Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/18/2013 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Comet is on track according to revised predictions.

Last month, astronomers were worried that Comet ISON would fizzle out and disappoint. Speculation even suggested the would-be comet of the century might have broken into pieces. New observations suggest those worries are premature as the comet appears right on track to provide a rare show in December.

Comet ISON glows green in this recent image.

Comet ISON glows green in this recent image.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/18/2013 (10 months ago)

Published in Technology


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) Astronomers initially hyped Comet ISON as the "comet of the century" when it was first discovered in late September of 2012. Recently, those predictions were revised downward as the comet did not appear to be brightening as predicted.

Rumors began spreading through the community that the comet would be a dud, that possibly it had already broken up as it approached the Sun. Now following a fresh series of observations, the comet appears to be on track to put on quite a show.

It is perfectly intact and growing in brightness as expected. It will not be as bright as initially hoped, which is bright enough to be observed in daylight, but it will be plainly visible to the naked eye sometime in late November or early December.

Already, amateur astronomers with large telescopes say they can see the comet in the pre-dawn sky. Those armed with smaller telescopes and binoculars will be able to see the comet in early November. From mid-to-late November, possibly as early as Nov. 19, the comet will be visible to naked-eye observers.

The comet should continue to brighten until the first week of December. By that time, the comet will be glowing brightly in the evening sky, and climb higher into the northern sky until late December when it will fade from view.

There are some curious notes about comet ISON. The most interesting is that it glows green because of its composition. Filled with cyanogens gas and diatomic carbon, both poisonous to humans, the dust and gas glows green in the sunlight, similar in the way to a neon sign glows.

There is no danger from the gasses however, as they are remarkably diffuse. Anyone standing in the on the surface of the comet would not likely even ingest enough to suffer poisoning. Comets are not as they are depicted in 90s movies.

Another interesting fact about the comet is that it will pass within the Roche Limit, which is a tidal boundary that extends almost 7 million miles from the surface of the Sun. Any object that passes within that limit will be subjected to extreme tidal forces and may possibly break up. If so, then Comet ISON might not survive its trip around the Sun, less than a million miles above its surface.

Comet ISON is thought to be large enough to survive the heat of the Sun, although a good portion of it will literally melt away, causing it to shine even more brightly in the evening sky from Earth.

Whether or not it will survive the Sun's tidal forces is another question. So far, astronomers think it will, yet nobody knows what will really happen. Comets are notoriously unpredictable.

So far, the news for Comet ISON is good and you will catch your first glimpse in mid-November. Naked-eye comets are rare treats, so make sure you follow the news and make a point to step outside and catch a glimpse of green Comet ISON, you won't regret the spectacle.

---


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


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Technology

What are these mysterious objects found underneath Stonehenge? Watch

Image of Using underground radar and 3D imaging technology, a new study has revealed that there are numerous monuments underneath the famous Stonehenge.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

England's iconic and mysterious Stonehenge has just revealed a new mystery, as a first-of-its-kind study suggests that 15 previously undiscovered or poorly understood monuments lie hidden under the ancient monument and the surrounding countryside. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Forget the zombie apocalypse, the ROBOT APOCALYPSE is near! Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


You'll never believe what Amazon picked up for nearly $1 billion Watch

Image of Tech giant Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million, beating out several rival competitors including Google.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Defeating tech rivals Google and Yahoo, Amazon purchased the live-streaming gaming network Twitch for $970 million in a move announced late on August 25 which is the largest deal in Amazon's 20-year history. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The firm raised $20 ... continue reading


China bucks American tech giant Microsoft over fears of spying Watch

Image of China is creating its own operating system after blacklisting Windows 8 from government computers over fears that the American operating system could provide avenues for intelligence agencies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced that China is developing their own operating system for desktop computers and mobile devices, citing U.S. surveillance as one of the key factors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China intends the new ... continue reading


Robots with an internet of their own! This is the way of the future Watch

Image of In the future, robots will be connected through a kind of internet which will allow connected robots to gather and use information in everyday tasks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A large scale computational system that learns from publicly available Internet resources-called Robo Brain-is currently downloading a processing about 1 billion images, 120,000 YouTube videos, and 100 million how-to documents and appliance manuals. This ... continue reading


A confident Ballmer leaves Microsoft 'completely' to run the Clippers Watch

Image of Steve Ballmer has left all positions of authority at Microsoft, leaving behind the tech giant to run the Los Angeles Clippers, for which Ballmer paid a record $2 billion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eight months after he ended his role as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft's board, a move that ends more than three decades of direct involvement in the world's largest software maker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 58-year-old, who ... continue reading


Why did NASA turn the cameras off? Live feed from Space Station shows UFO, NASA cuts the feed Watch

Image of Is this evidence of a UFO? Or perhaps just venting gasses or debris from the ISS?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fans of the International Space Station got an eyeful recently when an alleged UFO appeared on NASA's live feed from the station. Curiously, the feed was interrupted as soon as the object appeared fueling rumors that NASA is engaged in a cover-up. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have you been hacked? New report says millions of personal information has been stolen Watch

Image of Russian hackers recently gathered customer individuals from more than 420,000 websites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russian hackers gathered information from over 420,000 websites, both smaller sites and "household name" sites, in an attempt to gather passwords to send out spam. LOS ANGLES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hold Security, a Milwaukee-based firm, discovered the theft but ... continue reading


ROSETTA: After 10 long years - 'We're in orbit!' Watch

Image of Exciting new images, taken from just 80 miles away shows boulders, craters and steep cliffs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All things come to those who wait. "After 10 years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, looping around the sun five times, we are delighted to announce finally 'we are here,'" Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA's Director General, said in a ... continue reading


Xiaomi overtakes Samsung as leading Smartphone maker Watch

Image of Xiaomi has evolved from a niche player in China to a major force in its home market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How do you pronounce Xiaomi? Think of "show me," and then pronounce the first syllable as if it was in "shower." While Xiaomi in English translates as "little rice," there's nothing little about this Chinese Smartphone manufacturer - Xiaomi has knocked South ... 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, Second Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:27-32
27 'Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 27th, 2014 Image

St. Monica
August 27: St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in ... 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