Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/1/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Technology

Hydrogen-running car to be sold by Toyota Watch

Image of Mirai's compressed hydrogen gas will be stored in two tanks mounted underneath the vehicle. The cars emit no exhaust, although fossil fuels are used in the production of hydrogen and to pressurize it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Toyota, the world's largest auto manufacturer plans to begin selling the world's first hydrogen-powered car. The company only expects to sell 400 in Japan and 300 to the rest of the world immediately - but it's being recognized as the first emission-free made ... continue reading


BACK FROM THE DEAD? Scientific community rages on whether to clone Wooly Mammoth back to life Watch

Image of In order to bring the wooly mammoth back into the realm of the living, an elephant would have to act as a surrogate, carrying the mammoth for 22 months before giving birth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new attempt to bring the long-extinct wooly mammoth back to life through cloning is raging anew in the scientific community. South Korean scientists believe the Ice Age "Mammuthus" can be brought back to life using the DNA of an extremely well preserved ... continue reading


Fascinating photos beamed back from comet by Philae probe Watch

Image of The agency can't guarantee if Philae will once again be operational, but even if it does not the agency says it is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After landing on Comet 67P last week, high-resolution pictures have now been released taken by the Philae probe. Acquired by the Narrow Angle Camera on the Rosetta satellite, the dainty robot was dropped towards the surface of the "ice mountain" - although the ... continue reading


Prepare to be surprised as you enjoy these rare, colorized historic photos Watch

Image of A photograph of a Japanese samurai taken in 1881.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A thread on the popular social media website Reddit is taking the internet back in time, bringing famous and unusual photographs from history and colorizing them. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These amazing photos show slices of life from the late 19th ... continue reading


UPDATED - So we've landed on a comet, what's the big deal? (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of The Rosetta probe will orbit comet 67/P and continue studying it as it approaches the sun.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Today, a European Space Agency (ESA) probe will become the first man-made object to land on a comet. The washing machine-sized Philae lander will touch down on the surface of comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko. As the world follows the landing with bated breath, we cannot ... continue reading


U.S. strikes at 'Dark Net': Seizes $1 million and arrests 17 Watch

Image of During a joint operation between the U.S. and European countries, 400 websites, including Silk Road 2.0, that were trafficking illegal goods were shut down. Also seized were about $1 million in bitcoins.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over 400 hidden internet sites, including the infamous drug selling and trading website Silk Road 2.0, have been shut down in a joint operation between the United States and 16 European nations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These sites are charged with being ... continue reading


DANGER, DANGER Will Robinson: Amazon 'Echo' will soon be in every home, analyst says Watch

Image of Critics say

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Internet marketplace leader Amazon announced the introduction of their new gadget Echo last week. Naysayers were quick to dismiss it along the lines of Apple's Siri, Google Now or Microsoft's Cortana. Columnist Mike Elgan of ComputerWorld disagrees, predicting ... continue reading


Building a better potato: Genetically Modified 'Zombie' Potatoes Watch

Image of Developed by the J. R. Simplot Company, a privately held company based in Boise, Idaho, the company was the first supplier of frozen French fries to McDonald's in the 1960s. Simplot the founder, who died in 2008, became a billionaire.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Acrylamide, which is suspected of being a cancer-causing agent, is produced whenever potatoes are fried. Now, agricultural researchers have perfected a new version of the potato with DNA that has been altered to minimize the agent. The Food and Drug ... continue reading


Big losses for Amazon in the Stock Market Watch

Image of Amazon sales are down, and some worry the company will not meet its goals for the 2014 Holiday shopping season.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American retail giant Amazon has revealed some shocking financial news, that it has lost nearly $500 million in the past three months. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amazon's shares dropped by 11% in after-hours trading, which took more than $15 billion off the ... continue reading


So, the Apple haters were wrong again - take a bite of this! Watch

Image of Apple has seen growth in the sales of its iPhones and Macs from this time in 2013, while sales of tablets have shrunk in the same time frame.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tech giant Apple has sold 39.3 million iPhones over the past quarter, which includes sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus which were released in the United States on September 19. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sales of the iPhone rose past most expectations, ... 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, Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
11 "For the Lord Yahweh says this: Look, I myself ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:31-46
31 'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 23rd, 2014 Image

Bl. Miguel Pro
November 23: Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin ... 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