Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Meteors will be too tiny to see but will produce electric blue, glowing clouds.

Comet ISON is likely to spark a rather strange meteor shower, unprecedented in recorded history. Astronomers now predict that the Earth will be bombarded with tiny particles of comet dust in mid-January following ISON's dive past the sun.

Noctilucent clouds are a rare, but beautiful phenomenon on Earth.

Noctilucent clouds are a rare, but beautiful phenomenon on Earth.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Comet ISON, meteor shower, noctilucent clouds, visible, rare, unprecedented


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Comet ISON is set to be the comet of the century as it possibly brightens enough to outshine even the full moon. Much of that brightness will come from the hundreds of thousands of pounds of dust shed by the comet as the sun heats it up.

Already, ISON is shedding around 120,000 pounds of dust per minute. Comets that pass as close to the sun as ISON will shed even more dust.

Astronomers now believe the dust from ISON will eventually fall to Earth. Comet ISON wills peep past both sides of Earth as it makes its way around the sun. The dust it leaves behind will be pushed outward by the solar wind. Around January 12, astronomers predict the Earth will encounter this dust and pass through the cloud over the course of several days.

Earth will basically be caught in a double-whammy meteor shower with dust coming from two directions.

The dust will be very fine, with the largest particles expected to be only a few microns across. This means the dist will not spark a traditional meteor shower that can be easily seen from Earth. That much is a disappointment, however the dust is expected to fuel another phenomenon - noctilucent clouds.

Noctilucent clouds are clouds that form about 50 miles above the earth's surface, pretty much at the edge of space. At such a height, the ice crystals that form around the dust will reflect sunlight to the Earth long after the sun has set for observers on the ground.

So in the dark of night, skywatchers may enjoy electric blue clouds high above, a rare treat from Comet ISON.

Astronomers say such an event in unprecedented and while they have a good idea of what to expect, they can't be sure exactly what will happen. They do predict the grains of dust will eventually fall to the surface of the Earth, slowly filtering down out of the atmosphere over several years.

Astronomers have added that satellites and astronauts in space will not be in any danger from the microscopic particles.

Look for Comet ISON in mid-November. It should be exceptionally bright in late November through early December.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Technology

Are you a receptionist, security guard or retail clerk? You could soon be replaced by a ROBOT Watch

Image of Royal Caribbean cruise lines have installed new bionic bars with machine robots that fix passengers their drinks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Automation works well if it spares humans from dangerous and monotonous tasks. While many have lost their line of work in assembly lines to nimble-fingered machines, the next wave of robotic replacement may soon well take the place of jobs requiring a more ... continue reading


Catch me if you can: A new device aims to catch wandering Alzheimer's patients and bring relief to caregivers Watch

Image of Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million people in the United States.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately five million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer's. 65 percent of those patients wander. They get up in the middle of the night and take off. Many times these patients get lost or injured. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenneth ... continue reading


Americans have a new champion for privacy -- Microsoft. Software giant squares off with Feds over private customer data held overseas Watch

Image of Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans concerned about their privacy have a new champion, and he comes from an unlikely stable - the ranks of Microsoft. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, is preparing to fight against the U.S. government as they demand Microsoft hand over private, encrypted ... continue reading


Scientists believe they've found first physical evidence of mysterious 'Dark Matter' Watch

Image of After the spectrum from the Perseus cluster and Andromeda were analyzed, scientists saw spikes where nothing should exist.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Scientists came up with the concept of "Dark Matter," an elusive physical property more than 70 years ago. After years of searching, scientists have now uncovered evidence that Dark Matter may in fact exist - in an area where it should theoretically exist. LOS ... continue reading


The death of political ads on TV approaches as more people turn to the internet for media Watch

Image of The political TV ad is dying as more people move online for their media.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're planning to go into politics, don't ignore the internet and what an incredibly powerful tool it is. The internet is not only essential, it is a crucial multiplier of force, allowing a candidate to maximize limited financial resources. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Water DID NOT come to Earth from comets, Rosetta probe concludes Watch

Image of The heretofore unprecedented close-up look at a comet is helping scientists answer the fundamental question of whether a bombardment of these primitive bodies brought water to Earth billions of years ago.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Europe's Rosetta mission, which made history by landing on Comet 67P last month, has come up with a controversial finding that is currently being debated by scientists. According to the Rosetta's latest findings, water did not come to the Earth from comets. LOS ... continue reading


Mars rover uncovers astonishing evidence of water, life on Mars Watch

Image of The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars. Scientists have reached the conclusion that at least some of the planet must ... continue reading


IT'S HEADED OUR WAY! Mountain-sized asteroid to enter Earth's orbit Watch

Image of The asteroid, calculated at 370 meters in diameter, could hit the Earth with an explosion 1,000 times greater than the surprise 2013 impact of a bus-sized meteor in Russia.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Russian astrophysicist Vladimir Lipunov says his astronomical team has located a huge, mountain-sized asteroid whose orbit crosses the Earth's every three years. Known as 2014 UR116, the asteroid poses no immediate threat of collision - PHEW, but its sudden ... continue reading


Six little-known fast facts about NASA's Orion capsule Watch

Image of The Orion capsule is intended to take us back to the Moon and possibly even to an asteroid and even Mars.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

NASA's Orion mission is an important step back towards the Moon and beyond for the United States. Despite the momentous occasion, few Americans are even aware that its first test flight is taking place. As Americans awaken to the news, here are some cool fast facts ... continue reading


Robot apocalypse in 20 years? Stephen Hawking warns that artificial intelligence is outpacing human development. The end could be closer than we think... Watch

Image of Robots could someday eliminate much of the drudgery of everyday life, but that convenience could also come at a terrible price.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One of the world's most brilliant minds has voiced concerns that our infatuation with artificial intelligence may one day bring about the demise of humanity. Although it is a theme that has run through science fiction for decades, new developments are worrying ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 49:2, 8-10
2 Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen; listen to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:3-4, 7-8, 17
3 Mountains and hills, bring peace to the people! ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 1:1-17
1 Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 17th, 2014 Image

St. Olympias
December 17: Olympias born into a wealthy noble Constantinople family. She ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter