Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/1/2013 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Comet isn't getting much attention as it falls below predictions.

Comet ISON is now closer to the Sun than Earth, having crossed Earth's orbit on Wednesday. The comet is behaving a bit strangely as it aims for its first-and last high-speed pass across the surface of the Sun.

Comet ISON as imaged last month.

Comet ISON as imaged last month.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/1/2013 (10 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Comet ISON, close approach, great comet, viewing, visibility, magnitude


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Around Oct. 19, amateur observations of Comet ISON revealed the once-lauded "Comet of the Century" was brightening quickly. Now in the past several days, as it sweeps past Earth, observers have gone so far as to report the object dimming slightly. What gives?

Comet ISON, it appears, is behaving more like a solid body than a traditional comet. While it is very much a comet, it isn't emitting as much dust as comets normally do. It is still emitting gas and will continue to do both as it approaches the Sun and continues to warm.

Perhaps because of its lackluster performance, not many people have made mention of it recently. Certainly the media has been relatively quiet about this icy visitor from deep space.

On Nov. 28, Thanksgiving day in the U.S., ISON will pass just three-quarters of a million miles above the surface of the Sun.  Tidal forces could rip the comet apart. Alternatively, the comet could survive, having been heated enough to cause it to spew more dust and gas than ever before. That outgassing is expected to make the comet bright enough to see with the naked eye.

ISON should appear as a naked eye object in late November, being visible to casual observers in the first week of December.

The composition of the comet has much to do with how it performs. It is possible that the comet is more rocky than is typical, a fact that could make the object dimmer because it might not cast off as much dust and gas.

For anyone wishing to view the comet now, a telescope is your best bet. Binoculars may make out ISON, if you know what you're looking for. In most observations, it will appear as a small, fuzzy patch. The bright tail and other famous features of comets will not develop until December. Often those features require long-exposure images to reveal the fine and impressive detail.

Most of us will experience ISON for the first time in a little less than a month now, as it rises into the eastern sky after dark.

How bright it will eventually become, and if it will survive its close encounter with the sun is a mystery we are all anxious to see resolved. However, one thing is clear. Comet ISON probably isn't going to be the Comet of the Century. That distinction will belong to another freezing visitor from deep space that is already well on its way towards the Sun, but remains distant and undiscovered for now.

This chart shows the path of Comet ISON in the sky through December.

This chart shows the path of Comet ISON in the sky through December.



A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


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


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Technology

What's that shiny, mysterious object in the sea of one of Saturn's moons? Watch

Image of Researchers suspect that the appearance of this feature could be related to changing seasons on Titan, as summer draws near in the moon's northern hemisphere.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Science loves a mystery, and so all eyes are upon a mysterious, shining object located on one of Saturn's moons, Titan. In one of the moon's hydrocarbon seas, dubbed the Ligeia Mare, a shining object has been visible to NASA's Cassini spacecraft. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Inventor of World Wide Web warns of encroaching government control Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The British inventor of the World Wide Web, 59-year-old Tim Berners-Lee has issued a dire warning concerning the freedom of the Internet. Berners-Lee says that freedom of expression on the Web is under threat by governments and corporations interested in ... continue reading


Vast new oil field discovered by Russia - with assist from U.S. oil company Exxon Watch

Image of According to the agreement, Rosneft and Exxon won't be able to do more drilling, putting the exploration and development of the area on hold despite the find announced.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Relations between the United States and Russia have been strained, what with ongoing hostilities in Ukraine and the threat that Russian incursions have made to the rest of the European continent. However, the recent discovery by Russian oil interests - with the ... continue reading


Why has the government erected fake cell phone towers across Washignton D.C.? Watch

Image of The U.S. federal government will neither confirm -- nor deny that they use such towers for law enforcement purposes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fake cell phone towers have been discovered throughout the Washington D.C. area. Their existence boggles the mind. Who would take the time to erect these structures that are of no use to anyone? The towers are located near the White House, the United States ... continue reading


Have $100 million burning a hole in your pocket? Then you can shave 3 hours off your flight time Watch

Image of The AS2 is a revolutionary new jet that will be ready for test flights in 2019.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nevada-based Aerion Corporation has partnered with Airbus in order to produce the Aerion AS2, a supersonic business jet which could potentially shave hours off current flight time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The two companies announced their collaboration, ... continue reading


Apple takes a stand: They say they won't unlock iPhones, iPads for police Watch

Image of With their new policy -- not even Apple will be able to unlock the secrets held on their iPhones and iPads that the user does not wish to share --

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Electronic industry leader Apple has taken a remarkable stand that will make them somewhat unpopular with law enforcement. The company declared this week that they will make it impossible for data from iPhones or iPads handed over to the police. This ... continue reading


This goofy looking jet is the key to Europe's airplane market Watch

Image of Airbus currently operates five Beluga airbuses, which are the primary way in which the company transports airplane parts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Airbus A300-600ST, more popularly known as the "Beluga" due to its resemblance to the Arctic whale, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first flight this month. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Beluga performs critical transportation roles in ... continue reading


New fossils may prove that mammals existed alongside dinosaurs Watch

Image of New fossils of early, squirrel-like mammals, found in China, have shown that mammals may have existed early then previously thought.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fossils of three early mammalian species from over 200 million years ago suggests that dinosaurs and mammals did coexist on the Earth earlier than previously thought. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The fossils of the squirrel-like creatures were discovered in ... continue reading


Make way for the 'Phablet:' Apple hopes to recapture trendsetters with world's first 'smartwatch' Watch

Image of Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the Apple Watch during a special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts this week.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The way of the future...is "phablets," which combines both features of smartphones and tablets. Apple, hoping to usurp the high tech throne from Asian rival Samsung will announce their first ever "smartwatch" along with two large-screen versions of the iPhone ... continue reading


British researchers may have just found the cure for multiple sclerosis! Watch

Image of A new study by researchers from Bristol University may have found a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study published in the journal Nature Communications shows that scientists may have discovered a way to stop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or Type 1 diabetes by retraining the immune system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The study was ... 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, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
1 Job spoke next. He said:2 Indeed, I know ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
10 Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 1st, 2014 Image

St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1: Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called ... 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