If so, then all of its frozen volatiles still never been this stress (heat or gravity), which means that the comet might scatter a few weeks or months before approaching the sun".
When a comet approaches the Sun, their volatile part passes from solid to gas, bypassing the liquid phase. This leads to active production of these components, from which the solar wind forms a" spectacular tail. The remaining solid nucleus of a comet continues on his way.
All depends on how and what material is "made" comet. It can erupt sooner or later, to break down long before the close approach to the Sun or to remain firm and after the flight of light, giving very little of herself.
But in spite of all the uncertainties about the orbit, the astronomers believe. Most likely, as in the case of comet Elenin, there will be those who will say that we are waiting for the Apocalypse. Do not believe them: comet ISON close and would not come to the Earth. According to the Italian Observatory of Remanzacco, rapprochement with our planet is expected in early January 2014, a distance of about 0.4. E. (60 million km).
Based on the materials Discovery News.
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